GULF ISLANDS CO-OP of Education, Arts, Food, Goods & More!

Heartwood Folk School is grateful for Vancity and CRD funding to initiate this new CO-OP!  Proposed mission: to co-operatively support Southern Gulf Islands (SGI) Producers of Education, Arts, Food, Goods and More to sustainably and profitably SELL what we create, AND to support island residents, visitors and others to sustainably BUY from island sources – for mutual, year-round, economic and community benefit.

This is a collaborative initiative, welcoming First Nations Producers, and all interested stakeholders.  This includes ongoing dialogue with the SGI Community Economic Sustainability Commission, and the new SGI Community Resource Centre Society.

The first GULF ISLANDS CO-OP initiative is the new GULF ISLANDS CALENDAR, for the unique educational, artistic, musical, and other events, on the islands of Pender, Saturna, Mayne and Galiano!  In addition, a new CO-OP has great potential to help our communities in various ways…

1st step:  Anyone can REGISTER as a CO-OP Member, and be part of our online Directory of Member Profiles (currently for Producers from the Southern Gulf Islands, but this can evolve, plus we welcome Consumer/Supporter Members from everywhere!)

2nd step:  Then any CO-OP Member can ADD A FREE LISTING to the Calendar.

3rd step:  As decided by CO-OP Members, this CO-OP website could add secure ecommerce to handle online ticket sales and class registration fees.

4th step:  Inspired by the incredible online Oklahoma Food & Goods Co-op, our CO-OP website could add secure multi-vendor ecommerce for the online sale of Gulf Islands food, goods and more (see sample here).

Imagine… on the CO-OP website, someone could purchase a solar energy class registration, tickets for a musical event the same weekend, PLUS some incredible island goat cheese or a gorgeous hand-knit sweater – to be picked up at the CO-OP pop-up store at that island’s Saturday Farmer’s Market.  The online CO-OP could also sell unique island goods to be mailed out year-round to people across Canada.

5th step: Consumer Members would receive an annual patronage dividend of 5% of their CO-OP purchases.

6th step:  The CO-OP could also involve Investment Shareholders to provide the equity for the CO-OP to have useful central locations – for even more exciting economic and community developments!

To start, we invite any interested person to use this simple form to register as a CO-OP Member (or more than one kind of CO-OP Member).  Then all CO-OP Members will receive email updates, and can help decide how this CO-OP can help our islands, the more we co-operate!

QUESTIONS/FEEDBACK: Feel free to contact or Zorah Staar at 250-891-2424