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THE GLASSWORKS COOPERATIVE: Housing initiative forms to meet urgent community needs

The Beach Community Energy Co-operative (BCEC) invited Owen Sound community stakeholders, BCEC co-op prospective members and members to the inaugural Glassworks Co-operative meeting, November 25th, 2017 at St. George's Parish Hall in Owen Sound. The meeting was designed to explore housing and economic development requirements and synergies in Owen Sound and develop the Glassworks Cooperative vision and organization.

Some 50 stakeholders gathered to hear from contributors both local and from the BCEC, and to take part in an open session following, moderated by Barry Randall of the Grey Bruce Sustainability Network.

The day's activities began with informal networking before a warm welcome from the Reverend Graham Bland and introductions for Barry Randall of the Grey Bruce Sustainability Network and Fred Harding President, BCEC.

The audience heard the following presentations:

- “Affordable Housing: YIMBY” Jill Umbach, United Way Grey Bruce,

- "Student Housing in Owen Sound" Paige Jolly, Georgian College,

- "Proposed Glassworks Site Plan", Jiri Skopek, Lead architect,

- "Renewables and Co-Generation" Fred Harding, BCEC

- "Social Investment introduction" John Andrews, BCEC

- “Agri-Food Business Development as a Strategic Priority in Grey County” Philly Markowitz, Grey County Economic Development Officer

A delicious soup, bread and salad lunch and member networking session was graciously offered by Kristine Hammel of Persephone Market Garden.

Following lunch, a 'stone soup' open space session commenced, where all members sat in a circle and considered possible themes for the Glassworks site project(s) and articulated the room’s aspirations for the project.

From this meeting a steering committee formed to continue development of The Glassworks Cooperative.

Owen Sound, ON, Canada

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