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Moving the Glassworks Cooperative Forward

Local Non-Profit Organization Working to Support Economic Development, Develop LEED-Certified Housing & Protect Owen Sound Green Space

Today the Glassworks Cooperative, a registered not-for-profit organization focused on the ecological, social and economic sustainability of our region, is excited to announce its imminent purchase of a 40+ acre parcel of undeveloped land in the City of Owen Sound.

The Glassworks Cooperative is committed to developing a resilient eco-village in Owen Sound with housing, energy production, and economic development projects designed by future residents, local partners, and social entrepreneurs.

“We’re excited to engage members, partners and future residents in this process,” said Kelsey Carriere, a founding board member. “It is so seldom that people have an opportunity to shape their communities in any concrete way, and with such a strong commitment to sustainability, affordability and community design, I think we are shaping the future of housing.”

This land purchase moves the Glassworks Cooperative closer to achieving its goals of:

  • Supporting economic development through the creation of modern manufacturing spaces and a local food processing facility;

  • Developing eco-friendly housing for students, individuals, families and seniors, both market and affordable, in partnership with community stakeholders in response to identified needs and in keeping with Canada Green Building Council standards;

  • Providing renewable energy at scale with the Beach Community Energy Cooperative, to ensure energy security and helping the region to meet its United Nations Sustainable Development targets;

  • Creating a Land Trust to protect a part of Owen Sound in perpetuity, ensuring access to housing, education and opportunity in Owen Sound as it grows.

The Glassworks Cooperative was initiated and is supported by the Beach Community Energy Cooperative, whose first project was the successful implementation of solar energy atop Kew Gardens Public School in Toronto. Today, the Glassworks Cooperative Board of Directors is made up of:

  • Kelsey Carriere, urban planner and Senior Project Manager at Park People

  • Paige Jolly, Court Services Clerk at the County of Grey, Georgian graduate and past Georgian College Student Association Vice President of Internal Relations.

  • Miranda Miller, Owen Sound communications and digital marketing consultant

  • Robert G. Spencer, policy consultant and the former Executive Director of the Ontario Association of Food Banks

  • Sylvia Statham, Executive Director of Owen Sound Lutheran Outreach Ministries

  • Zoë Thurling, co-founder and Creative Director at Chevalier Thurling

The Glassworks Cooperative thanks the following advisors for their dedication and support: Ron Struys, real estate and finance consultant; Paul Connelly, a renowned non-profit and co-op housing consultant and innovator; Kristopher Stevens, Executive Director, Co-housing Options Canada; Mike Murray, a former municipal CAO; and contractor Jake Lawson, whose father Gord Lawson was an avid supporter of the Glassworks vision and worked tirelessly the project until his passing in November, 2020.

Glassworks also wishes to thank past founding board members Jiri Skopek, architect, planner and advisor for smart, green buildings and sustainable communities; and Graham Bland, Rector at St. George’s Anglican Church and community leader.

“In this next phase of development, Glassworks Cooperative will continue to build upon the gracious support of Social Enterprise Network of Central Ontario and the Federal Government’s Investment Readiness Programme, adding low-interest member loans, a community bond offering, and pursuing granting opportunities,” said Zoë Thurling, a founding board member.

Community members are encouraged to browse the Glassworks Cooperative website at to learn more about the organization and opportunities to contribute. Regular membership is $50 per year, corporate $100, and the membership for unwaged individuals is $25.

Terms of the land acquisition are not being disclosed.

Owen Sound, ON, Canada

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