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So much progress and growth has occurred since our first article one year ago. We have held monthly meetings, garnered support from the community and navigated the process of acquiring the Old Firehall as a space. We now have a very good working relationship with the CVRD and Crown Land. We have come up with a plan to acquire the building that will work for all parties. There is light at the end of the tunnel!

We have been reflecting on how much this project will benefit the Hornby Community. There has been much discussion around housing, and ways to support community members that need stable housing. Between new potential bylaws and the ISLA project, these goals look promising. A local builder has suggested building prefab housing at The Spark, and really anyone could use the space for building part or all of a home. For those living in tiny homes, the Spark space will offer much needed space for building, creating, and making a living the way Hornby Islanders do.

The Spark plans to have a regular car maintenance bay where locals with knowledge can support those who want to DIY oil changes, fluid top ups, change spark plugs etc.

Have you ever had a favourite appliance that lasted years and one day unexpectedly stopped working? Instead of sadly taking it to the Depot, we will offer a series of repair cafes where you could either learn to fix the appliance yourself or for a nominal fee have someone else fix it for you.

Many artists are in need of studio space, especially in the summer months when many people are displaced from their regular rental spaces. The Spark plans to offer individual studio spaces to those who would like to rent a space that they can leave their tools, supplies or art in progress and have full anytime access.

We also had another look at the Hornby Island Community Vision and are pleased to see how well our project fits within what that framework. While it has the potential to support tourism, the arts, building practices, agriculture, energy and the environment, the categories that struck us were Co-operative Ventures & Community Infrastructure: “In the year 2020, co-operative and community-run ventures are flourishing because the community believes that collective initiatives are the most effective ways to meet the needs of the community, maintain local control and create a healthy economy. In order to survive and be able to live the simple, low impact lifestyle we desire, we have developed many effective ways for pooling and sharing our resources, talents and energy. We realize that only through mutual effort and respect will we be able to achieve our goals of self-reliance and self-determination.” We couldn’t have stated a better intention for the creation of The Spark. Under Economy: “There are plenty of skill-building and educational opportunities, co-operative and support mechanisms to assist the creation and success of small businesses.” Exactly. The Spark has potential to create jobs and individual self-reliance. Finally, under Education: “The community has created a life-long learning infrastructure (which could be an actual Centre or a loose network) that is responsive to the needs of all individuals and the community. It is flexible, well-funded and sustainable. Learners and teachers from around the world are welcome and important participants in this educational process.” We’re on track for making this a reality.

If you support the Hornby Island Community Vision then you are a supporter of The Spark initiative. Thank you.

For more information come to our next meeting on November 23 at 7:30pm at the Firehall. Visit our Facebook page “The Hornby Spark” or email us at hornbyspark@gmail.com

By Leanna Killoran and Quana ParkerĀ