Sky Dragon Community Development Centre

A Plan to Transform Our Cities…

Our organization was formed from grassroots activism and a desire to change our urban landscapes for the better. Poverty, homelessness, urban sprawl and city core decay are issues that plague Hamilton and many other Canadian cities. Sky Dragon intends to address these problems by creating a “Community Development Engine” to produce the kind of development we need: affordable housing, co-operative initiatives, good jobs, public transportation, artistic and cultural centres, and vibrant public spaces.

The Sky Dragon Community Development Centre (CDC)…

Our first development project involves creating a multi-purpose community/wellness centre and eco-building in the downtown core of Hamilton. The Centre currently houses the following:

  • Studio spaces for wellness classes
  • The Bread and Roses café serving fair trade and locally grown organic food
  • Office space for non-profit groups
  • Mayday Magazine - a monthly print forum for progressive thought
  • A space where music, spoken word, dance and other performances can happen
  • An art gallery
  • Space for community groups to hold meetings

The Generator Effect…

The Sky Dragon Community Development Centre (CDC) project is intended to educate a team of community developers. In addition, the Centre is intended to provide funding for subsequent ventures. Surplus revenues from the centre will go into a Community Development Fund from which future projects can be financed.

A Different Kind of Development…

Our co-operative is guided by the tenets of “Full-spectrum Sustainability”, involving social, environmental and economic aspects.

  • Social Sustainability refers to development that promotes economic equality, reduces poverty and homelessness, creates positive living and work environments and enhances democratic participation in all aspects of life.
  • Environmental Sustainability refers to the impact that our lifestyles and developments have on the ecosystem. Our projects will strive towards energy efficiency, use of renewable power sources such as solar and wind, urban greenspace enhancement, brownfield development and the support of “green” industries.
  • Economic Sustainability refers to the ability of development projects and local economies to be financially viable. Projects need to be based on sound business models and to create wealth and jobs that will stay in the community.

The Project is Underway! Here's How You Can Help us Develop it...

After years of patient effort, our co-operative secured a building to house the CDC project. The property is #27 King William Street (pictured above) – a three storey building in the heart of Hamilton's downtown core. We purchased the building in June of 2006 and in August of 2006 the Bread and Roses Cafe was opened on the ground floor. We are currently finishing renovations on a second floor arts and wellness centre.

What Better Place than Here? What Better Time than Now?

The Sky Dragon Cooperative presents a unique blend of social conscience and entrepreneurial spirit never before seen in Hamilton. We have a talented and incredibly committed team of members, volunteers and supporters. We also have three years of a proven track record in sustainable community development. The Coop started with inexperienced members and no resources. Today we have eleven paid employees, we own our building and we’ve created a vibrant, diverse community space. We are moving forward into a sustainable future, but need your help to continue the journey!

The Sustainable Future Campaign

Even through we are a non-profit organization, Sky Dragon is based on a model of financial self-sufficiency. Our goal is to provide all necessary operating funds through the Coop’s ethical business practices, and we are very close to doing so. What has made realizing this goal difficult is the steep capital investment needed to purchase and renovate our building. Until very recently most of our organization’s energy has gone into creating the space to hold our programs and services. With additional key investments we will finally have a fully-functioning business model that will generate sufficient, and even surplus revenue. To help us with these investments we are asking supportive individuals and businesses to contribute to the project through the Sustainable Future Campaign.

Charitable Donations in Partnership with Arts Hamilton

Due to a trusteeship relationship with the registered charity Arts Hamilton, individuals can make donations through Arts Hamilton directed to the Sky Dragon Community Development Cooperative. In exchange for any donation of $100 or over, Arts Hamilton will issue a tax receipt to the donor. Tax receipts can be used to offset the amount of federal and provincial income tax the donor normally pays. In Ontario the general rule is that 22.6% of the first $200 donated goes toward an income tax credit. For the amount of a donation over $200, the credit is 40.6%. For example, a donation of $100 would provide the donor with a $22.60 income tax credit. A donation of $1000 would provide a donor with a $370 tax credit ($45.20 on the first $200 plus $324.80 on the next $800). These credits don’t just reduce your taxable income, they come directly off the income tax you owe. 5% of all donations directed to the Sky Dragon Coop will go to Arts Hamilton to cover administrative costs.

Short-Term Funding Priorities

In the short-term Sky Dragon needs to make some strategic investments to increase the viability of our existing businesses. Priorities include a second floor treatment room, an outdoor patio for the café, additional kitchen equipment, lift chairs for the basement and second floor, an administrative coordinator and street distribution boxes for Mayday Magazine. All of these investments are intended to strengthen existing streams of revenue generation and bring the centre to breakeven.

Medium-Term Funding Priorities

In the medium term Sky Dragon is looking to expand its ground floor commercial space and shift the holistic health clinic and ethical consumer’s coop to this new location. At the same time the Coop would like to do upgrades on the façade of the existing centre, with the goal of increasing energy efficiency. The final medium term goal involves installing a rooftop garden and passive and active solar arrays on the roof of the centre.

Your Gift Can Make the Difference!

Committing to a sustainable future means committing to the lives of our children and our grandchildren. Sky Dragon is one of the organizations leading the way in this project of transformation. With your help we can keep the project moving forward…isn’t our collective future worth it?

For More Information about the Coop and how you can help, please contact:
Kevin MacKay
Executive Director
Sky Dragon Community Development Cooperative Inc.
27 King William St.
Hamilton, ON, L8R 1A1
905-777-8102
kevin@skydragon.org

 



 


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