The Sky Dragon Cooperative is a non-profit community development organization in Hamilton, Ontario. The Co-op was founded to incubate community projects that are sustainable socially, ecologically, and economically. The Co-op was founded in 2002, incorporated in 2004, and began construction of a multi-use community centre in downtown Hamilton in 2005.
For years the Cooperative ran several programs and ethical businesses in the Sky Dragon Centre at 27 King William Street. These included the Bread and Roses Cafe, which served locally grown organic and fair trade food and drinks. Bread and Roses also provided off-site catering, and delivered healthy lunches to several local schools via the Kidzfood program.
The Co-op also published Mayday Magazine, a monthly forum for progressive news and analysis. In addition, the Co-op operated an arts and wellness centre that combined classes, gallery openings, artistic performances, and a yearly Mayday Festival celebrating creativity and social change.
In 2010, the Co-op made the difficult decision to close the Bread and Roses Cafe and Mayday Magazine. The ground floor space in the Sky Dragon Centre was taken over by a new local-food cafe – Homegrown Hamilton. Arts and wellness classes continued at the Centre, while the Co-op’s energies were turned toward maintaining a number of studio and office spaces for local artists, instructors and entrepreneurs.
In 2012, a welcome addition to the Sky Dragon Centre was CopyDog – an independent print shop that offers excellent customer service and top-notch quality.
In August of 2016, Sky Dragon will be welcoming a new ground-floor tenant – Rust City Brewery. Rust City will be running a brew pub and coffee shop and will continue the Centre’s tradition of providing a warm, accessible, progressive space downtown.
Today the Sky Dragon Centre houses a number of creative projects, and provides both short-term and long-term space for community meetings, workshops, events, and artistic/commercial purposes. The Co-op is now focused on addressing Hamilton’s crisis in affordable housing, and will be outlining steps toward this goal in the coming year.
For more information about the Sky Dragon Cooperative, please don’t hesitate to contact Co-op Executive Director Kevin MacKay.