IGNITE YOUR INITIATIVE.
The Meeting Place Tobermory is excited to share with you the SPARK initiatives.
The SPARK project, in the Northern Bruce Peninsula, aims to identify and address the unmet social and economic needs of community members working in the seasonal economy (tourism) and also support local entrepreneurs. The goal of the project is to effectively build resources and generate assets or social capital that may improve or make easier the lives of seasonal workers, entrepreneurs and their families. To achieve this goal, the SPARK project follows a ‘Design Thinking’ methodology (empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test) that begins with empathizing with the intended population to identify their needs, and ends with testing prototype designs to meet these needs. Other guiding principles for the project include targeting tangible ‘wins’ and engaging people with ‘grounded expertise’ from start to finish. At the end of 2020, SPARK has generated five main initiatives that we continue to develop in consultation with seasonal workers, entrepreneurs and the local community. Each are featured on a ‘Plan on a Page’ here on the SPARK landing page. Creative design donated by Creative Day for Social Good 2020.
With its unique lifestyle opportunities, the Northern Bruce and Lion’s Head area is a desirable place for entrepreneurs to work and live. It’s important for entrepreneurs to keep growing their business, supporting themselves, and contributing to diversifying the economy of the Northern Bruce. The SPARK prototype solution will provide virtual communication technologies to link local entrepreneurs with data, grants, and mentorship. The next step for NpCoWork is to gather data and conduct testing. There is great potential to survey 150 engaged with NpCoWork.
Through a social enterprise, The Meeting Place Tobermory will lease e-bikes to seasonal workers at an affordable cost, as well as partner with local tourism businesses or organizations for e-bike rentals. The Meeting Place Tobermory will lease e-bikes to seasonal workers for up to six months for commuting and accessing needed activities and will rent to a small number of visitors for touring.
Extending the Season
Extending the working seasons will give seasonal workers a better chance for income. This will be accomplished by a town model eventually joining individual and community economic and environmental aspirations. The model focuses on leadership, consensus and citizen participation. The next step would be testing ideas in the real world, gathering data, and sharing the findings with interested seasonal workers and other stakeholders.
Inventory and Promotion
The Meeting Place will facilitate a matchmaking process between long-term landlords and tenants by creating an available inventory of long-term rental homeowners and tenants, including resource profiles and needs. Developing a campaign to aim converting four short-term rentals to long-term rentals over one year will be available for homeowners and tenants.
Seasonal workers and other area residents have been impacted financially by the unstable nature of our seasonal economy due to Covid-19. The creation of a “COMM-UNITY” YouTube channel will provide an opportunity for all members of the community to share their ideas and will build a stronger sense of co-dependence. This project will require the development of the channel prototype, creation of content, testing, and funding.
The Meeting Place Tobermory would also like to acknowledge and recognize that Creative Day for Social Good Conestoga 2020 designed this SPARK page and the SPARK logo.