Community members, local leaders and municipal politicians had an excellent opportunity to participate in the second Simon Fraser University Community Economic Development (CED) course to be hosted in Golden.
The first session of study occurred in June of 2013, and the follow up courses were brought back this year due to popular demand, with topics ranging from Indigenomics, Leadership and Social Innovation highlighting the Dec. 1-5 course.
Lori Baxendale and Joy Orr were among the attendees, and both agreed it was a very positive experience.
“It was a great opportunity to learn, but also to spend time with current and emerging community leaders,” said Orr through an e-mail.
Indigenomics, a look at aboriginal principals and how they can be applied in today’s society, was one of the more interesting topics over the five day event.
“(Indigenomics) is very much a sense of shared wealth. (The idea) is that success is not defined by the accumulation of wealth but in the sharing of wealth and that the most successful people are those who can share,” Baxendale said.
Another idea that individuals at the seminar explored was the concept of a “leakage assessment” and how leakage can affect a community like Golden.
“How is money leaving your community, what are your assets locally, and what kind of businesses can be built around money that is leaving and the assets that you have?” Baxendale said.
She used the example of the Whitetooth Brewing Company as a way to prevent that kind of leakage. Currently, bars and restaurants in Golden serve a variety of beer from other communities such as Fernie and Revelstoke, but the creation of Golden’s own brewery will prevent some of that leakage.
“Now we’re going to have a local brewery here and that money is going to stay in the community,” Baxendale explained.
Orr was particularly excited for Golden’s future after attending.
“Golden has very talented citizens, and if we work together we can accomplish tremendous things,” she said.
The final step, for those who participated in both the 2013 and 2014 sessions, will be to travel to Vancouver in May to complete their certificates.