Seasonal gathering at the Royal

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Our holiday gathering took place at the Royal Hotel on Wednesday, December 22nd.  It was great to spend some relaxed and informal time with Transition Town folks here in Nelson.  We were able to catch up with each other and report on our progress with our Basin wide Community Dollars local currency project.  You can read the review here.

Transition Nelson Seasonal Celebration

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Just a reminder that Transition Nelson is having our seasonal get together between 4 and 7pm at the Royal on Wednesday, the 22nd. We really hope you’ll join us!

UCCC’s Winter Training Series

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Upper Columbia Co-operative Council (UCCC)’s Winter Training Series
How to Conduct Performance Evaluations
on Staff and Management of Co-ops and Non-Profits
Facilitated by Carolee Coulter, Human Resources Consultant with CDS Consulting Co-op.

Details to be announced in the New Year.

We are very pleased to be able to offer these events to support the continued growth of our co-op/ non-profit sector, and we encourage your organisations to participate in these valuable skills -building and co-learning sessions.

For more information, please contact Zoe Creighton at the address below.
Warm Winter Regards,

Zoe Creighton
Coordinator, Upper Columbia Co-op Council

UCCC’s Winter Training Series

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Upper Columbia Co-operative Council (UCCC)’s Winter Training Series
for Boards, Staff and Volunteers
Friday, January 28th
at the Nelson Chamber of Commerce

Friday, January 28th, 9:30 AM-4:00 PM
Morning Session: How to Lead Strategic Planning for Co-ops and Non-Profit Organizations
Explore the dimensions of learning organizations *  the role of environmental scanning * how to develop operational plans * annual review processes

Afternoon Session: Building Support for Community Projects (Including grant writing)
Principals for a vital community *  Writing high impact proposals  *  Funding sources

Co-presented by Learning Initiatives in BC (LIRN), and featuring expert trainers from the Rural Secretariat, Service Canada, and the Social Planning and Research Council of BC.

A detailed agenda will be circulated, and available at,  in the first week of January.

The sessions are tailored to participants from both cooperatives and non-profit organisations.
Registration is FREE for members of the UCCC, and an affordable $20 for representatives from other co-ops and non-profit organisations. Registration will take place from January 10-24th.

Local Currency article in the Columbia Valley News

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Check out this great article on our new bioregional local currency system, the Community Way:

More and more of us are becoming aware that our current money system is designed not to benefit us as individuals, organizations and businesses, but the banks. But what if a currency’s primary focus was on caring for the community? What if, by design, a currency was based on generosity and community spirit rather than on greed?

Well, it may be about to happen in six Columbia Basin communities as early as February, 2011, thanks to the Columbia Community Dollars Group which is made up of a number of smaller groups of advocates throughout the Basin.

Click here to read the article.

photo credit: Columbia Valley News

Cooperation Before Business

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Holiday Celebration

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Transition Nelson is celebrating the holiday season at the Royal on Wednesday, December 22nd from 4-7pm. Food and refreshments will be available. Come and share your hopes, dreams and visions of a resilient future for our community in the year ahead.  We hope to see you there.

Wishing you a joyous holiday season!


An Agricultural Area Plan for the Regional District of Central Kootenay

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Did you know that work is currently under way to create an agricultural area plan for the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK)? Many other areas of the province have developed similar plans, and a local team of professionals are touring through the region, from Creston to Nakusp, to gather input from residents to create a plan for us. The agricultural area plan that is produced will be a document that not only outlines what needs to be done to build and strengthen our agricultural sector, it will also be looking at how well our agricultural sector is meeting residents’ needs for food.


The process involved in creating the plan will take several steps to complete, and will include researching the area’s agricultural past to get clues for possible routes forward. However we are currently focusing on consultations and engaging with area residents. For another month the team will be hosting public gatherings, farmer meetings, kitchen table chats, and having lots of one-on-one dialogue on the phone, at farmers markets, and at special meetings. We want to hear residents’ perspectives directly in terms of what is working well and what needs to be improved upon or changed to make agriculture more viable in the RDCK and enable us to better feed ourselves. Before the plan is adopted in the spring of 2011, residents will once again have the chance to engage in the process by reviewing the draft documents and ensuring their perspective is included, however now is the time to get involved if you have thoughts you’d like to share.

Upcoming community consultations include:
November 30 in New Denver at the Hidden Gallery (7-9pm)
December 1 in Argenta (10am-2pm, call for details)
December 1 in Nakusp at the Seniors Center (7-9pm)
December 6 in Creston at the College of the Rockies Greenhouse Classroom (Creston Valley Food Coalition’s AGM, 6-9pm)
December 10 in Creston at the Farmer’s Market (1403 Erickson Rd, 10am-2pm)

Please plan to join us at a community consultation or get in touch with us to book another meeting time or have a phone conversation to discuss these issues. Alternately, visit our website to access our online surveys and participate in the Forum discussions to give us a better understanding of yourself and your needs, so that we can create a plan that will support thriving agriculture in our region now and in the future.

Kootenay Permaculture 2011 Course Schedule

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Kootenay Permaculture

Celebrating 20 years of Permaculture in the Kootenays and across Canada.

Schedule 2011

March 12 & 13, 2011
Introduction to Permaculture
in Nelson, BC
Dates: March 12 & 13, 2011, (Sat-Sun) 9am -4pm
Venue: Selkirk College Silver King Campus, Nelson, BC
Instructor: Gregoire Lamoureux
Cost: $125 (for both days)

March 28 – May 5, 2011
Permaculture Training Program
in Nelson, BC
Description: Learn the basic Permaculture design principles and techniques and develop the practical skills to design and implements sustainable designs for ecological landscape and backyard. This six week intensive training program combines theory with practical hands-on activities. Course graduates will receive the Permaculture Design Course Certificate.

Dates:March 28 – April 15, 2011 (Monday-Friday) 9am -4:00pm
April 18 – May 5, 2011 (4 days a week) 9am – 4:00pm

Venue: Selkirk College Silver King Campus, Nelson, BC
Instructor: Gregoire Lamoureux & guests.
Gregoire Lamoureux is a permaculture designer, consultant and teacher with 20 years of experience with permaculture systems across Canada. He has taught the Permaculture Design Course for the last 10 years with Selkirk College.Registration Deadline is March 18, 2011.

Tuition funding and support may be available for eligible students. For more information, please contact  us.

Permaculture Design Course
in Winlaw, BC

Spring Course:
May 15 – 28, 2011

Summer Course:
August 14 – 27, 2011

Location: Kootenay Permaculture in Winlaw, BC.
Description: This intensive 13 day course combines theory with practical hands-on learning & design exercises.
The participants who complete the course will receive the Permaculture Design Course Certificate. These two Permaculture Design Courses are presented in cooperation with Selkirk College.
Topics includes: permaculture design techniques & principles, site analysis, soil fertility, organic gardening techniques, herbs & medicinal plants, fruit & nut trees, water uses, ecological buildings & urban permaculture.
Instructors: Gregoire Lamoureux & guests

Early registration deadline:
Spring Course: April 15, 2011
Summer Course July 14, 2011

For more information or to register contact:
Kootenay Permaculture
S12, C2, RR#1
Winlaw, BC
V0G 2J0
Phone: 250-226-7302

Sustainable Waterfront Planning and Mayor Dooley

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photo credit:

On September 25th, I attended the Hume for the second public workshop where Nelsonites can review the planning of the waterfront to date and give feedback.  About forty people showed up at the Hume Room where we were give red stickers to put beside the ideas we preferred on boards explaining the principles, ideas and land use plans being developed on for Nelson’s waterfront to the year 2040.  We were also give post its so we could attach our comments.  Mayor John Dooley and City Councilors Kim Charlesworth and Marg Stacey and City Planner Dave Wahn were there, and a planner from Vancouver who was facilitating the process.

After putting my dots on the display boards that listed goals and  priorities and looking at the various plans that took in the waterfront from Red Sands Beach to the Canadian Pacific (CP) Station, I  was joined by Mayor John Dooley.  It was nice to get an idea of what he envisions for the City.

He was pleased with the turnout, and happy that the tone of the event was reasonable and respectful. It helps the City immensely when people turn out and put some time and thought into what they want for their community.  He said he’d like to see Nelson become the healthiest community in BC. He feels that we’re well on our way with our clean water and air, and all the amazing health practitioners who live in the region. He’s been reading The Economics of Happiness: Building Genuine Wealth, and has been in touch with the author, Mark Anielski, who he may invite to speak in Nelson.

He’s also reading a book called “The World is Flat” that argues that the internet has made the world a level playing field.  He talked about the importance of investing in education, and research and development so Canadians can keep our competitive edge. He’s very proud of the way the Selkirk residence was revitalized in such an environmentally friendly way, using geothermal energy and recycled materials.

Front Street and Lakeside Drive were identified as priorities, as well as the CP Station which, when developed, should stimulate the downtown core, as will the rebuilding of the farmers’ market at Cottonwood Falls.  Architect Thomas Loh has redesigned the space to create a more park like feeling.  It will be opened up for an improved ambiance.

photo credit:

This plan will become part of the Official Community Plan (OCP), which is supposed to be revisited every five years. The City has adopted long term planning because they’ve found that quick fixes don’t work.  It’s the path to 2040, and not just 2015.  It will be reexamined all the time, and will establish pillars of sustainability.

How do we get the money?  The Mayor feels that common sense solutions will be sustainable both environmentally and financially.  He wants to see Nelsonites in charge of our own destinies.  Plans are now in place for water, sewer, roads and sidewalks so we don’t have to contract out the work and then lease the services back, and lose our autonomy in the process.  A solid OCP will control the direction development takes.

Consultation and the greater good are both priorities to John Dooley.  This consultation process gives Mayor and Council a lot of guidance.  During the last election, citizens expressed a desire for more openness, and he took that to heart. There are some simple things that can be done, but after picking the low hanging fruits you have to plan slowly so it can be done right.  Active transportation, pathways and corridors are important planning elements.  Sustainability and density issues are helped by the smallness of Nelson, since it makes infill for housing density easier.

photo credit:

Nelsonites are incredibly innovative and have one of the highest rates of  businesses licence holders per capita — around 1,200 people have business licences in Nelson with its population of approximately 10,000.  That’s over 1/10th of the population.  We have to constantly ask ourselves how we can make our City a better place to live and more attractive to visitors.

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