A theme on this blog is that of a Commons, or third-space that connects people in their work and living. The Queen Street Commons on PEI was one of the first in Atlantic Canada and a slightly different model is offered by Queen Street Studios in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia:
Fondly known as QSS, its genesis emerged from the personal and professional background of its creative director Julia Rivard. Her vision was to create a place for creatives to meet, work and share ideas. Together with her husband Trevor, Julia purchased the historic Union Protection Company property, built in1895 at 50 Queen Street in Dartmouth. In the summer of 2006, the interior of the building was transformed into a unique space and Julia’s dream became a reality. Today it is a vibrant space nurturing the creative energies of its members, and reaching out to the HRM community and beyond, to further the growth of the profession.
QSS offers various levels of membership services, ranging from $150 to $675 per year. It also houses the for-profit QSS company, which provides the nucleus of the business energy that seems to result in many opportunities for its members. Students are welcome and QSS will be offering an incubation program soon.
This looks like a focused and pragmatic business model that is growing a local ecosystem of independent companies. It is the kind of business development that our governments should be supporting, instead of creating jobs (a.k.a. indentured servitude) by luring multinational corporations to set up temporary shop in the Deep East.