Housing Co-operatives Contribute to Social and Economic Fabric of Cape Breton

Symposium at Cape Breton University

Housing co-operatives in Cape Breton will be the topic of focus during the Housing Co-operatives in Cape Breton and Beyond: Past, Present and Future symposium being held at Cape Breton University on July 10. Beginning at 2 p.m., the symposium will explore the past, present and future of this innovative type of housing through presentations from scholars, and community leaders. Following the afternoon sessions, a performance titled Journey to Tompkinsville will take place in the Boardmore Theater at 7 p.m.  The symposium and evening performance are free, although registration is required.

The United Nations has marked 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives making this symposium even more important. “Some people may not be aware, but Cape Breton has a long history of housing co-operatives that dates back to the 1930s, and they are still very much alive today.  Attendees will receive an education in various aspects of co-operative housing ranging from funding options available to the story of Mary Arnold – an early housing co-operative developer in Cape Breton,” says Catherine Leviten-Reid, an Assistant Professor, Shannon School of Business and symposium organizer.

The symposium presents a platform for collaborative discussion that will result in new ideas and partnerships. Presenters include Dr. Richard MacKinnon, Professor of Folklore, Cape Breton University; Karen Brodeur, Program Manager, Co-operative Services, Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada; John Aylwad, Venture Solutions; and Jim Mustard, Councillor, Inverness County.  In addition to learning about the history of housing co-operatives, attendees will hear about the Shean Housing Co-operative, a new initiative emerging out of Inverness.

The Journey to Tompkinsville, written by Lindsay Kyte with musical accompaniment by Ian Sherwood, tells the story of how the co-operative movement has changed the playwright’s (Kyte) life.

To register for the symposium contact Alicia Lake at 902-563-1661 or alicia_lake@cbu.ca; the deadline to register is July 6.

The Housing Co-operatives in Cape Breton and Beyond: Past, Present and Future is supported by the Measuring the Co-operative Difference Research Network, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Nova Scotia Co-operatives Council, the Shannon School of Business and the Housing Applied Research Group, Cape Breton University.