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In 1994 a group of 12 artists in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island met to discuss the need for a permanent showcase for selling their artwork beyond the usual venues of craft fairs and exhibitions. We are grateful to the founding artists who laid the groundwork for this Cooperative and we are reassured that there will be others to take over the store and be true to our mission. There is also the opportunity to rent the store display windows to test market an art product. The store can provide a showplace both for established and for emerging artists and artisans. Currently there are over 90 artists on our roster. By holding meetings and keeping minutes, as a Co-operative Association, a record of how Imagine That!, the core group has passed on to the present Members, has evolved. Registering the co-operative was a good idea. To their credit that they chose not to request any government funding, relying instead upon their own limited funds and resources with some private monetary help. This required them to register the business as a Cooperative with Board Members and Minutes of Meetings. With little startup capital, the group considered applying for a Government grant. From the beginning they were advised to explore the Co-operative Association Act and decide which kind of co-operative they wanted to be. For ideas, they looked at registered co-ops in Nelson B.C. (Craft Connection) and at Circle Craft on Granville Island, Vancouver. The store has grown considerably since then. They also used the invaluable advice of a bookkeeper, who is currently the only one remaining from the original group. This focused group established how they should run their meetings and where they should locate, by inviting assistance from the local Community Business Development Office. They called themselves "Imagine That! Artisans' Designs". Their first tiny storefront opened in downtown Duncan in August of the same year. Imagine That! Artisans' Designs provides a storefront for artiRead more...
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