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Songhees Innovation Centre

March 21, 2017

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UPDATE: Please learn more about the launch of the Songhees Innovation Centre on the website.

Animikii is on the move again!

Specifically, we’ve relocated our main office to the upper floor of the beautiful Songhees Wellness Centre on Lekwungen territory in Victoria. We’re just down the road from our previous office, but this move represents a huge step forward in Animikii’s growth.

Songhees Innovation Centre

As a social enterprise, part of Animikii’s goal is to contribute meaningfully to the communities in which we work. In working towards this goal, Animikii has embarked on a new initiative with the Songhees Nation called, the Songhees Innovation Centre (SIC). SIC will be housed within the Wellness Centre itself and it will be a coworking space specifically for Indigenous entrepreneurs, creatives, nonprofits, and small organizations. Over the past six months, Animikii has been collaborating with Songhees Nation to gauge Community interest in this project and to cater the project design to the Community’s needs; we also have been working to ensure the financial viability of the SIC. Working together, our teams prepared and presented the idea for SIC before the Songhees Nation Chief and Council. Songhees’ leadership examined the idea and determined that the project fits right into the Nation’s strategic vision for the future and approved it in principle.

Animikii and Songhees Nation have been collaborating with other community partners on this project, including South Island Prosperity Project to ensure a broad base of support. It is our hope that, in time, the Songhees Innovation Centre will become a thriving coworking space, training centre and office-away-from-home for Indigenous innovators from across Vancouver Island. In particular, we hope to see many local Songhees and Esquimalt Indigenous entrepreneurs, artists and organizations working within the space. Members of SIC - as well as Songhees Community members - will be invited to attend a variety of discussions, training sessions, workshops and working groups based on SIC. We hope that SIC members will choose to share their expertise or skills with the rest of the membership by volunteering to provide some of these workshops and events. By way of a regular committee meeting, SIC members will select the upcoming events and control the ways in which the Centre is run.

Goals of the Project

The ultimate goal of SIC is to create a communal, co-working environment that actively fosters organizational partnership-building and rich idea exchanges among Indigenous innovators. We want to create an epicentre of social progress and innovation in which creative minds and can come together to develop, refine and launch solutions. We hope that the members of SIC will find new ways to work collaborate that would only be possible through SIC.

Animikii is proud to contribute to this project and we will continue to support it through launch and growth. We believe this project will bring tremendous value to existing local entrepreneurs as well as local Indigenous people who are interested in learning more about entrepreneurship. Like all members of SIC, Animikii will benefit from working closely with so many engaged Indigenous innovators. Our team looks forward to collaborating with our new SIC “co-workers.”

While our teams are in the early stages of launching this project, Animikii is excited to be working within the Songhees Wellness Centre as we continue to develop and refine SIC. We look forward to launching the Centre in the next few months and building it up for many years to come.

If you want to get involved in the project, or if you’re an Indigenous innovator looking for a new workspace, feel free to reach out to us at Animikii to learn more about the Songhees Innovation Centre!

Article published April 11, 2017.

March 21, 2017

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