In a world where the biggest risk is the failure to innovate, the Columbia Community Dollars Foundation is throwing a party to celebrate the end of Nelson’s second local currency initiative.
“We going to host an upbeat vigil on October 25 for our dearly departed friend; an Irish wake to toast the valiant effort of our community and send this particular strategy to its resting place,” said Michael Sheely, co-ordinator for the community dollars initiative.
“An important part about being innovative is honouring smart failures,” said Bradley Roulston, board chair for the foundation. “This is an opportunity both for gathering people’s stories and for celebrating healthy risk taking in a global economic climate where local resiliency is becoming more and more important.”
Columbia Community Dollars is the second local currency to die a premature death in Nelson. Barter Bucks suffered a similar fate years earlier.
“We learned from the Barter Bucks experience,” said Sheely. “And the next model that emerges in Nelson will no doubt benefit from the learning gained through the community dollars initiative.”
Failure doesn’t seem to get in the way of believing in the value of local currency for the management team of community dollars.
“In North America, our most vibrant time for local currencies was during the Great Depression. Some of the models that are less successful in times of recession can suddenly become much more attractive when depression conditions set in,” explained Sheely. “Nobody is hoping for depression-like conditions, but it’s good to be prepared in case they happen.”
The Irish Wake is expected to reveal some of the hidden benefits of the currency to the community, such as stories of new clients, new collaborations, new awareness, and citizens more empowered with possibility. The wake will be held at the Seed Studio, 607 Front Street, second floor at 7 p.m. on October 25. Admission is free and refreshments will be served. It is an Irish wake after all.