Community size 170,000
Go Local Oakville (GLO): About Us / What We Do
Our mission is to inspire, engage and empower the residents of our community
as we move along the path to a more local, resilient and sustainable future
Go Local means
supporting local businesses and farmers;
building community social networks;
harnessing natural and social diversity;
celebrating what this wonderful Town has to offer,
and taking care of each other.
We began in 2008 as Transition Oakville, were designated an “official” Transition Town and incorporated in 2011 as Go Local Oakville. Our Board of Directors includes founding president Blake Poland, Hart Jansson (VP), Frank Jones (Treasurer), Melissa Tervit, Alana Kelcey (on parental leave), Susan Curran (on leave), Lisa Seiler, Darren Davis, and member emeritus Andy Stark.
We have a number of initiatives on the go, and several more under development:
Growing & Sharing Food in Halton – http://www.oakvilleorganicmarket.com/
Three, interrelated urban projects, have been undertaken in collaboration with the Oakville Sustainable Food Partnership [BP2] (OSFP), and with funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, to increase the resilience of the local food system and communities in Halton:
- Halton Fruit Tree (gleaning),
- Backyard Bounty & garden sharing
- Community Orchard
All of these initiative support the recently adopted Halton Food Charter by the Halton Food Council (http://www.haltonfoodcouncil.ca). To learn more or to volunteer for the Halton Fruit Tree Project, contact Jennifer at or 905-691-6510
Members of our Board have been active in starting and running several community gardens, including one in West Kerr Village (Trafalgar Park) and a newer smaller raised community garden in front of Whole Foods market.
We are working in collaboration with the Halton Environment Network (HEN) and their alternative power project (HEAT) to develop a community-owned solar power generation project in Halton. Hart Jansson, our VP, led a Mayor’s Advisory Group on residential solar panel financing in 2011.
Permaculture Club / Edible Garden Club
We started two local clubs to promote and support those interested in growing their own food. The Permaculture Club was launched in December 2010 to address the demand for information on permaculture gardening principles (there were several hundred people in the GTA asking for a meet-up group on Permaculture. We held a series of information nights, seed-sharing events, and meetups on related topics, launched an extensive demonstration garden (that has been the subject of several documentaries and an award), and a listserv for online discussion. The Edible Garden Club was launched in May 2012 as a surrogate pod of the US-based Kitchen Gardeners International, with a broader focus on edible gardening, informal seed exchange, and a series of monthly potluck dinners.
Initially inspired by the work of Chris Martenson (The Crash Course), this group met regularly in 2011 to explore emergency preparedness issues (food, water, etc). A similar initiative will be (re)launched in the fall of 2012.
Inner Transition Book Club
Many Transition Towns operate on the assumption that community-building, reskilling, energy independence and related projects designed to proactively address emerging threats need to be complemented by finding new ways to harness and celebrate inner resilience and community. In this vein, we come together to discuss books by Carolyn Baker, Joanna Macy and others that provoke and inspire us in this direction.
Equity & Diversity Initiatives
We believe that diversity is our strength, but that we still have quite a ways to go to harness the creativity and non-dominant ways of thinking and doing that are so important to the transition from an increasingly pathological industrial growth paradigm to something that is more life-sustaining. Resilience and equity go hand in hand. We want to help midwife a transition to a low-carbon future that is equitable and inclusive of diverse peoples from all walks of life, including newcomers. With the assistance of Futurewatch (http://futurewatch.net/) and the Halton Multicultural Council (www.halton–multicultural.org/), we have been exploring how best to be welcoming and inclusive of the full diversity that is Oakville. Several networking, awareness raising, and community celebration events with this focus have been organized over the past 2 years.
Closely related initiatives also spearheaded by GLO members include:
- Halton Green Screens monthly eco-film and discussion series, in collaboration with Encore Cinemas (www.haltongreenscreens.ca)
- Green Drinks monthly social gathering for anyone interested in environmental issues
- Halton Food Swaps
- Green Building series (workshops on sustainable building practices & tours of local homes)
- Harbourside Organic Farmer’s Market – Saturdays June-October in front of Whole Foods (www.oakvilleorganicmarket.com)
- Oakville Sustainable Food Partnership – http://www.oakvilleorganicmarket.com/About_OSFP/about_osfp.html