The founders of Outpost 31 were recently selected to attend the Cannes Film Festival through a program called Not Short on Talent. The program, a Telefilm initiative, recognized the Yukon company for its short film The Changeling. I sat down with Neil Macdonald, filmmaker and co-founder of Outpost 31, to discuss the experience.
Over the last four weeks, Yukonstruct Cospace member Jocelyn Joe-Strack, embarked on a speaking tour of Canadian embassies in Europe to share her Indigenous perspective on Climate Change with senior diplomats, academics, youth and the public.
Jocelyn Joe-Strack is an academic with multiple advanced degrees in microbiology and
geography and is currently working towards a PhD regarding Indigenous Land Use Planning. She holds degrees from the University of Northern British Columbia and University of Victoria. She is a Jane Glassco Northern Fellow and a recipient of the prestigious 2017 Vanier Scholarship.
With her business, Subarctic Research & Strategy, Joe-Strack is currently leading development of a progressive Land Use Plan for her First Nation’s Traditional Territory – which will contribute to the Yukon-wide regional land planning process. She is concurrently applying this experience towards a PhD in Sustainability & Environment with the University of Saskatchewan.
Jocelyn was born and currently lives in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory with her husband and two young children.
She enjoys being a part of the Yukonstruct community. Especially the opportunity to network and brainstorm with so many creative and progressive thinkers. It’s the perfect atmosphere to get work done!
During her tour, Joe-Strack has posted regular blog updates about her travels. You can follow her on Twitter at @jocelynjs and facebook /jocelynjs
Have you noticed how clean things have become lately? It has been almost two months since Curtis started work at the makerspace and (co)space.
Curtis came to the organization thanks to a new partnership with Challenge Disability Resource Group. (co)space & YuKonstruct gratefully accepted an invitation recently to be honored for the success of our partnership with Challenge at their upcoming Annual General Meeting on June 14th!
“We support and promote self-starters, entrepreneurship and innovation in the North and consider this success story as another win. Curtis graduated from Challenge’s Employ Ability Skills Program this spring and started with us the following week. THIS is what we do!” Says Lauren Manekin Beille, (co)space’s Director of Coworking.
We interviewed Curtis and here’s what had to say about his role:
Curtis, what is your role at (co)space & YuKonstuct?
I am a proud janitor for the spaces. The dirtier it is, the better I clean!
Why is this job important to you and the organization?
It keeps both spaces open, welcoming and immaculate. It’s working because I received a compliment last Wednesday. The person said, ‘Wow – since you’ve been here the place is so clean. I appreciate all the things you’ve been doing. You do great work and I appreciate you.” That made me feel really good. Also, everyone says hello and gives me high-fives here.
Tell us about your work ethic.
My father has been a strong influence. He works at his job and continues to work at home. He’s always kept busy and never sat around. My motto today is “Safety – no running on the job, Quality – always aim to do better work, and Quantity – do more work than the day before.”
What did you learn at Challenge to prepare you for your business venture?
They taught me to be articulate. Before I spoke with my hands and now I use my words. I did so well that I won the “Most Reliable” Award because I was never late.
Do you have any advice for people in making the leap to being a self-starter?
Keep busy, have a good frame of mind to push forward, commit to always showing up, and be better than the day before. Finally, always smile because it goes a long way.
Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building YuKonstruct’s makerspace. With lots of interesting members at (co)space, we wanted to broaden our interviews to include them! We now have the (co)space’s coworkers interviews. Here’s Lauren’s.
Lauren, what role do you play at YuKonstruct and (co)space?
I’m joining this community with a few goals. First off, to continue telling the amazing story about the work and possibilities of this space and community it has attracted in its first year. I am excited to increase the volunteer and member engagement and marketing of YuKonstruct and (co)space.
What’s your Yukon story?
My husband, Patrick, four-year-old daughter, Kluane, and I moved from Baltimore, Maryland (USA) nine months ago. We had started and sold a craft brewery in Baltimore and were pining for the Northern way of life for our family after having spent some time in a remote cabin on Kluane Lake in 2010. We LOVE it here and amazingly our favorite part of the Yukon is the community which a perfect fit with the part of my role that is charged with community building around our vision for (co)space.
What do you like about this organization?
The vision. The team. The community. I come from a family of entrepreneurs and continue to be drawn to the radical ideas, courage, perseverance, and passion that makes up the true believers of dreams in this world. I also love the potential of this space! This organization is going to be THE spot for everyone with a dream looking for a community them help make it come true.
What are you excited about bringing to the community?
A career of community building and customer service to continue the organization’s growth. I started in International Tourism and moved on to Nonprofit Management. Every role in my career has revolved around my passion for creating exceptional experiences, bringing people together and building relationships and partnerships with diverse internal and external stakeholders.
Are you prepared for the Yukon winter?
HA! I have to admit, seeing -20C the other day made all the stories a reality and apparently that’s not even that cold! I still have not figured out how to dress, the right shoes to wear, how to cross-country ski, and how many vitamin D tablets to take per day to stay sane but I’ll get there soon enough…I hope.
Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building YuKonstruct’s makerspace. With lots of interesting members at (co)space, we wanted to broaden our interviews to include them! We now have the (co)space’s coworkers interviews. Here’s Michel’s.
Michel is a young water sciences specialist currently teaching at the Yukon College. At (co)space, Michel has found an ideal setting to network and develop his entrepreneurial idea: Duteau Bioresource Contracting. This environmental consulting business caters to agriculture, mining, forestry and urban development clients in the Yukon.
Michel, what made you go into business for yourself?
I have always had a strong entrepreneurial drive. I was raised in the midst of a thriving business, my parents being agricultural entrepreneurs. I always admired self-starters, and want to make a personal contribution to the society and share ideas. I also am disinclined to ‘’corporate culture’’, where the individual’s development and well-being is subordinated to a company’s – a balanced lifestyle is a strong value of mine.
How did you start your company?
I started throwing ideas on papers a number of years ago. Last summer, I started organizing these ideas towards a coherent business definition (what services I wanted to offer, to whom, etc.). I was slowly making strides towards a business plan. In the last few months, I registered my business with the authorities (e.g. YG, City of Whitehorse, WCB) and developed formal marketing tools (website, brochures, etc.). Networking is a big part of a start-up, and I am now actively offering my services and looking for contracts.
Why do you love being an entrepreneur?
What I love the most about being an entrepreneur is that I can instill my personal views onto my work, through a personalized approach. Hence, you can share your values and ideas and imprint an impetus onto societal development. For instance, I have a strong care for the environment and my work can contribute to a sound development of the natural resources, through stewardship and adapted technical means.
What advice do you have for other Yukon small business starters?
Get the word out! Networking really is core. Ask advice to your friends, family, co-workers, fellow professionals, and experienced people. Seek feedback on your ideas, and incorporate it in your enterprise development.
What do you like about (co)space?
Working from (co)space has helped me focus on my duties – I used to work from home, where there always are plenty of distractions. It also helped me in keeping a sound schedule. Having people that you can chat with, bounce ideas against and share the mood with is a huge plus.
Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building YuKonstruct’s makerspace. With lots of interesting members at (co)space, we wanted to broaden our interviews to include them! We now have the (co)space’s coworkers interviews. Here’s Jenna’s.
Jenna, what do you work on while at (co)space? (what is your business/studies)
I work a lot on business development, networking, and social media. I own two companies, Frozen Beach Music, Inc. and Dynamics Intelligence Inc. Frozen Beach Music is a music production company and Dynamics Intelligence is a technology software company.
Why did you join (co)space?
To be able to operate my business in a place with reliable internet access, a place that was away from home, and a place where I could meet and interact with other business community members.
What do you like most about (co)space being up and running?
The staff is clearly the best to work with. They are very reliable and get things resolved quickly.
Why do you think other people should become (co)space members?
Anyone that is looking for a place to work that is not in their home, a place to socialize with other business people, and a place with reliable high speed internet should become a member.
What inspires you to work?
I love statistics and being involved with social media is exciting if you like statistics, charts, reports, and graphs. It’s really exciting to see something go viral and it is challenging to constantly find new content to keep the traffic levels up.
What advice to you have for other members?
My advice would be to get more involved. Host an event or simply invite colleagues to (co)space.