Mia Lauzon (left) and Barrett R. Blackwood are running a free community hub in downtown Victoria (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Free Victoria business hub open to local non-profits

The HUB Victoria Community Space is now open on Fort Street

A new, free community space is available for non-profit organizations, community groups and individuals.

The HUB Victoria Community Space opened in June at 829 Fort St. and will be available until the end of 2019.

The project was the site of Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps’ campaign office, which lease holder Barrett R. Blackwood had been involved in. The building will be one of several demolished to make way for a new senior housing complex, PARC Residential Living in 2020.

ALSO READ: Victoria Business Hub here to ‘hold your hand’ through start-up process

“When the campaign was over, the developer left Barrett the keys and told him to use it until the building is knocked down,” said Mia Lauzon, coordinator at The HUB. “So Barrett had it in his mind to use this as a community space, and he reached out to Volunteer Victoria to advertise the open house and let non-profits know about it.”

Blackwood said discussions around the idea had happened for awhile, but when PARC put it to paper he was still hesitant.

“The lease for the space was $0, and I told them I still can’t afford it because I’d need to cover amenities and liability insurance,” Blackwood said. “So they offered to cover all of that as well.”

Since then the community space has taken off with non-profits and groups such as Surfrider, HERS, Green New Deal, Peers Victoria Resource Society, as well as musicians, yoga instructors, authors and more using the space.

ALSO READ: Saanich hub for non-profits will include 16-storey tower

The 1,000 sq. ft. space offers five standard desks, a table and chairs, couches, some kitchen amenities, a single washroom and a large inner courtyard.

“We wish we can keep the place busy enough that by the time we’re out of the space, we can show developers and city council that there’s a need for the hub,” Lauzon said. “Hopefully then a more permanent space for this work can be found.”

For-profit organizations will also be offered the space if they can provide something to the community or The HUB space.

For more information or to book a spacee you can visit thehubvictoriabc.org.


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