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Creative connection: co-working spaces hives of activity
September 19th 2013 at 10:00 AM
By Tamara Cunningham - Nanaimo News Bulletin


Nanaimo entrepreneur Shayd Johnson planned to expand his graphic design business into Vancouver, but the last thing he wanted was to work solo in a high-priced office.

So he turned to co-working spaces.

“I am drawn to them,” said Johnson, owner of Elephant Room Creative. “There is this mass amount of people in one room with the same creative passion and energy, [but they are] in different fields of work … it’s cool to be able to bounce ideas off each other.”

Johnson is part of a growing number of entrepreneurs looking to leave the isolation of coffee shops and home offices for busy co-working hives. The spaces offer creative professionals the perks of office spaces without long-term leases or high overhead costs. They are “innovative” communities that buzz with energy as talented creatives share resources, collaborate and network to grow their start-up businesses, said Paris Gaudet, executive director of Innovative Island.

Now Nanaimo is on the verge of getting its own co-working space.

Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation and Innovation Island have joined forces to bring the movement to the Harbour City, with plans for a 2,400 square-foot work spread of private offices, communal work desks, lounge areas and a boardroom. Business owners can rent desks and tap into services and mentorship offered by the two organizations.

With the city’s push to lure the creative class, now is a good time for Nanaimo to start offering fun work environments, according to those that have been advocating for co-working hives.

read moreBy Tamara Cunningham - Nanaimo News Bulletin


Nanaimo entrepreneur Shayd Johnson planned to expand his graphic design business into Vancouver, but the last thing he wanted was to work solo in a high-priced office.

So he turned to co-working spaces.

“I am drawn to them,” said Johnson, owner of Elephant Room Creative. “There is this mass amount of people in one room with the same creative passion and energy, [but they are] in different fields of work … it’s cool to be able to bounce ideas off each other.”

Johnson is part of a growing number of entrepreneurs looking to leave the isolation of coffee shops and home offices for busy co-working hives. The spaces offer creative professionals the perks of office spaces without long-term leases or high overhead costs. They are “innovative” communities that buzz with energy as talented creatives share resources, collaborate and network to grow their start-up businesses, said Paris Gaudet, executive director of Innovative Island.

Now Nanaimo is on the verge of getting its own co-working space.

Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation and Innovation Island have joined forces to bring the movement to the Harbour City, with plans for a 2,400 square-foot work spread of private offices, communal work desks, lounge areas and a boardroom. Business owners can rent desks and tap into services and mentorship offered by the two organizations.

With the city’s push to lure the creative class, now is a good time for Nanaimo to start offering fun work environments, according to those that have been advocating for co-working hives.