Songhees Innovation Centre is a Hub for Indigenous Innovators

Along with panoramic seaside views, the Songhees Innovation Centre located inside the Songhees Wellness Centre features a co-working space, lunches and speakers to encourage learning and collaboration.

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The Songhees Innovation Centre. Photo by Jeffrey Bosdet.

The Songhees Innovation Centre is located in the Songhees Wellness Centre. The space is filled with collaborating businesses, creating a coworking space for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

“We’ve seen so many collaborations already. For example, Animikii now orders all of our swag from Jared at BRANDIGENOUS. He offers the same quality and prices, but he’s here in the space and we can work together more easily on projects.”

— Jeff Ward, founder of Animikii Inc. and partner in the Songhees Innovation Centre

Get Schooled       

The centre also features regular lunch and learns. “We bring in outside speakers to help our cohort continue their professional development,” Vanderdonck says. “They are open to people outside of our membership as well.”

Immersive Experience 

Along with panoramic seaside views, the space’s location inside Songhees Wellness Centre means exposure to inspiring Indigenous art, including carvings by renowned Lekwungen artist Clarence Butch Dick.

Cowork = Collaboration

“For solo entrepreneurs, the centre gives them that sense of having coworkers,” says centre coordinator Samantha Vanderdonck. “Collaboration happens very naturally. I think that’s really inherent to the Indigenous way — for people to be working together towards
common goals and shared values.”

This article is from the October/November 2019 issue of Douglas.