Caledon Exchange celebrates 20,000 visitors
by Matthew Strader
The Caledon Exchange, the flagship of Caledon Community Services (CCS), is celebrating quite a milestone.
Last month, Community Animation Manager Kim D’Eri announced the Exchange had welcomed approximately 20,000 visitors.
“Since The Exchange opened in December 2013 we have had about 20,000 visitors,” D’Eri wrote in an email, and explained The Exchange has 11 partner organizations that have become part of the ‘Exchange collaborative.’
Through governance work they’ve implemented three action groups and worked together to build on the services available within the community.
“Actions range from how the partners will help to promote each others services, how they will support each others programs, what they will do together to address and support the community’s needs and how does that all tie back into the Exchange,” D’Eri said. “It requires a large commitment to be a part of The Exchange collaborative but also comes with great benefits.”
The partners not only benefit, she explained, they have full access to The Exchange and everything it offers.
Monty Laskin, CEO of CCS, credited the collective impact model of the building. In an environment where community shops are all competing for a piece of the funding pie, he said, collaborating with other service organizations to work together has changed that landscape and made The Exchange a notable part of the community.
He also credited his staff however, because a commitment to being available to the community has made The Exchange a particular piece of work as well.
“There are challenges in using our resources to support a facility that requires substantial fundraising to keep it open but seeks no rent from those who use it,” he said. “What it is doing is the right thing if community building is truly the impact we’re pursuing. CCS didn’t need another satellite; the Caledon community did need a hub that could engage all, a marriage of privilege and poverty and activities that addressed need and interest. Indeed, it has succeeded in bringing a diverse set of Caledon people together.”