Tag Archives: Skydragon may close

Skydragon Update


Here’s the low down

The Big Board

March 20th, 2010

Mike Pattison has setup a big whiteboard at the Sky Dragon to pull together some ideas about how the center is moving forward. Next to the board you’ll find a big stack of paper to write out your own comments, thoughts, concerns, criticisms. Here’s a snapshot of what’s on the board right now:

Immediate Financial Needs

  • 1st mortgage holder ($270,000)
  • Building appraisal ($3,000 to $3,500)
  • Year end taxes ($3,000)
  • Pro-bono / discounted help
    • legal assistance
    • accounting
  • Longer term
    • grant writers
    • center coordinator

Immediate Volunteer Needs

  • Halton Eco Fest
  • Mayday Festival
  • Eco Film Fest
  • Public relations
    • postering
    • town criers
    • phone calling
    • lead investigating
  • Eco market (artist boxes)

Immediate Public Needs

  • Sales agents for
    • coffee
    • catering
    • Mayday ad sales
    • space rentals
    • classes
  • Also required
    • T-shirt making
    • button making
    • anything craft promoted
    • computer paper
    • poster paper
    • ink cartridges

Further help is required. Any cash donations (receipts to be issued on $25 or more) will be held in an account now being established. Anybody with time to volunteer can leave their name and contact information for Mike Pattison at the cafe counter.

Additionally, people interested in helping with these specific areas please include your strengths / background when leaving your contact information:

  • Anyone interested in helping with PR
  • Kitchen / catering volunteers
  • Building / repair
  • Any other strengths or interests

All legal, accounting, investing opportunities please contact Kevin Mackay by phone (905) 777-8102 or email kevin@skydragon.org

SkyDragon Offical Statement about Possible Ending…

Hello Friends,

Well, this is the kind of message that’s never easy to send. We here at the Sky Dragon Community Development Cooperative have worked with many of you, entertained many of you, inspired and been inspired by many of you, and pissed off a good chunk of you as well. We don’t take the last point lightly, but in truth grassroots community development is a tough and gritty business, with inadequate resources, all-to-human protagonists, and intense pressures. Despite all this, in eight years of the Coop’s existence there’s been a lot accomplished, and also lots left undone.

The Coop, and the community space it has sustained, the Sky Dragon Centre, are under substantial threat right now. Our current mortgage-holder is no longer willing to finance the project, and we have until April 18th to find new financing to keep the centre open. At stake is a first mortgage in the building the Coop owns at 27 King William St.. A refinance deal for $260,000 is what’s needed to keep the centre open, and its clear that no traditional financial institution (bank, credit union) will lend us the money. In four years with our current financier we’ve never missed a mortgage payment. In truth though, we have also scraped by month to month, and have had periods where we’ve been in the red.

In the face of this existential threat, our little Coop and the community centre it supports need to evolve. The mud-puddle we’ve been swimming in is fast drying up, and its time to grow some feet and adapt to the changing circumstances.

In this sense, the Coop will change as well. The project has always been bigger than the individuals involved, and today this is more true than ever. What has been created is a unique animal – a centre that is open, radically inclusive of diversity, and yet explicitly committed to an agenda of peace, democracy, equality, human rights and political action/organizing. It was a broad and engaged community that forged the character of this space, and if it is to continue, it must continue as a radically open, transparent, and broadly-supported project. Always an agent of “the movement”, the Centre now needs to merge with it, fully and completely.

In order for this to happen, we need to find a way to Save the Dragon. This involves brave and committed citizens becoming investors. This involves even more brave and committed citizens becoming members of a re-structured Coop. We need these things, and unfortunately, we also need them fast.

For our part, it’s important to mention that the current Coop members aren’t flaky idealists who’ve bungled a good thing. On our board are very serious, hard-working people with a fair amount of skill and business sense (and horse-sense!). Without these qualities you don’t get a project like this off the ground and sustain it for five years in one of the worst economic climates in Canada. This board is still active, has great ideas, and is committed to shepherding the Coop through its transformation into a financially viable, yet truly community-owned organization. There is real value in the ethical businesses the Coop has incubated. There is real value in the building we own. With your help, this value, and the collected progressive energy it represents, will not be squandered.

And so, we embark now on a community campaign that I hope you can participate in, even if in a small way. To start, there will be a meeting at the Sky Dragon Centre this Sunday, March 14, at 7:30 pm. At this meeting there will be a 100% frank and open discussion of the Centre’s predicament, and an equally frank and open exchange of ideas, strategies, criticisms, etc. Everyone is welcome to attend, and all ideas are needed.

Of course, a meeting this Sunday is very short notice, so there will be a much larger “town hall”meeting in the next few weeks. The date and time of the town hall will be announced first thing next week, and again, it will be a completely open session for all who want to attend.

How you can help right now is to forward this message as far and wide as you can, with apologies in advance for cross-postings.

On behalf of the board of the Sky Dragon Co-op, thank you all for your interest and support. We’ve played our part in bringing the project to this point, now its up to all of us to take it to the next level…

Kevin MacKay, Executive Director


Ok so I just came back from a meeting, still in progress, all about the Skydragon Centre and I want to update people on the basics.

They need roughly $270000.00 so that’s about 13,500 people giving $20 each in about 25 days.

(The $270000 is the morgage and about $25000 line of credit)

They also owe aprox $133000.00 on a second mortgage held by a private individual and owe about $80000.00 on bonds.  These two areas don’t seem to be concerned with their money being returned.

The teacher’s credit union hold’s the mortgage and its aprox 8% also with the $133000. (I am unsure if this is normal or not)

How did they get there, essentially they hit on a perfect storm of their mistakes and the areas changes. Skydragon was late on paying provincial taxes (as well as other bills from time to time) this I believe affected their credit history so dispite their good payment history the credit union let them know they would not renew the mortgage.

Also during the meeting it was let out that  Reardon’s Resturants lease was not renewed and that the parking lot across the street has been sold (this is rumor I don’t know how true this is.). If it is true, the recent sale of the Downtown Art Centre  maybe part of a bigger picture.

Employees at the centre talked about the lack of transparency and others discussed selling the building and starting again. Some expressed anger about the situation and at times the conversation the issue of the Pan Am games influencing this issue. Others felt the gentrification on James St North had also played a hand.

What does the skydragon need? More time! It needs time to find either a alternative mortgage lender/ private individual or simply people donating money.

While I personally feel the skydragon did make many mistakes in terms of paying bills on time, etc. I also feel it is worth saving.

The skydragon has a a small handfull employees and for a non-profit I’m pretty impressed. They continually have events and contribute to the vibrant aspect of the downtown scene in music and in art. One of the few green cafe’s in the downtown area. Also if it goes I don’t think its coming back.

While I may not agree with their message or past practices to employees I think the net positive gain is huge. (If someone told me it was either skydragon or 500 jobs I would choose the jobs but I don’t think this is the case.)

What You Can Do?

Give $20 dollars to Skydragon if 13,500 people do it they can save it.

Email the Mayor, City Council and the Hamilton Spectator.

Please Click Here for the City Council and Mayor’s emails

The Spectator’s Letter to the Editor

Hamilton Mountain News

Also Radio stations like http://www.y108.ca/ and also a million other things I can’t remember right now….

(If I have gotten anything wrong I am sorry this is kind of a rush thing but with a lot of fact, please correct me if I am wrong)



The Skydragon Centre has until April 18th to find new financing to keep the doors to their building open. A meeting being held tonight (Sun. March 14, 7 p.m.) at 27 King William Street will give its members, supporters and the public more information about a sudden notice that their current mortgage-holder is no longer willing to finance the project. (H-MAG)