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Cultivating Communities

As an idea, (and before pl.ural) SKA was purposely created to provide design and planning services to communities who infrequently hired “outside help” to get their projects imagined, communicated, approved, funded, and ultimately realized and implemented – these tended to be in rural locales, long-distanced, and sizeable geographic areas – limited in local design expertise; especially distant from the urban areas where the “big offices” typically work. We also quickly realized that rural projects need rural people and rural solutions. At times, we found ourselves embracing community champions and assisting their efforts – sometimes providing the ‘how to get this done’ process – in a variety of project types, that they had never taken on previously. Using common sense, fluid versatility, and our ‘caring nature’, we have worked with municipal staff and councils, community leaders in focus group initiatives, municipal governance, service groups of all kinds, and sometimes just a ‘person in the community’ who had an idea; never easy, yet always rewarding. We love the people, the communities, and their environments they live, work and play. A great part of the experience has been our fun, friendship, and mentoring of a great group of individuals who have worked with us over the years.

We are, and have been, in it for the ‘long game’ whether it be with communities, municipalities or the great individuals that have worked with us.

Our work builds ‘capacity’ on many levels, for the smaller municipalities who may not have staff resources nor the experience (yet), to community groups needing assistance on ‘package & pitch’ proposals for ideas to secure interest and funding, and even to the leagues of young professionals we have embraced as our ‘team mates’ in our studio – providing great opportunities to develop skills, hone a craft, and become effective practitioners. In the last 20 years, we have provided opportunities for team-mates destined to be active professionals – many since becoming community-minded leaders in their own workplaces today, throughout Canada. A “shout out” to our colleagues -- our success is yours!

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