Two incredible women approached me last year to put together a brand for an event space at the local Elora Centre for the Arts. The space, a high-ceilinged classroom in a historic limestone building had a small kitchen attached they planned to renovate, as well as a grand piano in need of a little love. The space had just buckets of potential and was envisioned as a space for everything from community meetings to weddings. Hours of hard work went in to transforming the kitchen, cleaning the space, putting in roller blinds on the windows. The project involved local contractors who generously donated their time to breathe fresh life and ensure the new kitchen was up and running for the grand reveal. While the team readied the room I began work on a brand, something fresh and clean and modern. Finally settling on a clean black and white design that contrasted elegantly with the hundred year old wooden floors, the logo was compact and easily readable, with Harris in who’s honour the room is named, popping out from the rest. After completing all the necessary repairs we invited members of the community to come and see the space and learn how the website and booking process would work under the new system. The night featured a performance by a young local artist, Alanna Gurr, as well as treats from local spot The Elora Bread Trading Company. The evening was a great success, bookings began that night, with many community members throwing out fun and creative uses for the space we hadn’t yet imagined.
The Art Centre is now under new management and the space has been reclaimed by them. However, our hard work was not in vain, there was so much value in seeing how excited and engaged the community could so quickly become. Personally, I felt invigorated by the relentless spirit of community leaders to improve their town and how rewarding it is to partner with them. Thank you to Toni Ellis and Nancy Fischer for involving me in the fun.