The first ever Canadian Coworking Week starts today and runs through Friday, April 7th. Coworking Week Quebec has partnered up with 30 spaces across the province, 15 of which are located in Montreal.
“We started Coworking Quebec about two years ago, and different groups were getting together to find ideas to promote the concept. Last June we got together with Notman House, Le Tableau Blanc, Esplanade, Temps Libre, and we were trying to think of what we could do that would benefit all of the co-working spaces in Quebec, not just the ones in Montreal. And then we came up with the idea of Coworking Week,” Janathan Chaloux, one of the organizers of Quebec Coworking Week told MTLinTECH.
Participants can sign up through an online form and will then have free access to all of the participating co-working spaces for the duration of the week.
“We invite them to try out different spaces so they can really experience the variety of cultures that are in co-working spaces. Some of them are more tech, some of them are more social, there’s even Central Culinaire and the Food Room that are food co-workings. So it’s really for people to explore the varieties.”
A big motivation for organizing the event is simply to spread knowledge about the availability and types of co-working spaces. The number of spaces within the city has multiplied over the past few years to the point where it seems there is a new option anywhere you look.
“Co-working is a very fertile area for startups and entrepreneurs,” said Chaloux.
We get to people who are not aware of the existence of co-working. They still go to cafes or the library or work at home, so for us this is an awareness strategy event.
“Also, there are some specific challenges for co-working. For instance if you’re an institution legally you can get some tax discounts and things like that, but the coworkers don’t get that because they’re solopreneurs, or because they’re not recognized as a larger company. So we feel that if we also make the institutions more aware of what co-working is, and what all the benefits are and the economic impact of coworking, we feel that there might be some changes in the legislation.”
There will also be different events throughout the week, including a webinar on the state of financing and co-working Quebec, a frisbee game on Wednesday, a hackathon on how to improve your co-working on Thursday, and a party to close the event on Friday.
“We also got Ashley Proctor from GCUC who recruited 30 spaces in BC and 40 spaces in Ontario. The goal is really to start a movement that we can get across Canada and have a larger impact.”
The co-working spaces in Montreal participating in Coworking Week are: