The Arusha Centre works to link issues of sustainability, economy, and vibrant culture. Since 2014, The Arusha Centre is inspired by the relocalization movement which reduces factors such as transportation impacts and exploitation while increasing sustainability and supporting local business and culture.
The April 2015 Relocalize Fair drew over 450 attendees and for the first time 8 community workshops were offered and they attracted over 100 attendees and offered insights into bike route finding, progressive finance, cooperatives, the We Are Cities movement, and upcycling. The workshops were How to Engage in the Local Economy, ReVitalize Bike Challenge, We Are Cities Mobilization, SPIN Farming, Viegage not Mortgage, Waste, Worms and Poop, and the Economics of Upcycling.
90 people attended the opening keynote address by American author, lawyer, and local business advocate Michael Shumann as part of the REAP Down to Earth Week. Michael Shuman is a powerhouse in the localization movement. An economist, lawyer and prolific writer, he has done pioneering work to show that local businesses are key for economic development and highly effective. “We’ve won the war on ideas,” says Shuman. “Even HSBC wants to be ‘The World’s Local Bank.’ We’ve also won the war on evidence that local economic development is far more effective and cost efficient than what is practiced today.”
Research shows that communities with a high density of local business have higher per capita job growth and higher per capita income growth. Other studies show that a strong local economy increases civic engagement, fosters social responsibility, improves public health, and facilitates environmental protection.
26 vendors offered food, goods, and services, many accepting Calgary Dollars currency. Live music, great weather and kids activities celebrated the relocalization movement in Calgary. Vendors included Modish Kloset, Amirals Art, CPAWS Southern Alberta, Kaffeeklatsch, Lafrangia Custom Jewellery and Design, Eden Project, The Grain Exchange Calgary Bakery Co-operative, Twisted Tortes, Amm’s Art, Mañana Imports, Naturmend, Beach Being, It’s a Wrap, Green Event Services, Cork Sis, A to Z Bra’s and Body Shapers, Andrea Lau, Maverick Soap, Two Beads & A Bauble, and Patricia + Deb, Hazel’s Samosa’s, Elaine’s Re-Sale and Movie Collection, Pure Foods Fresh.