A Bold Venture

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back — concerning all acts of initiative (and creation),
there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself then Providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents
and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
Begin it now.“
- Goethe

The following text was prepared by Tony Chamberlain, the Chair of the Exchange Christchurch Trust, for the XCHC Bar Opening.

The evening was an opportunity for XCHC to thank the large community of supporters including the residents, events organisers, project partners, board members and their friends and families.




XCHC is such a bold venture

A venture that has been given wings by many people

Many people who are here with us tonight

I want to begin by acknowledging you all for having the courage and commitment to be part of our community – a community of purpose

Our governance team, the present and past members of our board

Our resident community — our present, past and future residents

Our events people presenters and participants

Our café-bar community — the café team and our café visitors

Our funders and supporters — all of people who have, and continue to facilitate our presence in cash or in kind

You are all so welcome in this community

And I suspect that you would not be here if you didn’t in some way share our purpose and our ambition for the future.

The EXCHANGE has a general purpose of — cultivating a creative ecology

And this incidence of the XCHC has a particular purpose of cultivating a creative ecology by enabling creative enterprise

We are about providing opportunities for people in our community to release their potential for creative enterprise

– enabling and supporting creative individuals and groups to share knowledge, experiment and test ideas and sustain the ongoing development of their creative practices

We are about catalysing the development of a creative community of interest

– creating opportunities for people interested in creative enterprise to interact, exchange and share ideas and showcase their creative practices

– increasing public awareness of the potential for creative communities to enable positive change

And, we are about demonstrating leadership in enabling creative enterprise

– building a self sustaining social enterprise model to underpin and assure the long term future of the XCHC


So what is our ambition for this enterprise?

What do we hope to co-create?; and

What would success look like?

XCHC will provide a referential model — an example of how to co-create a sustainable social enterprise;

We will show how we can hold to our cultural purpose and be financially sustainable; and

We will be referenced locally, national and internationally as an exemplar social enterprise model;

The residents who enjoy time in our Maker Space will be our best ambassadors;

They will see the time they spent here as a valuable step in the development of their creative practice; and

They will be better equipped to be an integral part of a growing sustainable creative community.

The creative individuals and communities that share their work in our Showcase Space will help to build our creative community

The conversations they have with other creatives and the public about their work will build new connections and create new opportunities for creative development.

The events and functions that we host will engage a wide spectrum of creative disciplines and recognise their contribution to our creative community


And the visitors to our Café-Bar will experience the fruits of another enterprise — how the enjoyment of great food and fine wine can help to build a creative community

By enabling social interaction between creative individuals and groups

and extending an open invitation to the public to interact with our community

But I suspect the real reason that we will do all of these things

The reason that we have engaged your interest in this project

Is more simple and profound

It is because we really believe that creative community can make a real difference to the way our world works

That it is a community that can present ideas, options and alternatives to help solve the many problems that we face as a global community

We cannot ignore the ongoing senseless slaughter of people and communities

The flight of rufugees from war and persecution in their own countries

The prevalence of poverty and disadvantage and the alarming gap between the rich and the poor

We all know our world is broken, that old ways are no longer viable and that we need new pathways for the future

And all of these things tell us that we are without a pervasive sense of community in the world, that we are without a shared purpose and ambition for our future, a future that has the common good at its centre

XCHC is about building community, a creative community that can make a difference

And to revisit how we could see this success at a personal level

I would like to end by reflecting on the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson…

To laugh often and much
to win the respect of intelligent people and affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child a garden patch or redeemed social condition; to know even
one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
- Emerson