Transition Guelph was founded in the fall of 2008 by Sally Ludwig, Christine Mills, and Elizabeth Snell. The three heard about the Transition Movement and started discussing if it would be a good fit Guelph. The first official public meeting was held at 10C on December 1st of 2008 and Sally, Chris, and Liz were overwhelmed by the positive response. The room was packed and excitement was in the air!
The initial meeting helped plant the seeds that later became many of the current working groups. Each person in the room clearly had a passion they
Sally Ludwig, Co-Founder of Transition Guelph
wanted to build on. The group held a visioning meeting to talk about what Guelph should look like in the future. Each person had a chance to talk about their own passions and that helped define the working groups that launched Transition Guelph.
In 2009, Guelph became an official Transition Town. Our movement continued to grow as more people came forward with ideas around resiliency and transition, more working groups were formed and more projects were put together. Today, TG continues to grow, attracting more people to the movement.
That first year, Transition Guelph hosted an Earth Hour potluck that was a huge success. Since then, TG has grown the one evening potluck into a week long festival called the Guelph Resilience Festival which launched in 2011. The festival has become a successful way of reaching out to the public and fostering collaborative partnerships with many organizations in the community included local businesses and the city. The festival runs every year in late March and is scheduled so that its culminating event, the candlelight pot-luck, coincides with Earth Hour.
Since 2010, very little global progress has been made globally in addressing climate change goals or reducing dependency on fossil fuels. Transition Guelph, however, was busy at the local level by launching impactful projects and events. The Resilience Festival and TreeMobile have become annual favourites. The founding of the Guelph Tool Library, Seed Library and Repair Café were significant and innovative initiatives that have since spun off to become their own entities. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Transition Guelph developed a Family Food Action Plan to help the community be resilience in case food supply chains got disrupted – which they did. These are just a few of the activities Transition Guelph has incubated over the years.
The appearance of COVID-19 in early 2020 has acted as a catalyst for profound change in so many ways: economic, social, trade, political and fiscal policy to name just a few. The Transition philosophy put Transition Guelph in a strong position to help our local community to adapt to these changes. In many ways, the Transition story is just beginning.
The original vision for Transition Guelph
Transition Guelph is part of the global Transition Movement. For history and background on the global movement check out: https://transitionnetwork.org/about-the-movement/