By David F. Rooney
Troubled by our national society’s focus on dollars and cents? Ever wish there was a viable alternative?
If your answer to both those questions is an unequivocal “yes,” then you may want to investigate the Revelstoke Alternative Goods and Services Exchange (RAGSE) and its brand-new ‘community coins.’
“ In keeping with the spirit of a local coin for local goods and services, they are not available for purchase with Canadian currency, but will be traded on par for gift certificates from local merchants,” RAGSE Administrator Claude Awad said in an interview on Monday, December 9.
He said the coins hold a 50 Stoke Face value which is the equivalent to 50 Canadian dollars. The coins themselves were minted for RAGSE from investment grade .999 fine silver by the Regency Mint in Utah.
“Silver has been used as cash money for over 4,000 years so this local coin is likely to still hold value in a hundred years,” Awad said in an interview. “I’m not sure the same holds true for the paper currency we commonly use!”
Awad has been “kind of studying lots of things on local economies for some years now” and believes alternative economic models can help small communities.
In part because of his interest and promotion Revelstoke has a group of people dedicated to the nurturing of the alternative economy.
There are 20 different groups in Canada dedicated to fostering local alternative economies. The one in Revelstoke is the Revelstoke Alternative Goods and Services Exchange (Click here to register as a member).
Call it a shadow economy, an alternative economy or even a participatory economy there is something attractive and (on a small scale) revolutionary about and carefully bucking The System and thumbing your nose at The Man.
Here is a short list of 50-dollar gift certificates Awad is willing to trade his Stoke coins in for at the moment:
1) Mountain Goodness;
2) La Baguette;
3) Green Slide Cattle Co. farm beef;
4) Big Eddy Market (gas card);
5) Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club pass;
6) Revelstoke Mountain Resort Card;
7) Lumber delivered from a local mill; and
8) Rona / Home Hardware.
If you have a suggestion please send it to Claude and he’ll consider adding it to the list. In the meantime please click here to read a story about the founding of RAGSE or click here to visit RAGSE’s Facebook page.
For more direct information on the Stoke Coin, which is being officially launched in January 2014, please e-mail Claude at: firstname.lastname@example.org.