Tomiko Marton-Collins

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to an ongoing segment here at The Daily Gumboot. It’s called “Get to Know Your Community” and, basically, it goes like this: each and every Sunday we will profile someone from a community somewhere. Each person is asked the same five questions. At the end of the profile, the Gumbooteer (member of this blog’s Editorial Board) who found the person will list their three favourite things about the highlighted community member. Savvy?

Here are some ideas from everywhere. Here is one way that we try to build community. Have fun with it!

Who are you?

I am Tomiko Marton-Collins. I am a wife, daughter, sister, friend, student, teacher, runner, entrepreneur, philosopher, champion of justice, horrible driver and much much more.

What do you do for fun?

I love biking, running, hiking and cooking meals for my family and friends. Curling up with a good novel or movie is also a fantastic way of spending an evening. I find my work fun as well, I love everything that is creative and organization based!

What is your favorite community?

Courtenay, BC, Canada, my mom and dad’s street. I have lived, worked, and traveled all over the world. I have been lucky enough to spend extensive time in Asia and Europe, from mega cities like Tokyo to backwater country sides, from countries of amazing material wealth to places that left me feeling ashamed of my privilege and power. And this last year I returned home a little wiser, a little harder and with my husband, Michael in tow back to the town (and house) that I grew up in.

What is your superpower?

If I had to put a label on it, I would say my superpower is the power augmentation; I have the ability to strength other people’s powers. I surround myself with smart, thoughtful, positive people and say “yes” to them more often than “no”. This superpower has been known to get me in trouble at times as well.


How does your power help you build community?

The verdict is definitely still out on that one. I hope that I connect people and ideas and in some small way empower my people to believe in our potential. Practically, I love sharing my experiences and tools.

My three favourite things about Tomiko are…

1. Courtenay is her favourite community. I first met Tomiko in high school – we’re both products of GP Vanier Secondary School – and she exemplified creativity and leadership then and she does now. Tomiko also articulates some of the coolest thing about the coolest community on Vancouver Island.

2. She’s famous! For community-building alternative currency! I’d like to say the the Daily Gumboot got the jump on sharing with the world how cool Tomiko, Community Way Dollars and combining bicycles with coffee really is; unfortunately, some up-and-coming, indy magazine called Macleans beat us to the punch. Yeah, The Tyee really liked the idea, too. And, hey, it’s just a better idea to visit Tomiko’s bike shop instead of Wal-Mart’s – not sure if the latter does the whole local-currency and/or community-building thing.

3. It’s that smile. I mean look at it. One can quickly tell that Tomiko is kind, genuine, thoughtful, and passionate about what she does and how The Broken Spoke builds community in a myriad of ways. And why wouldn’t she be? When you combine two of the most amazing things in the world – bicycles and coffee – you should be smiling such a perfect smile.

Tomiko Marton-Collins is profiled in Macleans, one of those "print" political magazines.

Tomiko Marton-Collins is profiled in Macleans, one of those "print" political magazines.

…as told by John Horn

One thought on “Tomiko Marton-Collins

  1. Way to go! In Europe, especially in Germany, people tend to sit on their behinds and whine about how bad everything is with the recession and what not. Over on your turf, people transform amazing ideas into business models that are really cool. Bikes and coffee…! Wham! Does the thing with the community currency really work, BTW? I know it’s been tried here and there in Germany, but unfortunately mostly not to much effect.
    Nice one, John and Tomiko! *Pete (the other Pete)

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