Protospace Membership Guidebook
What is Protospace?
Protospace is a private members club located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Members pay monthly dues for access to a workshop with a collection of shared tools and space. The workshop is a collaborative space where members share not only communal tools but also pool their unique knowledge and points of view to develop new skills. The space is available 24/7 to full members.
There are two levels of membership. They are determined by a member’s ability and choice to pay dues. The levels are:
Full membership - $50 to $unlimited/month
Members receive 24/7 access to the space, one (1) shelf for personal storage and their own dedicated key fob with identity number. Members receive access to certain restricted tools and machines at the space after proper training. Members have full voting rights.
Friend membership - $10 to $49/month
Friend members have 24/7 supervised access to the space, meaning that Friends are welcome to come down and use the space with the understanding that they are required to be supervised by a full member with a dedicated key fob. As a courtesy to the keyholder member, friend members are expected to arrive/leave at the same time or after/before supervising members. Friend members can not leave projects or personal effects at the space without prior notification and approval from other members. Friend members receive access to certain restricted tools and machines at the space after proper training. Friend members have no voting rights.
In the event a potential member is not able to meet the fiscal obligations of either level of membership, they are encouraged to talk privately with other members to work out alternative monetary arrangements that meet one of the two above categories.
Membership cannot and will not be awarded in exchange for goods and/or services.
Protospace is open to the public every Tuesday between 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm. Potential members are invitied to attend, meet some current members and check out the space and some of the current projects that members are working on.
- Fill out the application form, available at the space.
- Pay your first dues
- Spend at least one month (four weeks), and up to three months, on a "trial membership" (often called a "probationary member")
- During your trial membership, get to know some of us, and let us get to know you. You can work on projects, take training and use the space.
- During your trial membership, get two sponsorship signatures from existing members. These signatures verify that the members have talked to you at length and will vouch for your candidacy as a member.
After the probationary period, you can become a full member by being "vetted". That process is described in Approved Policies
Note: the probationary period does not start until the dues are paid. Note: the probationary period does not apply to friend members, as such members do not receive keys or voting rights.
Updated January 2015. See Approved Policies
Being a Member
Protospace is a “do-ocracy”. Members are asked to keep all common workspaces clean, to ensure that no food waste or other vermin-encouraging waste is left behind and to be excellent to each other. The space is used by many different members over the course of the week and members may be using the space to host guest events. All items in the space, including cleaning supplies, refreshments, and tools (large and small) are donated. All tools and common areas are to be treated with respect. If a member or guest takes an item from the fridge, they are requested to leave a donation in lieu. Suggested donation amounts are located on the fridge door. If a member or guest uses a large amount of a common item, like dish soap or hand sanitizer, they are requested to replace the item or to donate cash towards replacing the item. The cardinal rule of Protospace is “Be Excellent to Each Other” and members are expected to treat the space and the other members with the utmost respect.
Protospace is a safe environment free from harassment, disrespect and bullying. Members are expected to act with discretion and to engage in respectful behaviour with all other members and invited guests.
In the event that a member is consistently observed making disrespectful comments or acting in a disrespectful manner, a member can table a vote at the subsequent monthly meeting regarding the future membership privileges of the infractionary member, up to and including termination of membership.
Select machines and equipment at Protospace are considered restricted equipment for the following reasons:
- The machine is considered dangerous to the operator or people nearby;
- The machine requires specialized knowledge to operate properly ; or
- The owner has placed special restrictions on it.
In order to operate said machines, members are required to be trained in the safe operation of the equipment. In some cases the training may be assumed by convincing the qualified users or the owner of the equipment that you are qualified to safely operate the equipment. The purpose of the training has three priorities (in decreasing order of importance):
- To ensure the safety of the members
- To avoid damage or undue wear to the equipment.
- To assist in productive use of the equipment
Member meetings are held at the space on the second Saturday of every month at 2:00 pm. The agenda must be finalized 24 hours before the beginning of the meeting to allow all members time to review agenda items and prepare any responses or thoughts on agenda items. Agenda items posted after 2:00 pm on the Friday before the meeting will be moved to the subsequent monthly meeting.
Protospace’s fiscal year begins June 1 and ends May 31. The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is to be held no more than 40 days after 12:00 am on June 1. The meeting is held to approve the Board of Directors for the fiscal year and to transact other business as necessary.
Voting at meetings
(Note: Voting methods were changed by special resolution. See the corporate documents for details.)
Votes require a 90% approval to carry.
Voting can be done by show of hands. Any vote can be put to secret ballot provided a member generates the ballots and two (2) members review the ballots after voting.
Protospace elects directors on a yearly basis. Any full member who is current on his or her dues can run for directorship. Directors are signing authorities on the bank account and can collect and deposit dues and write cheques for rent and utilities. Directors also approve all promotional materials and any documents for public distribution. The legal responsibility of the Directors is described in our Corporate Documents.
Protospace has made a conscious decision to not appoint officers and all items requiring sign off (be it a fiscal or legal matter) are to go through the directors.
The directors of Calgary Protospace Ltd. elected on June 14th 2014, were:
- Alan Ferguson
- Ben Eadie
- Janet Mader
- Jim Akeson
- Kevin Loney
- Shannon Hoover
Subsequently, changes have occurred and an extraordinary general meeting was called to elect additional directors. As of December 1, 2014, the 2014-2015 directors are:
- Alan Ferguson
- Shannon Hoover
- Byron Hynes
- Mike Morrow
- Jamie Frost
The directors can be accessed directly by members through the Protospace Administration list or by emailing .
The Board is set at no less than two (2) directors and no more than seven (7). As such, the Board may see it fit to elect additional directors during the fiscal year. Per the Articles of Association, this can be done at a member meeting or the Board can decide to appoint a director as they see fit.
Members are allowed to host guest events including open houses, public talks and workshops. There are several policies surrounding open guest events:
Guests are individuals who are not members of Protospace or Friends of Protospace. On non-open house nights, all guests will be required to sign in as guests of their sponsoring member or friend member. Guests are considered to be guests under the following circumstances:
- Individuals visiting the space on a non-Tuesday evening on a one-off basis.
- Individuals visiting the space on multiple non-Tuesday evening times up to:
-- One (1) visit per week (Sunday-Saturday) up to eight (8) consecutive weeks;
-- Two (2) visits per week up to four (4) consecutive weeks;
-- Three (3) or more visits per week during a condensed period of time while working on an existing member project. Members are requested to give notice to the email list when bringing non-members into the space on a frequent basis.
It is requested that guests are invited prior to travelling to and working at the space. Showing up uninvited at the space is considered abuse of privileges and guest rights may be revoked to non-member individuals on a case-by-case basis.
Members are welcome to host special events, including events with invited guests, at the space any time except Tuesday evenings (as the Tuesday night open house start and stop times are flexible, members are not permitted to host events ending later than 4:30 pm on Tuesday night or starting earlier than 12:00 am Wednesday morning). In the event a member wishes to schedule a guest event during that time (guest events on Tuesday evenings are defined as anything other than the usual unstructured open house schedule), the member is required to request the permission of the group on the member email list at least 72 hours before the commencement of the Tuesday open house. If two (2) or more members disagree with hosting the event, the member will not be permitted to host the event on that night. If a member does not announce the guest event to the list, they will not be permitted to host the event during that time.
Special events can be held from Wednesday commencing at 12:00 am to Tuesday ending at 4:30 pm. If a member is hosting an event at the space, the member is requested to announce this to the other members by posting it to the Administration email list. Events lasting longer than five (5) hours require consensus minus one approval from the list, meaning no more than one (1) member disagrees with hosting the event. Dissenters must post their disagreement with the event prior to 72 hours of the event being posted to the list. If the event is posted between 12:00 am and 7:00 am, dissent must be posted 72 hours from 7:00 am after the event is posted.
At no time, can a member allow a guest event to supercede the rights of other members to use the space within reason (ie: when a talk is scheduled, a member who is using the space for other purposes is expected to be quiet, but does not have to engage in the event at hand).