This Movement Has a Name – The Rail District Collective

Tak Yukawa

A cultural movement is happening in the area of downtown Abbotsford that would frankly make most emerging areas in the lower mainland jealous.

It’s being stewarded by a collective of cultural influencers who are taking it upon themselves to create a sense of place that is not only cool, but meaningful and long term.

Led by local entrepreneurs, Josh Vanderheide, Ryan McKay and Ryan McCallister – The Rail District Collective is a growing ensemble of retailers, musicians, foodies, artists, designers, and farmers who are all committed to making the concept of “local” relevant to Abby’s next generation.

This movement first found its footing on the streets of downtown Abbotsford with shops like Old Hand Coffee, Spruce Collective and Field House Brewing down the road. These purveyors, and many others, set the bar high through not only a commitment to quality local product but a reverence for design and how important it would be in elevating the cultural spirit of the area.

But it’s only when you walk beyond the downtown core to the new Rail District Market building that you see the true vision of the Collective. They have built a tangible platform for the local community of young entrepreneurs to showcase the diversity of their talents. Not only is it home to an outdoor market and event space for local growers and makers, they’ve built a performance venue for musicians and collaborative working spaces for artists, designers and photographers.

The true achievement of the Rail District Collective has been their ability to evolve the movement into a unified subculture and identity that locals can be proud of. Their success is essential to the continued growth of the greater Rail District Community and to inspire other communities to find real, tangible ways to empower their cultural influencers and support their entrepreneurial spirit.

At its purest, the Rail District Collective represents utopian aspects of what we all want in our lives – collaboration, community and a little bit of fun.