Every viking reenactor dreams of having their very own farm or village. But how can we make this a viable reality in the 21st Century?
Olivier Hudon and Laurette Richer, inspired by similar operations in Europe, wanted to live this ideal by creating a tourist attraction; a viking village that people could visit and learn about the period, but also a place where the employees could actually live like vikings.
They did a lot of research, travelled all over Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and France, collecting information and forming their own idea of what they wanted their viking village to be. But the plan couldn’t be put into motion without more partners.
I met Olivier and Laurette several years ago at a viking event, and was immediately charmed by their open friendliness, silly sense of humor, and hunger for knowledge. Like, me, they were constantly educating themselves, but always having fun and laughing. Little did they know, but I too had visions of starting my own touristic farm, and had been learning goat care and cheesemaking for several years to this end.
After several fun visits, doing combat, crafting, and making music together, we finally came to realize that we had very similar goals in mind. We realized more and more that together we could make this dream a reality; we just needed a good business plan, funding, and more team members.
It was for this reason that I decided to go back to school, for business. I had always wanted to start various projects and businesses, but I knew nothing about how to do so effectively. I was accepted to a graduate program at McGill for Entrepreneurship, and now finally, after a year and a half, I feel that I have a solid foundation of how to plan for and grow a business.
While we can’t start all at once, we’re beginning to take the first steps! It’s exciting and still somewhat unbelievable that we’re really making this happen, but I have a strong faith in Oliver’s ability to drive projects to completion, Laurette’s wisdom and talent for anything, and the attractive force of this project and this place, which has already gathered a fair amount of people to it.
Vivre le Viking!