More than 250 Canadian leaders will meet up in Montreal between 27 and 29 June to celebrate the International Year of Co-operatives and analyse various issues of interest for the Canadian co-operative movement.
The topic of the joint congress will be “Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World”, the same as the theme of the International Year. Participants at the congress will get the chance to go on a tour of Montreal area co-operatives. They will be welcomed at the Montreal City Hall by Charles Gould, director-general of the International Co-operative Alliance and a representative of the City of Montreal.
The plenary sessions will discuss the current state of co-operative enterprises in Canada and will feature keynote speakers like Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators and Camille Thériault, president and CEO of the Fédération des caisses populaires acadiennes and former Premier of New Brunswick.
There will also be workshops on communicating the co-operative identity, the Canadian co-operative landscape, co-operative legislation and financing co-operatives.
The Canadian co-operative leaders will also analyse perceptions of co-operatives from outside the co-operative sector, with speeches from Chantal Hébert, political columnist for the Toronto Star, LeDevoir and l'Actualité, Jeremy Runnalls of Corporate Knights magazine and David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data.
British writer and financial journalist Andrew Bibby and Daniel Gélinas, lead organizer for the celebration of Quebec City's 400th anniversary will also join the congress on June 28 for a plenary session on the legacy of the International Year of Co-operatives.
The congress will end with the gala dinner and presentation of awards, emceed by magician Eric Leclerc with entertainment by Ensemble Montréal Tango.
The joint congress is organised by the two main Canadian national co-operative associations the Canadian Co-operative Association and the Conseil canadien de la coopération et de la mutualité. The Congress will take place at the Centre Sheraton Montreal, 1201 Boulevard René Lévesque W.
The main plenary sessions will also be webcast by Webtv, a Montreal-based media co-operative. To access the webcast, which is sponsored by The Co-operators, go to www.s.coop/Congress2012