The International Year of Co-operatives is still a few months away, but Canadian co-operators are past the starting gate with www.canada2012.coop, a website devoted to everything and anything 2012.
The site, which is available in both English and French, is a partnership between Canada's two national co-operative associations, the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) and the Conseil canadien de la coopération et de la mutualité (CCCM), and the Canadian government's Rural and Co-operatives Secretariat.
In addition to general information about co-operatives and the International Year, the site includes a "spotlight" section profiling selected Canadian co-ops and a feature entitled "Canada's IYC Messages", where visitors can write their own messages about the International Year. There is also a link for ordering IYC promotional products, and additional tools and resources will be added as time goes on.
"Our intention was to provide one-stop shopping for anyone who is interested in finding out more about co-ops and the International Year," said Tanya Gracie, CCA's program manager for the International Year. "We wanted a site that would appeal to multiple audiences: the general public as well as people who are already part of the co-op sector. Ideally, we want people to use the site to see everything that is out there about 2012."
Plans are also in the works for an events calendar, where visitors can look up 2012 events that are taking place in their city or region.