Canada set to launch International Year with events across 14 cities

Thousands of co-op and credit union members across Canada will be holding events on Thursday, January 12 to officially launch the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives.

Thousands of co-op and credit union members across Canada will be holding events on Thursday, January 12 to officially launch the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives.

A national launch event will take place at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre from 11:30 to 1:30 EST, together with 13 regional launch events. The Ottawa event will feature a live webcast starting at 12:30 EST (5.30 PM GMT). The webcast will include remarks by Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators (live from Calgary) and Monique Leroux, president and CEO of Desjardins (live from Lévis, Quebec) as well as the premiere of a co-operative musical work by the Montreal group Samajam, who will perform live in Ottawa.

The webcast will be live here, on the Global News Hub, which is covering a range of similar launches across Europe and Ecuador. Participants are also being encouraged to report on their events on Twitter using the hashtag #coop12jan.

In December 2009, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 2012 the International Year of Co-operatives, in recognition of the contribution co-operatives make to the social and economic development of communities around the world. The theme of the International Year is Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World.

“Co-operatives are about people, so we wanted to launch the year with events in which many people across the country could participate,” said Claude Gauthier, president of the Canadian Co-operative Association. “This year offers an important opportunity to educate the public – and our own co-op members – about the enormous role co-operatives play in building communities, revitalizing economies and creating jobs here in Canada and around the world.”

The Canadian events, taking place across 14 cities, are set to attract politicians and community leaders as well as co-operative leaders, members and employees. Some of the launch participants will include federal Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney (in Lévis); Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter (in Halifax); Keith Hutchings, Minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development for Newfoundland and Labrador (in St. John’s); and British Columbia MLA Jenny Kwan (in Vancouver).

The launch events will take place in the following locations (local times are listed):

  • Ottawa (national launch): 11:30 a.m., Fountain Room, National Arts Centre, 53 Elgin Street
  • Yellowknife, NT: 9:30 a.m., Northern Images Gallery, 4801 Franklin Avenue
  • Iqaluit, NU: 11:30 a.m., Baffin Room, Frobisher Inn, Astro Hill Complex
  • Vancouver, BC: 8 a.m., Visitor Centre, Van Dusen Botanical Gardens, 5251 Oak Street
  • Calgary, AB: 10:15 a.m., Calgary Farmers Market, 510 77th Avenue SE
  • Regina, SK: 11 a.m., The Bistro/Gard’Amis, 3850 Hillsdale Street
  • Winnipeg, MB: 11 a.m., Manitoba Legislative Assembly, 450 Broadway
  • Guelph, ON: 11:30 a.m., flag-raising ceremony at Guelph City Hall, 1 Carden Street; 12:30 p.m., reception at The Co-operators, 130 MacDonnell Street
  • Lévis, QC: 11:30 a.m., Lévis City Hall, 2175 chemin du Fleuve
  • Fredericton, NB: 12 noon, Crowne Plaza Lord Beaverbrook Hotel, 659 Queen Street
  • Halifax, NS: 12: 30 p.m., The Halifax Club, 1682 Hollis Street
  • Cheticamp, NS: 1 p.m., La Coopérative Artisanale, 15067 Cabot Trail
  • Charlottetown, PE: 4 p.m., Rodd Charlottetown Hotel, 75 Kent Street
  • St. John’s, NL: 5 p.m., Newfoundland Independent Filmmakers Co-operative, 40 Kings Road

• For more information about the International Year of Co-operatives in Canada visit: 

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