Canadian co-operators get ready for Co-op Week 2013

Co-op Week -- Canada's annual celebration of  co-operatives -- will take place from October 13-19, 2013.  

October 13-19 is Co-op Week in Canada, a time for co-op members and employees to highlight the contributions of co-operatives to Canadian society and to promote the co-operative business model to the broader community.  The week is timed to coincide with International Credit Union Day (October 17), which has been marked on the third Thursday in October since 1948.

Co-operatives all over the country are holding special activities during the week, including conferences, receptions, banquets, co-op tours, flag-raisings, employee events and even a co-op curling bonspiel. A number of Canadian newspapers, including the prestigious Globe and Mail, are running special features on co-operatives during the week, and politicians frequently highlight Co-op Week in the House of Commons and provincial legislatures. 

The theme of  Co-op Week 2013 is “A Better Way”, positioning co-operatives as an effective and sustainable alternative to other business models. (In French, the theme is “Coopérer pour un monde meilleur", which translates as "Co-operating for a better world.”)

Canada has approximately 9,000 co-operatives with a total of 18 million members and 155,000 employees.  A recent public opinion survey commissioned by the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) showed that Canadians believe co-operatives are much more likely than other businesses to support community values (81 per cent) , contribute to the local economy (78 per cent) and engage in socially responsible practices (76 per cent.)

“Co-operatives have been an important player in the Canadian economy for more than 100 years, and are as relevant today as they ever have been,” said Bill Dobson, president of CCA.  “They create jobs, keep wealth in local communities and are driven by such fundamental values and principles as democratic member control and concern for community.”

For more information on Co-op Week 2013, to go

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