This newsletter is a newsletter for and about the cooperative community.  Manitoba Cooperative Association publishes monthly.  If you have any story ideas or something you think the community should know, please feel free to email us at




Resources for cooperative entrepreneurs

Have you ever wondered if starting a cooperative is the right idea for you? Maybe you're curious but not sure where to go to find the information that you need.  

Here at the Manitoba Cooperative Association (MCA), we have a full time cooperative developer who can help guide you.  We can provide you with information on what a cooperative is, how it differs from other business models, help you to incorporate your co-op, understand your legal obligations and support your governance throughout.  We're here to ensure that your business gets the answers you need.

If you already are a co-op and perhaps are struggling with understanding your legal obligations or have grown and are looking at updating your bylaws, we can help with that too.  

Feel free to contact us for support. 


32nd annual Youth Leadership Retreat wind up

The 32nd annual Co-op Youth Leadership Retreat was a resounding success.

Held May 4-7, 2017 at Riding Mountain Conference Centre, the camp saw 42 teens, including 7 who returned as volunteer staff, experience a truly impactful and life enriching experience. The participants were engaged in thought and emotion evoking activities on global issues, co-op and community development and of course lots of fun. This year was also the first year that MCA chartered a bus which made stops in Winnipeg, Portage La Prairie and Neepawa. The retreat was made possible because of the financial sponsorship by countless cooperatives, credit unions, organizations and businesses. MCA would like to give a huge thank you to all those that sponsored a youth (or many youth!) and helped to encourage and support the cooperative leaders of tomorrow!
But don’t take our word for it, here's what some of our participants had to say:
The highlight of the week for me was making new friends and learning more about co-ops and their impact on the community” – Age 16
I learned the overall knowledge about co-ops and how to be involved” – Age 16
I learned how to talk as a leader and that everyone’s opinion counts” – Age 17
I learned to work as a team and be confident when talking to a large group” – Age 15

We couldn't do this without the support of so many and truly appreciate it.


Aboriginal Student Art Co-op project final spring art sale

The Aboriginal Student Art Co-op project based out of Children of the Earth High School is having a very busy spring.

The co-op was invited to put on a sale at the Canadian Human Rights Museum during a conference on reconciliation. The students once again did an amazing job, working as a well-oiled machine setting up the displays in record time and engaging customers. Many conference attendees let us know how impressed they were with the professionalism of the students and the products.

The same week the co-op helped to put on an Art Show at Neechi Commons with the school’s student artist collective Omazinibii’igeg. The show, entitled Spirit Lines, featured new works of art and an inspiring Artist Talk. The evening was hosted by a co-op student member and started with the very special musical guest Don Amero.

The co-op will next speak at Vision Quest and host 2 more sales in May. The final sale in May will be a great opportunity to see all the new and popular works of art and buy the perfect gift for Father’s Day. Come and join us on Sunday May 28, 2017 at Kildonan Place Shopping Centre. We will be located in a kiosk in front of Sears.

Vision Quest Conference and Trade Show and World Trade Centre offering co-op workshops

Vision Quest Conference & Trade Show takes place May 16-18 at the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg. It is Canada’s longest running Aboriginal business, community and economic development conference, and has earned the reputation as a dynamic gathering that serves multiple purposes. 
This year for the first time, Vision Quest will offer a workshop on May 17 entitled "Social Enterprises and Co-ops as a Means of Creating More Sustainability and Social Impact in our Communities".  This workshop will be co-facilitated by Frank Atnikov of the Canadian CED Network and Jesse Gair and Cheryl Krostewitz of MCA.  Click here for more information on the conference.

Then on June 7, the World Trade Centre will offer a Co-ops 101 workshop. This workshop, facilitated by Cheryl Krostewitz of MCA will provide a basic overview of cooperatives, highlighting a few in Manitoba.  For more information on that workshop click here

If you'd like to learn a bit more about social enterprises then make sure to attend the World Trade Centre's Social Enterprises 101 co-facilitated by Frank Atnikov of the Canadian CED Network and Billy Granger of SEED Winnipeg.  The link to that workshop is here.



Province of Manitoba, Growth, Enterprise and Trade offers an "Ask the Expert" program which gives you access to a lawyer, accountant or website expert for a nominal fee of $25 per 30 minute session.  The following sessions are available:
May 31
June 21

Website Expert
June 7
May 24 (sold out)
June 14
June 28
Click here for more information.
If you've never heard of Volunteer Manitoba's services or newsletters, you might want to check them out.  They offer some really great workshops geared toward volunteer directors and management of volunteer boards.  For example, there are a few coming up that might be really beneficial for your co-op boards or management.

On May 17, they offer Roles and Responsibilities of a Non-Profit Board. This full day workshop explores some of the governance issues experienced by directors on not for profit volunteer boards. Learn the basic responsibilities and legal duties of the board directors and gain an understanding of the important differences between operations and governance.

You will gain knowledge in the following areas:
  • What is your role as a Board Director (new and returning)
  • Who is at the table and what are their responsibilities
  • What can board members do, and what should they not do
  • Conflicts of interest, liability considerations, ethics
  • Board Checklist: How are we doing?

On June 7, will be a workshop entitled "Six Steps to Holding Effective Meetings" followed by "Examining Robert's Rules of Order" on June 14.

To learn more about these workshops, subscribe to their newsletter.


Save the date

Old Grace Housing Co-operative is hosting a HUGE used book, music and game sale to raise money for a library in their new cooperative:

Saturday, June 3
10 am – 5pm
207 Harvard Avenue
(between Guelph and Wilton)
Please come on out—they have something for everyone! For more information contact Alex 

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