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




In memory of Ian MacPherson

The cooperative movement is mourning the passing of one of its leading lights; historian, educator, author and passionate cooperator Ian MacPherson.

Dr. MacPherson, known internationally for his role in the 1995 revision of the cooperative principles and his work linking cooperatives to peace and social cohesion, died on November 16 at the age of 74.  

Here in Manitoba, he taught at the University of Winnipeg for 8 years, and founded the Canadian Studies program there.  He served on the Board of many cooperatives in Winnipeg and helped to start several others. 

In true co-op spirit, his family has asked us to remember Ian by:
  1. striking up a conversation with a random stranger
  2. encouraging somebody else to join a co-op and explain why; or 
  3. doing something nice for another person without taking credit for it. 
A blog has been written in Dr. MacPherson's honor and we encourage you to read it and leave a tribute if you wish at: 

Final grant intake for the year

Once again, Manitoba Cooperative Association (MCA) is offering small grants of up to $2,000 for new or expanding cooperatives under the Cooperative Development Tax Credit and Cooperative Assistance funds.

These grants are made available thanks to the generosity of the cooperatives who contribute to the Cooperative Development Tax Credit Fund and the Province of Manitoba.  Keep reading to find out how you can support the Cooperative Development Tax Credit Fund and take advantage of an impressive tax credit.

December 1 is the final intake for this year and because funding is limited, we encourage you to apply early.  Our website has all the info you need.

Co-ops eligible for Hometown Manitoba grants

The Hometown Manitoba program provides up to $5,000 in cost-shared financial support to rural municipalities, non-profit organizations, cooperatives and businesses in rural and northern Manitoba.

Hometown Manitoba supports community-driven projects that:
  • enhance the appearance/greening and use of community gathering places and exterior structure upgrading in main street areas
  • create outdoor spaces attractive to local and regional citizens and tourists
  • advance community identities and themes
  • encourage community use and increased investment in main street areas
  • promote the use of local products, services and talents
  • build community pride and citizen involvement

Applications are now available for 2014 at or contact your local Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development GO Office.  The NEW application deadline is December 15, 2013.

An exciting opportunity to support co-op development

By now you’ve hopefully heard about Manitoba’s one-of-a-kind Cooperative Development Tax Credit Fund.  This fund was created in October of 2010 and has already raised over $300,000 from the co-op community, every cent of which stays in Manitoba to support co-op development.  

You still have time to make your 2013 contribution.  Not only will your co-op be helping other co-ops get started thereby embracing the 6th principle of cooperation, “cooperation among co-ops”, but it will also receive a significant tax credit.  For example, if your credit union contributes $1,000, it will receive a refundable tax credit of 75%.  The $1,000 goes to support development of cooperatives in our community and only costs your co-op $250 after taking into account the tax credit incentive.  There are different tax incentives for any amount you contribute up to $50,000.  The grant program is just one of the ways that your contribution is able to help co-ops.  We have also been able to provide co-op development services and have helped over 50 rural and urban co-ops throughout the Province.  

We take this opportunity to thank the co-ops who have supported the fund so far this year:

Village Canadien Co-op
Strathclair Credit Union
Swan Valley Consumers Cooperative
Parkland Retirement Co-op Housing
Erickson Credit Union
Ste. Anne Co-op Oil
Gilbert Plains Consumers Co-operative
Pembina Consumers Co-op
Noventis Credit Union
Sunrise Credit Union
Assiniboine Credit Union
Westman Communications Group
Carman Co-op
Gillam Co-op
Niverville Credit Union
Red River Co-op
Beautiful Plains Credit Union
Starbuck Credit Union

For more information on either how to contribute or what the contributions are used for, please do not hesitate to contact either Cheryl Krostewitz, Cooperative Development Advisor and Fund Administrator for Manitoba Cooperative Association (MCA) at (204) 989-0096 or by email at

Follow up from the Gathering

Many people have described the Manitoba CD/CED Gathering as a yearly family reunion for people with a passion for community building. The Gathering lived up to that reputation again this year as over 600 people came together to network, learn and celebrate the inspiring CED work occurring in our communities. The 2013 Gathering featured a keynote address from Charlene Lafreniere, a city councilor in Thompson, MB and as usual featured lots of co-op content.  For the first time ever, in addition to workshops on co-ops, this year we were especially pleased to have a networking event at lunch for those with an interest in cooperatives.  

CooperEAT participants were treated to a fabulous lunch provided by local cooperatives and then had an opportunity to participate in small group discussions and share ideas about how to promote cooperatives, wildest co-op ideas and ways to improve the cooperative environment.  Thanks so much to the organizers of the event, to CCEDNet for allowing us to participate and to the co-ops who provided the food for the event.


An exciting new food program coming soon for residents of North West Winnipeg

NorWest Co-op Community Health has an exciting new centre in development - the NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre.

The NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre (or CFC) is being developed in partnership with Community Food Centres Canada and will increase access to healthy food in North West Winnipeg  by bringing people together to grow, cook, share and advocate for good food for all.

The site will be the first CFC in Western Canada, joining existing sites in Stratford, Perth and Toronto Ontario. The NorWest Co-op CFC and another site in Dartmouth Nova Scotia are scheduled for completion in 2014.

The NorWest Co-op CFC is located on Tyndall Ave behind Shaunessey Park School and is currently under construction. The building is being renovated to include a community dining area, commercial kitchen, outdoor bake oven, community gardening space, and meeting rooms. This will provide an opportunity for community members to learn cooking and gardening skills, for kids to get their hands dirty in the garden and the kitchen in ways that will expand their taste buds and help them make healthier food choices. It also provides an avenue for community members to find their voices on the issues that matter to them, connect with neighbors and build community.

The consultation process has just wrapped up with community members in Inkster sharing their food security challenges, program ideas and feedback with us. Broadly speaking the program calendar will include: a healthy meal program, cooking groups, community gardens, a low cost food market, an advocacy office (for training, information and referrals) as well as healthy eating information sessions and volunteer opportunities.

Follow the development of this exciting new project online to stay up to date on the site opening, events  and programs!

Facebook: NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre
Twitter: @NorWestCFC


Co-op Profile - St. Norbert Farmers' Market

In 1988, on a sunny day in July, eight vendors met on a lawn in St. Norbert to sell their wares.  Since that modest beginning, this “make it, bake it, grow it” market has grown into a non-profit co-operative with 130 full-time vendors and as many as 50 casual vendors.

The idea of a farmers’ market for St. Norbert, the birthplace of Manitoba located near the south end of Winnipeg where the Red and LaSalle rivers meet, came out of discussions within the Heritage St. Norbert community group. Heritage St. Norbert was formed in the mid 1970s to protect and promote the rich French-Metis heritage of St. Norbert. The primary reason for setting up the market was to find a public use for public land that was otherwise destined to become a strip mall or some other private venture, and to find a way to bring people into the community.

Based on a similar model in Saskatchewan, the vendors in St. Norbert organized themselves as a non-profit cooperative. Vendors who are members elect representatives to the board of directors, where decisions are made in governing the Farmers’ Market. Vendors can apply to become members of the cooperative after being casual vendors for at least one year.

St. Norbert Farmers’ Market has a strong commitment toward the environment and waste reduction, and does not provide disposable bags for market customers. Instead, the Farmers’ Market encourages shoppers to bring re-usable cloth bags that reduce the amount of garbage that is generated by market activities. Many vendors also sell their meals and drinks in compostable contain- ers, and composting bins, as well as composting information, are provided on-site. Recycling is also strongly encouraged and facilitated for other containers and products.

Although closed for the season, visit their website to be the first to find out about next season's activities and renovation plans for their site.  

Why Manitoba should be proud of the Cooperative Community Strategy (CCS)

The partnership between the Provincial Government and the CCS is the only one of its' kind in Canada. Together, they designed the CCS strategy in 2008, and for the 50 or so projects that have been developed, other partnerships were formed (such as those with SEED Winnipeg or the University of Winnipeg for instance). The partners reach out and work cooperatively.

On a regular basis, meetings are held within the framework of working groups. Their representatives decide on initiatives to undertake. Each working group focuses on one of the three identified strategic objectives:
  1. Creating a more supportive environment for the establishment and ongoing operation of cooperatives
  2. Fostering better awareness and understanding of the value and principles of cooperatives
  3. Improving infrastructure supports and services for cooperatives
Another reason to be proud of our CCS is its grass-roots approach. Either through established working groups populated with cooperative members, employees, and developers along with academics and government representatives or through more informal networking event such as Co-op Drinks or CooperEAT. These events are open to all and we are looking forward to seeing you there.  If you come to the next Co-op Drinks on December 11 at the Kings Head Pub from 4:30 to 7:00 pm, I will give you a glimpse of my next article!

ICA unveils new visual identity for co-op movement

The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) has unveiled a new visual identity for the global cooperative movement.

The stylized rendition of the word "co-op" will replace the rainbow motif that has branded the co-op movement for much of the ICA's history.  The cooperative marque (a term meaning "brand" or "logo") was unveiled at the ICA's Global Conference and General Assembly in Cape Town, South Africa. 
The marque was created by the U.K. design co-op Calverts, following a survey of more than 1,000 co-operators around the world.  The majority of those surveyed, including people from countries where neither English nor French are spoken, said they identified more with the word "co-op" than with any specific image.
While the ICA will be using the marque as its own logo, it is also encouraging co-ops and co-operative organizations around the world to use it as a way of identifying themselves as co-operatives. For more information, and to obtain permission to use the marque, go to 

Source:  Canadian Co-operative Association Newsbriefs

Co-ops helping the Phillipines

Reports of devastation and tragedy are emerging from two cooperative organizations in the Philippines hit hard by Typhoon Haiyan. Both are long-time partners of the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF) and the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA).

The general manager of the National Federation of Co-operatives of Persons with Disability (NFCPWD) which provides support and services to persons with disability says the storm has heavily damaged four of its member co-ops located in Tacloban City, Toledo City, Iloilo City and Legazpi City. Reynaldo Merida described a long list of damages to the worker co-ops' facilities and equipment, as well as to members' homes and belongings. Mr. Merida reported no deaths or injuries.

From Micro-Insurance Regional Resource Centre (RIMANSI), CDF's partner working in micro-insurance, executive directorJun Jay Perez reports that all staff in Manila are fine and, as power and communications are still out in many rural places, claims assessments will be significant and lengthy.

The Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF) is raising funds and needs your support to help these partners affected by Typhoon Haiyan (Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines) which devastated parts of the central Philippines, south of Manila, on Friday November 8, 2013. Haiyan is one of the most powerful recorded typhoons to ever hit the country.

Here's how you can help this important work:

Donations to the CDF Philippines Relief Fund can be made online or by mail to the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada, 275 Bank Street, Suite 400, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2L6. Please indicate that your donation is designated for the Philippines Relief Fund. Tax receipts will be issued for donations over $10.

Liberals to table motion for permanent co-op subcommittee

The Liberal industry critic in the House of Commons has announced her intention to table a motion calling for the creation of an ongoing cooperatives subcommittee of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology.
"Canada's cooperatives must be looked at since they are a powerful tool of economic development for so many of our communities", said Ms. Sgro, while adding that "the full committee can do its own studies, while the subcommittee would concentrate on cooperatives."

Ms. Sgro said Mauril Bélanger, the Liberal advocate for co-operatives, would represent his party on the subcommittee if it is created.  The subcommittee would deal with such issues as co-op capitalization, the participation of regional development agencies in the support and financing of cooperatives, how to better position cooperatives as an option for business succession and the situation facing cooperative housing in Canada.

The announcement was made on October 15, during Co-op Week.

Source:  Canadian Co-operative Association Newsbriefs


Canada's final report on the 2012 International Year of Co-operatives (IYC) has now been released!  Canada has been recognized as a world leader in celebrating and promoting the International Year. And what a great year it was!  Download a copy of the report to see photos and read about examples of creativity and celebration from coast, to coast, to coast.  

Cooperatives in the developing world are improving the livelihoods of their members and Canadian efforts to support those cooperatives are helping them do that.  Those are just two of the findings from a comprehensive evaluation of Canadian support to cooperatives commissioned by the Canadian International Development Agency-- now the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD).  The evaluation is the first of its kind, focusing on a specific development approach  rather than a project or organization and was prompted, in part, to commemorate the International Year of Co-operatives in 2012.  View the report here.


Save the date

Entrepreneurship Manitoba and the Manitoba Marketing Network are pleased to present three seminars this November as follows:
  1. Make Tradeshows Work for You, Friday, November 22, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (
  2. LinkedIn for Business Owners and Professionals, Wednesday, November 27, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (
  3. Facebook 1.0 - Make $$$ for Your Business Using Facebook, Friday, November 29, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  (

A free public panel discussion "Anchor Institution Based Community Economic Development" will be held November 21, 2013, from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. at the Convocation Hall, the University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Avenue.  For more information click here.  

Don't forget!!!  You can add your own events to our event calendar on our website here!

Friend on Facebook    Forward to Friend 
Like Important grant information included in this issue of Co-op Connections on Facebook
Copyright © 2013 Manitoba Cooperative Association, All rights reserved.
unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp