Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation

 La Fédération canadienne des coopératives de travail

Summer 2017
Vol 9 Issue 3



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Month Year Vol 1, Issue 1
 CWCF News
CWCF Webinars

CWCF recently offered three webinars listed below.  Click on the link to access the slides.  Members can also request the webinar recordings.

Save the dates for our upcoming webinars on Good Governance in a Worker Co-op (September 20 at 12:00 pm ET), and Conflict Management (Oct 11 at 1:00 pm ET). Watch for more details later in the summer.
In the Spirit of Canada's 150th, tell us your co-op story in 150 words!
  • How did you get into co-ops? 
  • What do co-ops mean to you?
  • What is innovative about your co-op?
You can share your 150-word co-op post with us over Instagram  @Coop150 ,
or Facebook with an image of your choosing, using the hashtag #coops150 and #CWCF150. We will share your post on the CWCF Facebook page and in our next newsletter. In addition, Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada will share it widely. 

We have had a response from one co-op that they are not participating in Canada 150 activities out of respect for indigenous peoples, which we understand.  
In This Issue
Call for nominations / Nous cherchons des candidatures
Introducing our new staff members
CWCF RRSP and TSFA Services
Co-op 150 Stories
Sommet du repreneuriat : la coop, un modèle viable.
Employés et usagers prennent le contrôle des entreprises
Quelles perspectives pour les groupements de SCOP
Against the Grain
Historic Records from Workers' Co-op Movement to be Saved
Solidarity Economics as Transformative Politics
Women in Workers' Co-ops
A longtime Bellingham, WA business is leaving something of value to workers - ownership
Telling the Story of Social Ventures and Co-ops in Canada
ECONUS 2017: CCEDNet Conference, Calgary, Sept. 13-15
ACE Institute, Denver, July 18-21
Rise UP: The Game of People & Power
2017 CWCF-CoopZone Conference

"De l'information détaillée sur le Congrès en français suivra dans le prochain bulletin spécial su le Congrès, d'ici 10 jours."

November 2 to 4, 2017 / Ottawa/Gatineau
Radical Roots / Routes of Worker Co-operation!
Nous avons le pouvoir. Vivons l'évolution coopérative!
The movement for workplace democracy has a radical, transformative vision.  We are dreaming about a time when Idle No More, Black Lives Matter Canada, Occupy, and the Leap Manifesto join with the Worker Co-op Movement to Revolutionize the World.  Or, at least to revolutionize where we live. 
This theme RADICAL ROOTS is meant to remind us that while Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary of Confederation, not everyone has cause to celebrate.  We are on the traditional lands of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, and everyone else here is a guest.  Too many workers in today's Canada, including indigenous people, immigrants and refugees, many young people and others, have precarious employment - without power or control over their working conditions.  The new buzz word is the "precariat." 
The worker co-operative movement also predates Canadian Confederation, and this year celebrates 173 years since the Rochdale pioneers formed the first successful co-operative in the impoverished North of England.  In movement for workplace democracy, instead of capital hiring labour with the resulting "precariat", we seek to have people hiring capital, with the purpose of creating living-wage jobs and a high quality of work life. 
These RADICAL ROOTS also call us to new "RADICAL ROUTES".  I.e., what is our way forward as a movement of solidarity economics?   The world needs workplace democracy now more than ever.  Come to our Conference to help us map out these Radical Routes, to build this new and better world. 
We are thrilled to announce our keynote speakers: 
Co-keynote by Senator Lucie Moncion (Past President of Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada
On November 2, there will be two parallel all-day sessions :
  • Worker Co-op Management Intensive, led by Russ Christianson, and Isabel Faubert-Mailloux
  • Co-op Developer Intensive, organized by the Board of CoopZone.
Registration will be opening soon.  This year we will introduce a sliding scale registration fee to try to ensure that no one is left behind.  Please watch for the upcoming special newsletter for more information, and mark your calendars now!  

CWCF Awards - Please Submit Nominations! / Les Prix de mérite de la FCCT - Nous cherchons des candidatures!
**Le français suit**  
Nominations are sought by July 20th, 2017 for either or both of the CWCF Awards which can be given at each annual Conference.   CWCF strongly encourages worker co-ops to nominate either their own or another co-op for the Worker Co-op Best Practices Award, or an individual for the Worker Co-op Merit Award. Award winners, who are generally from the region in which the Conference is held, will have their registration and expenses covered to attend the Conference.  
Submit your nominee(s) to Kaye Grant,, with a brief write-up as to why you are nominating the co-op or the individual. The award winners will be chosen by the Board of CWCF. The details of each Award are below.
Award for Worker Co-op Best Practices
The Worker Co-op Best Practices Award goes to a worker co-operative which has demonstrated best practices in governance and/or operations, including in upholding the values and principles of the co-operative movement within their co-operative, and has shared, or is willing to share their experience and learnings with other worker co-operatives in Canada. Co-operatives in which a current Board or staff member of CWCF is a worker-member are ineligible.
The recipient(s) is/are presented with the Award during the CWCF annual Conference, and then will be asked to present a profile of the co-operative to the Conference. CWCF covers the registration fee and expenses to have one member of the recipient co-operative attend the Conference. The Award is presented with a brief explanation of the co-operative's best practices, and then the recipient is given the opportunity to make a speech or to present a workshop, which would be with the support of CWCF if required.
The Mark Goldblatt Worker Co-op Merit Award
The Worker Co-op Merit Award goes to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to worker co-operation in Canada, as judged by the Board of CWCF. CWCF has named this Award for our Past President of 13 years Mark Goldblatt, who passed away on February 3, 2015. Mark, who received the Award in 2007, exemplified the values of worker co-operation, and he lived the co-op principles throughout his life.
The recipient is presented with the Award during the CWCF annual Conference. Current Board and staff of CWCF are ineligible. CWCF covers the registration fee and expenses to have the recipient attend the Conference. The Award is presented with an explanation of the person's contributions to the movement, and then the person is given the opportunity to make a brief speech.

**En français**

Les Prix de mérite de la FCCT - Nous cherchons des candidatures!
Nous vous invitons à soumettre des candidatures, avant le 20 juillet 2017, pour l'un ou l'autre des Prix de la coopération du travail que remet la FCCT à chaque congrès annuel. La FCCT encourage les coopératives de travail à proposer leur coopérative ou une autre coopérative pour le Prix « Meilleures pratiques », ou un individu pour le Prix du Mérite de la coopération du travail. Nous portons une attention particulière aux candidatures provenant de la région où se déroule le congrès. La FCCT couvre l'inscription et les frais des gagnants pour assister à tout le congrès.
Veuillez soumettre votre candidat-e(s) à Kaye Grant, à, avec une brève description qui explique votre choix. Le conseil d'administration de la FCCT désigne les lauréats. Les détails de chaque prix sont ci-dessous.
Le Prix des Meilleures pratiques de la coopération du travail
Le Prix « Meilleures pratiques » est décerné à une coopérative de travail qui a démontré des pratiques exemplaires en matière de gouvernance et / ou de gestion des opérations, y compris dans la défense des valeurs et principes du mouvement coopératif au sein de leur coopérative, et qui désire partager son expérience et ses connaissances avec d'autres coopératives de travail. 
La FCCT présente cette reconnaissance lors du Congrès annuel de la FCCT, où la coopérative sera invitée à présenter sa « Meilleure pratique ». La FCCT couvre les frais et les dépenses d'inscription pour un membre de la coopérative qui assiste au Congrès. Le Prix est remis par une brève explication des meilleures pratiques de la coopérative, et le récipiendaire a l'occasion de faire un discours ou de présenter un atelier au Congrès, avec l'appui de la FCCT si nécessaire. Les coopératives dans lesquelles un membre du Conseil d'administration de la FCCT travaille ne sont pas admissibles. 
Le Prix du mérite "Mark Goldblatt"
Le Prix du mérite de la coopération de travail "Mark Goldblatt" va à une personne qui a fait une contribution exceptionnelle à la coopération du travail. La FCCT a nommé ce prix en hommage à Mark Goldblatt, décédé le 3 février 2015 et ancien président de la FCCT pendant 13 ans. Mark, qui a reçu le prix en 2007, témoigne des valeurs de travailler en coopération, et il a vécu les principes coopératifs tout au long de sa vie.
La FCCT présente le Prix lors du Congrès annuel de la FCCT. Les membres du Conseil d'administration et le personnel de la FCCT actuel ne sont pas admissibles. La FCCT couvre les frais et les dépenses d'inscription du récipiendaire au Congrès. Le prix est présenté en soulignant la contribution de la personne gagnante au mouvement et la personne honorée a l'occasion de faire un bref discours

CWCF Staff Introductions
We have new staff members, and we realize that many of our members have not had a chance to meet our new staff.  

Kenzie Love, Executive Assistant
Calgary, Alberta

Ke nzie  has recently started working in our Calgary office providing support for Hazel.  With his background in journalism and writing, Kenzie brings great expertise and potential to our operations. 
Kenzie comes to the CWCF after several years as a freelance journalist in Calgary. A native Calgarian, he holds a BA in English from the University of Calgary and an MA in journalism from Western University. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, choral music, pub trivia, and walking his dog, Louis.
Kenzie is eager to learn more about worker co-ops and how they are a fairer and more democratic workplace. He is intrigued by how establishing worker co-ops may help save small businesses whose owners are retiring. He is also interested in how social media can expand knowledge of and interest in the worker co-op model.

Kristin,Van Hattem, 
RRSP Program Manager/Bookkeeping Clerk 
Kentville, Nova Scotia

Kristin began working for CWCF a little over six months ago, in November 2016 initially as a ma ternity leave placement but has now accepted a permanent staff position.  Kristin's  responsibilities are varied. Part of her role involves overseeing the administration of our 3300+ RRSP and TFSA contracts , as well as promoting the program itself as an opportunity for investors with cooperatives, CEDIFs and similar organizations to hold their shares in RRSP or TFSA accounts. In addition, she takes care of the day-to-day bookkeeping for us including accounts payable and accounts receivable.

Kristin was born and raised on Cape Breton Island, and moved to the Annapolis Valley to attend Acadia, during which time she met her husband. They settled in his home community of Woodville, where they now live with their two children and dog. She enjoys hiking, reading, photography, being in and around the water, and returning to Cape Breton as often as possible.
The one thing she said about her experience with the CWCF so far is that she "never realized how huge the cooperative community is in Canada! It is really impressive to see such an amazing network of organizations across the country supporting their workers, sustainable economies, cultural needs and the environment".
Josh Dyke, RRSP Program Assistant 
Kentville, Nova Scotia
Josh started with CWCF about a year and a half ago (February 2016). He helps administer CWCF's Self-Directed RRSP/TFSA Program, which qualifying Co-ops, CEDIFs and CEDBs can use to allow investors to purchase shares or bonds using their RRSP and TFSA funds, or to contribute non-registered shares in order to get the benefits of contributing to a RRSP or TFSA. Investors will often use the program as a means of investing in their local community and getting the added benefits that come with contributing, or purchasing within a registered account. 
Josh is from Halifax, Nova Scotia where he continues to reside today. Hobbies include playing soccer and board games.
From his  time with CWCF he has learned about a vibrant and diverse federation of businesses and individuals who work to further their business and communities for the betterment of everyone. In the continually growing field of worker cooperatives, he is excited to see how the model continues to develop. 

CWCF RRSP and TSFA Services

The use of the CWCF's RRSP/TFSA Program cans assist the capitalization of your co-op.   Many types of shares in co-operatives are eligible investments in an RRSP. These qualified investments include common, membership, preferred or investment shares.  Qualified investments also include any type of these shares purchased using patronage allocations. One exception to this eligibility is the membership shares of consumer co-operatives, i.e. shares required for membership in a co-operative that one can reasonably expect to pay a patronage allocation in respect to consumer goods or services.  These types of shares are not eligible.

In order to use CWCF's RRSP and/or TFSA Program, in general a co-op must be a Specified Co-operative Corporation under the Canada Income Tax Act and Regulations, meeting the following requirements:
  • Incorporated under a co-op act
  • 90% of members are individuals, co-operatives, or corporations or partnerships engaged in farming
  • 90% of the shares are held by members
  • The co-op holds out the prospect of allocating patronage returns
  • None of its members (except other cooperatives) have more than one vote
As a result of changes made to the rules governing RRSPs in 2011, it is possible to use this program only where each individual plan-holder holds less than 10% of the value of each class of shares in a co-operative.  Investments in co-operatives and business corporations for an amount of 10% or more of shares were previously allowed, but have been declared "prohibited investments" in order to make it more challenging for individuals to engage in tax avoidance.  Unfortunately, this means that co-ops with fewer than 11 members can in general not use the program.   
Here is a brief summary of how the program works. 
  1. The CWCF markets the group plan to its members and others, provides information about the group plan, provides all required documentation and receives and verify completeness of documentation.
  2. CWCF carries out all required administration of the Plan including issuing receipts to the plan-holder for tax deduction purposes, keeping the accounting records for the plan, providing annual statements to the plan-holder and reporting to the CRA.
  3. The participating Co-op will sign the Agency Agreement, remit administration fees annually to the CWCF and receive from its members the required documentation, verify its completeness and forward it to the CWCF. An officer of the Co-op must also confirm the market value of the shares being contributed to the self-directed RRSP.
  4. The individual plan-holder completes and signs the following:  (1) the self-directed RRSP application form, (2) the member authorization form, (3) the Small Business Shares Annuitant's Declaration (4) Fees Schedule, and (5) a Deposit Form.
For a full explanation and links to  relevant  documents click here.

CWCF Co-op 150 Stories
Here are some more Co-op Stories from our members that have been shared recently.  

Chris Short: The Grain Exchange 
Like most thirty-somethings I've worked in many different fields from childcare to research, web design to tree planting, book selling to cooking. Though I've never experienced job security, I've earned a living wage, had a pleasant workplace, and had some say on the conditions of my labour; though never all in one job. After a decade in the workforce I, ever-naive, was convinced the way to synchronize wages, conditions, and job security was to better myself and my resume through higher education. Seven years and several degrees later I found myself looking for work within a new labour epoch: the "gig economy" - with temporary contracts, for-exposure work, and unpaid (illegal) internships the norm . Here, university professors, tradespeople, and service industry workers alike attempt to survive on shrinking pay and unreliable work.
In synchrony with this, algorithm, software, and the computers and robots they're built into are rapidly replacing not just relatively low skill labour (the retail workers, factory labour, and many drivers that make up much of the workforce) but also more skilled professions like designers, journalists, pilots, pharmacists, lawyers and paralegals, and many more . Whole career sectors are evaporating and will not be replaced .
To address these realities, which have been predictable, visible, and growing steadily for thirty years, government and industry are, well, doing virtually nothing. In fact, despite our major institutions and industries reporting record profits year after year ( even during dramatic provincial, national, and global recessions ), their frequently-stated mandate of creating more and better jobs has just never materialized - though cash hoarding (the antithesis of capitalism) , securities and accounting fraud (the new backbone of global banking and finance) and tax evasion (a clear sign of plutocracy) are at pandemic levels.
Rather than cursing the abundant and, frankly, overwhelming dark alone and in defeat, I joined a team attempting to create and light a small collective candle we call The Grain Exchange .
Julia Meyer-Macleod, Sustainability Solutions Group
When I graduated from school in a competitive job market, it was important for me to find and do work that I believed in.  It felt like I struck gold when I managed to land an internship and later become a member with SSG, a co-op whose vision is a world of just, equitable, and healthy communities.  The fact that SSG is a worker's co-op, however, means not only doing work that I believe in, but also supporting a paradigm that I believe creates a better world. 
A sustainability-focused urban planning and research consultancy, SSG is the only co-op of its kind in Canada, if not worldwide.  We compete against large-scale multi-national firms by providing open source tools and materials for sustainability planning, and through the high caliber work that we produce, which, in part, is ensured by the fact that as a coop our work is truly values-based.  Working with SSG has made me proud to say that I am a part of the co-op movement, and excited to support it and watch it grow!
Inouk Touzin,  Théâtre à Pic
Coopérative Théâtre à Pic is Calgary's only French language theatre company. As a co-creator of the organisation I brought to the table the idea of a non-profit artistic cooperative. Hybrid co-ops are, well, a mix of two things:  working to identify and develop new worker-artists for the workers' co-op component, balanced with promoting its services and building a clientele of audience members, workshop participants, an improvisation community, and relations with fellow stakeholders big and small.

Of course this influences my artistic process. I feel connected to the values of the co-operative movement. My aspirations for humanity (in my prerogative as a director, playwright, actor, and educator) are often guided by the philosophy of this movement. My hope for transformation and betterment stems from my desire to tell great stories on stage. In the doom and gloom present in world events, I like stories of mutual help, empowerment, cooperation and creativity. Like this co-operative story I just told you.

Philip Glennie, Moss Digital
I became interested in co-ops in 2012 after hearing a special feature on CBC to celebrate the UN International Year of the Cooperative. I was particularly moved by the stories I heard about worker co-operatives from around the world, and decided to start my own IT co-op (MOSS digital) with two friends. Our co-operative is unique because we exist as a remote team, which gives us the ability to recruit members from just about anywhere while keeping our costs down. This lets us pass the savings on to both our customers and worker-members. Much of our work focuses on website and logo design, although we also spend an increasing amount of time building mobile apps for sale on iPhone and Android. Together, we are committed to bringing more democracy to the workplace, one member at a time!
Selina Renfrow, The Grain Exchange
My motivation to join a cooperative work environment was driven by the desire to find dignified employment in the restaurant industry where my skills and experience were valued. I had not found it after 7 years until I met with the members of the Grain Exchange.
To me, cooperatives mean equality, dignity, and empowerment. Regardless of the industry, whatever skill level or education you need to work, everyone deserves to be treated equally, with dignity and be empowered to live their lives as they decide. The worker cooperative movement removes the traditional barriers many disadvantaged populations face to achieve personal success.
The Grain Exchange is creating significant social change by directly impacting those in an industry where low wages and job insecurity are the norms by paying a living wage with co-ownership and democratic control.

Yvonne Chiu, Multicultural Health Brokers
The Multicultural Health Brokers Co-operative in Edmonton became a workers' co-operative through our founding members' lived experiences of working in an egalitarian and democratic manner during the first five years of their existence (1992 to 1997). As a group of 80 culturally diverse community health workers, we believe in attaining social justice and equity through the organizational structure and principles of co-operatives.  
To us, the co-operative model ensures that we work humbly and honourably, always guided by the people and community we serve.  It allows us to experience participatory democracy within our own organization, echoing the democracy and freedom this nation is founded on.  
The key innovation that the worker co-op model provided is the "cultural brokering" practice. We serve 2,300 to 2,500 families through this holistic and relational practice. It supports our deep desire for building an egalitarian and intercultural relationship between the marginalized families we service and the public institutions which have a mandate to serve them fully, equitably, and optimally.
Reba Plummer, Urbane Cyclist Co-op
I joined a worker-owned co-op almost by accident. When I closed my bike shop I stopped in at Urbane Cyclist and said "I want to join you". Almost two decades later I am still here but now I am intentionally part of the sharing economy. I shop at MEC, Meridian is my financial institution, I am the President of the Canadian Worker Co-op Federation, I am the Greater Toronto Area Co-op Network Regional Manager, I am a delegate to The Co-operators and Urbane is my workplace. I enjoy the fact that the responsibilities for running the co-op are shared with the other members. This gives me the opportunity to ride my bike (lots) during the summer months, something I was unable to do as a sole proprietor.
Co-ops are about shared responsibilities and rewards.

In the spirit of Canada's 150th, tell us your co-op story in 150 words!
  • How did you get into co-ops? 
  • What do co-ops mean to you?
  • What is innovative about your co-op?
You can share your 150-word co-op post with us over Instagram @Coop150   or Facebook with an image of your choosing using the hashtag #coops150 and #CWCF150. We will share your post on the CWCF Facebook page and in our next newsletter. In addition CMC will share it widely. 

Sommet du repreneuriat : la coop, un modèle viable  

 La reprise collective d'une entreprise fait partie des modèles à envisager autant pour les employés que pour un entrepreneur prêt à prendre sa retraite. Ce n'est pas plus long ni plus complexe que le repreneuriat dans la famille ou par de purs étrangers. Au contraire, le modèle coopératif a fait ses preuves au Québec et l'histoire démontre un taux de survie plus grand des coopératives et une profitabilité que n'ont pas toutes les entreprises incorporées. C'est ce qui se dégage de l'atelier sur la reprise collective, l'un des 17 du genre du premier Sommet international sur le repreneuriat qui s'est tenu à Montréal le 19 mai. La reprise en coopérative de travailleurs ou d'usagers ne prendra pas plus de temps que les autres types de repreneuriat, où l'on constate des démarches sur des périodes de planification variant entre deux et huit ans.  

Employés et usagers prennent le contrôle des entreprises  
Si les entreprises qui changent de main sont souvent avalées par un plus gros joueur qu'elles, il existe un scénario moins connu : la reprise de l'entreprise par ses employés. Et si, dans ce cas, ce sont les employés qui cherchent à reprendre l'entreprise de manière collective, parfois c'est l'inverse : ce sont les dirigeants qui cherchent à céder une partie de leur entreprise aux employés. Pourquoi les dirigeants agissent-ils ainsi? Notamment pour assurer l'indépendance de leur entreprise. Si le capital est détenu par des dizaines d'employés, l'entreprise sera moins facilement rachetable, par un concurrent par exemple, avec le risque de dénaturer la mission et la culture de l'entreprise. Une autre raison est que cela consolide l'équipe. Quand chacun est un peu propriétaire, donc un peu décisionnaire, l'employé se sent davantage impliqué, concerné, responsable. Bref, l'investissement est ici dans la longévité et la stabilité de l'entreprise.  

Quelles perspectives pour les groupements de SCOP ?  

 En juin 2016, la Confédération générale des Scop (CG Scop) annonçait la création du premier groupement de sociétés coopératives de production (Scop). L'intérêt de ce modèle de groupement de Scop est de permettre à une entreprise coopérative ayant des filiales d'avoir un fonctionnement coopératif sur l'ensemble des structures du groupe. Les salariés de l'entreprise " fille " deviennent alors associés de la Scop " mère ". Autre cas de figure pouvant conduire à la constitution d'un groupement de Scop : le rapprochement de deux ou plusieurs sociétés coopératives préexistantes. Le nouveau statut, qui autorise les salariés-associés d'une Scop à détenir plus de 51 % d'une autre Scop sans limitation de durée, permet à des coopératives de consolider leurs liens et de travailler ensemble de façon plus structurée sur certains marchés.  

Against the Grain: Inside the Wood Shop Workers Co-op

This short documentary examines the growing movement for alternative economic models by taking a look inside a small  Vancouver based workers cooperative

Historic Records from Workers' Co-operative Movement to be Saved

The Co-operative Heritage Trust, custodian of the Rochdale Pioneers Museum and a registered charity which safeguards co-operative heritage, is delighted to announce today that funding has been secured to ensure that key records from the workers' co-operative movement will be identified and saved.

Read more here. 

Solidarity Economics as Transformative Politics
By Michelle Williams and Vishwas Satgar

The talk draws on a book manuscript that Satgar and Williams are currently working on based on six years of fieldwork with visits to 15 countries to study worker cooperatives, worker cooperative-led economic networks and a new theoretical approach to transformative politics.

Women in Workers' Co-ops
Caroline Kempster (left, behind vegetables) and two fellow members of Trinity Wholefoods in the shop. Photo courtesy of Trinity Wholefoods
In the summer of 2005, Rebecca Dale had three young children, Nik (3), Ben (2), and Katherine (six months old). She had been working as a research fellow at Warwick University, increasing co-operation between industry and the academy, especially within the automation industry.

Now she needed a new job that could fit in with her commitment to her young family. She'd decided that maybe accountancy could fit the bill, and applied for an Open University course, but she hadn't yet started.

In 1994, Caroline Kempster realized she could not carry on living in Hastings and travelling to London all the time for her antique carpet restoration business and her stall in Portobello Road's Saturday market. She had bought a dream flat near Alexandra Park in Hastings, and she needed to find a job in Hastings -preferably one that was in line with her values.

She'd gone into carpet restoration after growing sick of the extravagance, wealth, and extreme inequality she'd seen as an interior design student and a croupier on Caribbean cruise ships. ("So I ran off with a barman. You probably won't want to put this in.")

Both women, for completely different reasons and by very different routes, chose to work in workers' co-operatives. (Majority-women workers' co-ops - we'll come on to the gender aspects later.)  Read more here.
A longtime Bellingham business is leaving something of value to workers - ownership


When Rick Dubrow and Cindi Landreth began pondering passing their business on to someone else, they were not excited about selling it to strangers. They feel much better turning it over to the people who have created much of the wealth in the business.

Telling the Story of Social Ventures and Co-ops in Canada
Wood Shop Workers' Co-op is reaching out to you because you are part of the Groundswell, Wood Shop or co-op community and we want your help to tell of the unique story about social ventures and the co-op movement in Canada. 
We are creating content for our blog and social media calendar for the next year and we would like to share your story with our audience. 
If you are interested please contact us and include 
- Information about your Social Venture or Co-op
- If there is a specific, special or unique message about your story that you would like to share
- Links to your website or your social media streams
- If you have a logo, please send that our way as well. 
Please let me know if you have any questions. I would be happy to connect with you. 
In the spirit of collaboration, please share this with your networks and help us to spread the word about the great work being done in the co-op and social venture movement in Vancouver and beyond. *Please note, this is not restricted to Vancouver, we welcome projects from across Canada. 
We look forward to hearing from you! 
Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @hellowoodshop
Jessica Valentine 
on behalf of Team Wood Shop

How can Canadians Build Thriving Communities? 
Microlending. Local investing. Social finance. Food security. These are some of the tools that are being used by leaders in communities across the country to create an economy that emphasizes shared prosperity for all Canadians.

These are just a few of the topics that will be front and centre at  EconoUs2017 a national conference in Calgary that's bringing together community leaders from across Canada, whose goal is to make people and the planet a priority, while creating good jobs. 

Powered by the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet), EconoUs2017 takes place in Calgary and area in mid-September, hosted by Thrive and partners REAP, Calgary Economic Development, the Institute for Community Prosperity at Mount Royal University, Momentum, and Calgary Regional Partnership.

ACE Institute/Congrès, Denver, Colorado, July 18-21 

The annual ACE Institute is the only annual conference dedicated solely to highlighting innovative programs in cooperative education. It provides a unique opportunity to network with educators across cooperative sectors as well as national boundaries. Institute highlights include:

  • Research Emphasis
  • Keynote Speaker
  • Cooperative Study Tours
  • Workshops & Panels
  • Awards Banquet
We look forward to seeing you in Denver, July 18-21.
If you have questions, please contact ACE at
***Le Français***
L'Institut annuel ACE est la seule conférence annuelle qui se consacre exclusivement à mettre en lumière des programmes novateurs d'éducation coopérative. Il offre une occasion unique de réseau avec les éducateurs dans tous les secteurs de coopération, ainsi que les frontières nationales. Institut points saillants:
  • La recherche accent
  • Conférencier principal
  • Visites d'études coopératives
  • Ateliers et panneaux
  • banquet

Au plaisir de vous voir à Denver, du 18 au 21 juillet!
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Build your movement and beat the system in a new board game from our friends at the TESA Collective!
TESA (Toolbox for Education and Social Action) has just launched   Rise Up: The Game of People and Power, a cooperative board game about organizing social movements. In the game, players shape the story of their movement together and take creative actions to fight for victory, from waging civil disobedience to writing protest songs. Meanwhile, the System fights back with tactics of its own, like surveillance, arrests, and infighting. Players have fun while learning about social movement strategies and tactics in an exciting, participatory setting. To learn more and get your copy of the game, visit .

Rise Up is the most sustainably and ethically produced board game on the market today, with nearly 100% of the profits going to worker-owned cooperatives. The game features original artwork from Innosanto Nagara, creator of the children's book A Is for Activist. Go to to get a copy of the game.

The Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation (CWCF) is a national, bilingual grassroots membership organization of and for worker co-operatives, related types of co-operatives (multi-stakeholder co-ops and worker-shareholder co-ops), and organizations that support the growth and development of worker cooperatives.  CWCF's e-newsletter is available free of charge to anyone with an e-mail address and an interest in worker co-operative developments in Canada.
Please send any comments and suggestions to: 


Kaye Grant 
Editor of CWCF Newsletter
(204) 257-1198