The Ontario Co-operative Association

The Ontario Co-operative Association

October 08, 2009 08:00 ET

Jack Quarter Keeps Co-Op Organizations in Focus in Education: Thanked by On Co-op

GUELPH, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 8, 2009) - Professor Jack Quarter has helped keep a spotlight on co-operatives and credit unions in education for more than 25 years.

Ontario co-operators will thank him at the Ontario Co-operative Association (On Co-op) 11th Annual Co-operative Spirit Recognition Awards at the Co-op Conference and Gala to be held Oct. 14 at Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, ON. He will receive the Outstanding Contribution to the Ontario Co-operative Association Award.

Quarter is a professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and co-director of the Social Economy Centre, both at the University of Toronto, where his teaching and research includes co-operatives. His initiation to co-operatives was in the mid 1980s, when he became the editor of the Worker Co-operative magazine until 1992, and he was one of the founders of the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation in 1991.

He "has continued to champion the cause of co-operative education which was so important to On Co-op," says co-operative developer and consultant Catherine Lang.

Through his work at the Social Economy Centre, the profile of Ontario co-ops and non-profits has been raised within academia, government (mainly Ontario's education ministry) and media according to On Co-op. "He has been a major advocate of co-operatives, and has created resources and mobilized networks to support the co-op sector and other social economy agencies," adds its executive director Denyse Guy.

He also supervised the Canadian Co-operative Association (Ontario Region) Co-operative Resources Materials project that delivered information on co-operation and co-operatives to Ontario elementary and secondary schools in the 1980s and 1990s. Quarter supervised many graduate students who became co-operative educators in their own work, is a past president and long-time member of the Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation, and co-authored books such as What Counts: Social Accounting for Non-profits and Co-operatives; Building a Community Controlled Economy, the Evangeline Co-operative Experience; and Understanding the Social Economy: A Canadian Perspective (about to be released by the University of Toronto Press). His body of work in the last six years includes more than 50 articles, books, presentations and chapters relating to the social economy.

Eight other co-operators and co-operative organizations will be recognized at the Spirit Awards Gala during Co-op Week (Oct. 11-17). The late Bernie Daly will be acknowledged for his dedication to Ontario's agricultural co-operatives. La Siembra Co-operative, based in Ottawa, is recognized in the category of Co-op Social Responsibility, introduced last year. Retired Huron County dairy farmer Stuart Steckle becomes 2009 Distinguished Co-operator, and Diane Kocet, CEO of The Toronto Electrical Utilities Credit Union, will accept the 2009 Co-operative Innovator award. Local food pioneer Ottawa Valley Food Co-operative wins the New Co-operative of Distinction award, and CAIC (Canadian Alternative Investment Co-operative) receives special recognition as a financial supporter of many co-op projects over its 25-year history. Tanya Gracie of the Canadian Co-operative Association receives recognition as a youth co-operator and Carlene Frimer of United Communities Credit Union in Southwestern Ontario is receiving a Co-operative Youth Mentor Award for her advocacy of young co-operators.

The Spirit Recognition Awards Gala is part of a day-long conference that draws up to 250 co-operative and credit union directors, employees, and supporters from across the province. Its theme is "Co-ops Work: Exceptional Solutions for Exceptional Times."

On Co-op, based in Guelph, Ont., develops, unites and promotes co-operatives throughout the province of Ontario. Its mission is to lead, cultivate and connect co-operatives. Visit: for more information on the Association, co-op conference and gala.

Contact Information

  • Ontario Co-operative Association
    Mark Ventry
    Membership and Communications Manager
    1-888-745-5521/519.763.8271 x30