The Ontario Co-operative Association

The Ontario Co-operative Association

October 11, 2013 10:41 ET

New Ontario Co-op Awards for Advocacy, Education, Engagement and Development Bestowed Oct. 16

GUELPH, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 11, 2013) - Four awards aligned with the priorities of the Ontario Co-operative Association will be presented the first time at the association's Co-op Week congress at the Milton, Ont. Teatro Conference & Event Centre on Oct. 16.

Government lobbyist Harvey Cooper will receive the new Co-operative Spirit Award recognizing government relations and advocacy for co-operative organizations. Cooper who is government relations manager of the Ontario Region of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada most recently advanced Ontario Bill 14 (2013) which has just received Royal Assent. The law will allow housing co-ops the same tribunal system as rental housing to resolve tenure debates.

Southwestern Ontario's Libro Financial Group earned the inaugural Co-operative Education Award. Libro's celebrated work in education includes promoting financial literacy, youth empowerment and training more than 100 credit union volunteers.

Winning the prize for co-operative engagement by an organization is the Ottawa Co-op Network. Founded in preparation for the 2012 United Nations International Year of Co-operatives, it now encompasses more than 20 organizations that continue to plan projects together.

The new Co-operative Development Award is to be presented to Hannah Renglich of Local Organic Food Co-ops Network. Renglich helps consumers, retailers and food producers within communities see possibilities of their collaboration.

"We are pleased to have an excellent group of laureates for our new awards," says Mark Ventry, executive director of the association. "These new categories help us celebrate the work that our members say is now critical for the growth of co-op opportunities in the province."

Ontario Co-op Spirit Awards date back to 1999 and recognized dedication to the provincial co-op association, youth involvement, innovation, outstanding contribution and lifetime achievement.

Award ceremonies will be part of the day-long conference entitled: Sharing our Co-op Stories. This year's program includes discussing a common brand for co-operative enterprises, effective advocacy and laws affecting co-ops, and youth engagement. Spirit awards will be presented at noon.


The Ontario Co-operative Association (On Co-op) believes that co-operatives build a better world. We are the trade association that develops, engages, educates and advocates for Ontario's 1,300 co-operative businesses. On Co-op is an information and resources network with a mission to lead, cultivate and connect co-operatives.


The Ontario Co-operative Association provides its member-owners with programs, resources and networks that support their organizations and facilitate growth and opportunity. From the strong foundation provided by our membership, On Co-op builds co-op awareness and vitality, and unites the co-operative movement in Ontario.


Co-operatives are community-focussed businesses that balance people, planet and profit. Co-ops are democratic and value-based, formed to seize local opportunities and meet the needs of their member-owners. As a trusted place to do business, co- operatives are chosen by more than one in seven people worldwide. Twice as many co-ops remain in operation after ten years as other types of business enterprise.

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