The Co-operators provides $100,000 to eight developing co-ops

GUELPH, ON, Aug. 20, 2015 /CNW/ - Today, The Co-operators announced grants from its Co-operative Development Program totalling $100,950 to eight emerging Canadian co-operatives. The recipient organizations reflect the range and diversity of the co-operative sector in Canada, extending from economic renewal advocates to food and beverage worker co-ops.

The program, established by The Co-operators 23 years ago, supports growing Canadian co-ops that respond to the needs of their communities. Through it, 155 unique co-operatives throughout the country have received more than $2.1 million to help them expand to better meet their communities' needs.

The following co-ops received grant money, encouraging their expansion and supporting their business success:

Lower North Shore Bioproducts Solidarity Cooperative (St. Paul's River, Que.) is a co-operative that aims to stimulate local business and employment through development, harvesting, processing and marketing of raw and prepared products from wild berries in response to the downsizing of the fishery industry.

Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa Inc. (Ottawa) is a not-for-profit co-operative that provides a complete range of compassionate funeral services to the Ottawa community.

London Brewing Co-operative (London) is a worker co-operative that creates small batch beers from local, organic ingredients and works with other vendors in the community to produce Farm to Fork dinner events in the Old East Village, London.

Sumac Community Worker Co-operative (Guelph) is a worker co-op that owns and operates Planet Bean Inc., a fair trade and organic coffee roastery and wholesaler, with three coffee bars in Southern Ontario.

Winnipeg FoodShare Co-op (Winnipeg) is a community service co-op committed to affordable and healthy food for all, particularly neighbourhoods in inner-city Winnipeg.

Saskatoon CarShare Co-operative (Saskatoon) is a community-owned, technologically current and environmentally friendly alternative to individual car ownership in the city of Saskatoon.

110 Arts Cooperative (Vancouver) is an interdisciplinary arts space for development of the creative community in the downtown core of Vancouver.

West Kootenay Permaculture Co-op (Winlaw, BC) is a not-for-profit co-op building a community food centre in their rural farming region focused on fostering food and farm economies, education and serving community meals.

"All of these organizations and their members make positive contributions to their communities by bringing co-operative principles to life," said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. "We're pleased to support the growth of organizations like these, which we know can make a great impact with even a modest amount of funding."

The Co-operative Development Program is part of The Co-operators Foundation and reflects the organization's commitment to supporting emerging and expanding co-operatives in Canada. The program encourages the viability and growth of co-ops that respond to the collective needs of Canadian communities.

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $40 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products.

The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt; Corporate Knights' Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada; and the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada by Sustainalytics and Maclean's magazine. For more information, visit

SOURCE The Co-operators

For further information: Leonard Sharman, The Co-operators, 519-767-3937


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