GUELPH, ON, Dec. 3, 2012 /CNW/ - Three emerging co-ops in the Atlantic
have each won a share of $220,000 in prize money in The National Co-op
Challenge. The announcement was made today by The Co-operators, which
created the contest in celebration of the International Year of
Co-operatives. In accordance with co-operative principles, it empowered
individual Canadians by giving them a voice in choosing the winners
from among dozens of emerging co-ops, by voting via Facebook.
Gulf Aquarium and Marine Station Co-operative of Cheticamp, Nova Scotia
took 1st Prize in the Atlantic Region, while two Moncton co-ops, Lotus
Co-operative Marketplace and Coopérative La Bikery Co-operative,
finished in the second and third spots respectively, based on the
number of votes received between October 22 and November 21.
1st Prize: Gulf Aquarium and Marine Station Co-operative, Cheticamp, N.S.
The GAMS co-operative was formed in 2007 to establish the Gulf Marine
Centre to promote the sustainability of the Gulf of St. Lawrence
through research, public education and community collaboration. The
prize money will help fund the design of the project, which will
include a marine aquarium, research facilities and conference space for
a diverse group of stakeholders who share an interest in the
sustainability of this important ecosystem.
2nd Prize: Lotus Co-operative Marketplace, Moncton, N.B. ($15,000)
Created by a group of local entrepreneurial women in southeast New
Brunswick, Lotus Co-operative Marketplace is a venue for local
producers and service providers to market to people interested in the
buy-local movement, green economies, wellness, and the creative arts.
The funding will help people who face barriers access its programs and
services, to help them build more secure and satisfying lives for
3rd Prize: Coopérative La Bikery Co-operative, Moncton, N.B. ($10,000)
La Bikery is a community bicycle co-op created to promote bicycling in
the Moncton area, by providing education on such things as bike repairs
and cycling safety. Its plans for the future, including more workshops
and training, and the creation of a bicycle recycling program, are one
step closer to reality because of the prize money it has earned.
"The winners, and all of the contestants in The National Co-op
Challenge, reflect the diversity, richness and spirit of the
co-operative sector in Canada. As these emerging organizations
demonstrate, the future of co-ops in this country is very bright
indeed," said Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO of The Co-operators.
"Co-ops provide members with a meaningful voice in directing their
organizations, so it was only fitting that The National Co-op Challenge
would give Canadians a say in choosing the winners. Thousands of people
engaged with us through Facebook over the past couple of months, and we
are proud of the legacy we've created as part of our celebration of the
International Year of Co-operatives."
Emerging co-ops from throughout Canada applied, and the 24 finalists
produced 90-second videos introducing their co-ops and outlining their
plans on how they would use the prize money. Voting was open to anyone
with a Facebook page, from October 22 to November 21. For a full list
of the winners from all four Regions, please visit The Co-operators Facebook page.
About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with
more than $36 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 and Corporate Knights' Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada.
As a proud member and supporter of the co-operative sector, The
Co-operators is pleased to celebrate 2012: The International Year of
Co-operatives. For more information visit www.cooperators.ca.
SOURCE: The Co-operators
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