Bonjour! J'ai eu mon premier emploi dans une coopérative et j’y ai travaillé pendant 8! Cette coopérative était une coopérative agricole dont les membres étaient des agriculteurs. Ensuite, je me suis impliqué sur le conseil d’administration d’une coopérative financière, chez Desjardins, qui dessert tout le Québec avec des produits financiers. Ensuite, je me suis impliqué dans une coopérative en milieu scolaire, dont je suis devenu président entre-temps. Ce que je retiens de mon expérience Coop, c’est que la coopération peut être utilisée par tout le monde pour atteindre leurs rêves, leurs objectifs, pour faire vivre leur famille ou encore obtenir un service ou un produit. Le modèle coopératif s’intègre dans son milieu et le fait vivre et l’améliore avec des retombées concrètes. C’est mon expérience, et je désire la partager à tous pour encore bien des années!

Jason Rivest
Saint-Jacques, Qc

#coop150 #canada150 #coops

Quel revirement!

Tout a débuté il y a de cela 7 ans, où je passais une entrevue. À ma grande déception, on ne me voyait pas à ce poste. Mais, qu’elle ne fût pas ma surprise lorsque la responsable m’a plutôt chaudement référé à un poste affiché ailleurs, au sein d’une coopérative. On m’a donc montré le chemin vers ce monde des coopératives qui m’était alors complètement inconnu. C’est ainsi que je suis tombée dans la marmite de potion magique, tout comme Obélix de la populaire bande dessinée. Je ne peux plus me passer de la coopération!

Depuis, je travaille à plein temps afin d’allumer l’étincelle de la coopération chez les jeunes. Ce qui me motive autant après ces années, ce sont les gens impliqués dans le milieu coopératif et leurs projets réalisés tellement avec cœur et entraide, qu’ils attisent constamment ma propre flamme. Je veux vivre encore longtemps en mode COOP!!! #coop150 #canads150 #coops

Mon histoire coop a commencé sans même que j’en aie conscience, alors que ma famille m’a inculqué des valeurs de respect, d’entraide, de solidarité, de partage, d’égalité et d’équité qui font aujourd’hui partie de moi et qui me poussent à m’impliquer dans ma communauté. Membre de plusieurs coop, coopérante au Québec comme à l’international, mon parcours personnel et professionnel est teinté par la coopération et ses valeurs. Aujourd’hui, les coopératives d’ici font partie de ma vie et de celle de ma famille car nous y croyons! Je souhaite transmettre à mes filles ces mêmes valeurs afin qu’elles puissent à leur tour, un jour, prendre part au mouvement! #Canada150 #Coop150

My first introduction to a co-op was as a child. Every summer my sister and I would visit my Grandparents in Dauphin, MB. Of course, as children, we didn’t realize the significance of how the co-op store contributed to their local economy by helping their community grow, nor did we know that our family was not just a consumer, but a member of something that assisted in building their community. All we knew is that if you wanted the best fries and gravy in town, you went to the co-op!
In 1996, I moved from Vancouver to Grande Prairie, AB where I registered for my own share number. I appreciate the fact that my dollars go back into building the community in which I live and work – and Grande Prairie has seen significant growth since 1996. I believe in giving back to my community by being an active volunteer and contributor with Advocis, my Sunrise Rotary Club, and various other local community events. It’s great supporting the co-op whose values are in sync with my own.

#coop150 #canada150 #coops

Je suis née en Acadie, les deux pieds dans la coopération! Mon père avait l’habitude de dire « à notre magasin » lorsqu’il parlait du marché d’alimentation où il était membre. La caisse populaire, seule institution financière du village de mon enfance, était aussi « à nous ».
Depuis 2009, je vais à la rencontre des jeunes bas-laurentiens et gaspésiens, pour leur faire vivre cette coopération. Comment, ensemble, ils peuvent mener des projets en mettant le côté humain et le besoin commun au centre des décisions! C’est pour eux une expérience fabuleuse, qui développe à la fois leur pouvoir d’agir, leur sens entrepreneurial et leur vivre-ensemble.
C’est avec un plaisir toujours renouvelé que je rencontre de nouveaux jeunes; les voir apprendre les valeurs coopératives, comprendre le fonctionnement du conseil d’administration, jouer leur rôle d’administrateur dans l’harmonie et la cohésion, c’est fantastique! Et unique!

Sophie Anne Morin
#coop150 #canada150 #coops

I have a 5-digit membership number at Red River Co-op, attesting to a five-decade relationship that began simultaneously with my career and continues into my retirement years, but its origins go back even further.
My father was a founding member of the Ukrainian Farmers Co-op in Fisher Branch, one of many farming communities in the northern Interlake Region of Manitoba that was first established by immigrants from Eastern Europe. They persevered despite marginal agricultural land and scant infrastructure, missing even year-round roads.
He liked to regale his children with stories of walking six miles to the townsite in the winter months to meet with community members as they sought ways to bring about a member-owned retailer that could truly show how savings could be achieved and shared by participants.
I’m reminded of my father’s efforts whenever I stroll into our modern and convenient local Co-op Store or when I pull up to a Co-op Gas Station, and I like to think that he and countless other now-departed members understand the satisfaction that accompanies a yearly refund cheque.
Joseph Hnatiuk
Red River Co-op, Winnipeg
#coop150 #canda150 #coops

It feels like the Old Grace Housing Coop has waited for me. Having lived only a few blocks from the site, since I moved back to Winnipeg in 2001, location is a key. I like both the look and the character of Wolseley. I already know several friends who are moving in and I have enjoyed meeting others who will be. This is comforting. The design commitment to common space will be a great asset in adjusting to much less living space than I am used to. Finally, freeing up capital from owning property will make retirement possible sooner than I imagined. I was a founding board member of a housing co-op back in 1988 but unfortunately had to move before it was up and running. I can't wait to finally find a new home at OGHC.
Glenn Morison
Old Grace Housing Co-operative, Winnipeg
#coop150 #canada150 #coops

I am excited to be moving into Old Grace Housing Co-op, since collectivism (and indeed socialism) is one of the two great traditions that I have inherited.
I was born in Germany, just a few years after the Nazi dictatorship and the Holocaust, and members of my family were persecuted both as Jews and as socialists. Political awareness and social engagement have shaped my life, yet in the past years, dedication to Jewish learning and Jewish practice have stood at the centre of my activities.
I teach Jewish and European history at the University of Manitoba, belong to an orthodox synagogue, and am an observant Jew. OGHC’s commitment to communitarianism, egalitarianism, social action, and ecological responsibility speaks to the overtly political dimension of who I am.
Thus, I am thrilled that living in OGHC promises to help me achieve a more fully developed balance between spiritual attunement and political responsiveness.
Ben Baader
Old Grace Housing Co-operative, Winnipeg
#coop150 #canada150 #coops

After leaving her parental home at 25, my daughter Catherine has since lived for three decades in a house in Wolseley, the "Granola Belt" of Winnipeg - with non-disabled roommates and full-time assistance. After several years of searching for a larger intentional community for her, I was thrilled when I heard about the Old Grace Housing Co-operative being planned in the same area. I became a member on Cath's behalf and have been hugely impressed with the talent and hard work the Board members have put into making this co-op dream a reality. I believe that both Cath and her new neighbours will benefit greatly from her living in OGHC.

Although I've lived elsewhere in Winnipeg since 1960 I've always been a Wolseleyite at heart. This, plus realising it's time to downsize, has inspired me to join the co-op myself - with my dog Jack!

Nicola Schaefer
Old Grace Housing Co-operative, Winnipeg

#coop150 #canada150 #coops

Old Grace Housing Co-operative means a lot to me at this stage of my life. It has come into existence at just the right time. I’m excited to be able to spend more time doing the things that bring me joy, and less time on a house that is too big for me now.

Building neighbourliness and friendship with people who share some common values, enjoying the great variety of folks around me, and passing the years with a balance of community and privacy feels like a perfect combination.

As an active member and co-chair of the Membership Committee, it’s exciting to get to know my fellow members while helping build the co-op.

Shelly Blanco
Old Grace Housing Co-operative, Winnipeg

#coop150 #canada150 #coops

Co-ops have been part of my life from inception, to now, and beyond.
From my farming boyhood years in Saskatchewan, where my smiling, hardworking parents were not only members but sat on boards of directors for the local Co-op, Credit Union, Wheat Pool, and country Parish Church (while also keeping a caring eye out for neighbours who were in need or unwell), to now, the cooperative ethos greatly influenced my life as I studied and prepared myself for service to others.
Now, in Manitoba, I'm looking forward to moving into the Old Grace Housing Co-operative and gracefully ageing while being actively involved in contributing toward an environmentally friendly, sustainable, caring, life-giving community (not to mention helping to design, raise funds, and build the place). When people come together for a common good, real life happens. Co-op on the prairies vastly and broadly shaped our approach to business and social well-being.
Gerard Bzdel
Old Grace Housing Co-operative, Winnipeg
#coop150 #canada150 #coops

What is innovative about our co-op? A number of factors contributed to our decision to join Old Grace Housing Co-op. First, it is important to us to live in a neighbourhood like Wolseley where there is such a strong sense of community. It is appealing to know that the complex will have a rich mix of income brackets, ages, ethnicities, and cultures. And the ethos of collective stewardship is also important to us. In short, Old Grace will help us live the way we want to live: in the neighbourhood we love, with a more sustainable consumption of resources, in community with other people who share ownership and stewardship of the land.

Debbie Patterson and Arne MacPherson
Old Grace Housing Co-operative, Winnipeg

#coop150 #canada150 #coops

Nearly 40 years ago, I was one of the founders of the Pinawa Cooperative Nursery School. I valued the shared leadership and decision-making, and particularly the parent participation in the nursery school program. At this stage of my life, along with my husband Phil, our choice of Old Grace is intentional. Old Grace embodies many of the values we hold dear. We love that our new home is working toward LEED Gold certification. We look forward to living with people of different ages, cultures, abilities and family composition. We value the consensus model of decision-making and the ways in which the skills and gifts of members are given the opportunity to flourish. We know that the Board has worked hard to develop strong community relationships, as consultation with neighbourhood groups and development have moved forward hand-in-hand.

Barbara and Phil Barnett
Old Grace Housing Co-operative, Winnipeg

#coop150 #canada150 #coops

I came to understand the power of cooperation as a teen in the ‘60s in Saskatchewan. My friends farmed. No individual farmer could afford the equipment required to plant, nurture and harvest the crops. So they pooled their resources, bought what was needed, and went from farm to farm until the work was done. I happily worked with the men on the threshing crew, and, reluctantly with the women in the kitchen (my reward being the chance to drive the big truck across the fields to deliver an elaborate, hot lunch to the men). Old Grace Housing Co-operative will soon be my home. Each day I walk past to see the construction progress. To me, its evolution is symbolic of a collective vision that takes me back to those formative years. And as I did then, I feel privileged to be part of something so sustainable, so powerful, so co-operative.
Randa Stewart
Old Grace Housing Co-operative, Winnipeg
#coop150 #canada150 #coops

I first experienced co-ops as a founding board member of a housing co-op in a small New Brunswick town. It was thrilling to see it come to life, but I had to move away so never lived in it. (On a recent visit, I saw that it was still going strong, 30 years later.) I learned more about the co-op movement while living in Nova Scotia – a hotbed of cooperatives! – and writing for the Atlantic Co-operator.
I’m thrilled to be moving into the Old Grace. With our kids now grown, my partner and I can downsize while staying in our beautiful neighbourhood. The low maintenance aspect is attractive, as is being part of a community that shares ideals about living sustainably and cooperatively. I also appreciate the fact that several units are wheelchair accessible, and four units will house refugee families, filling needs in both of these communities.
Alex Merrill
Old Grace Housing Co-operative, Winnipeg

#coop150 #canada150 #coops

If you grew up on the prairies, you grew up in the metaphoric shadow of the huge co-op and wheat pool grain elevators. The first co-op I joined was a credit union when I was attending college. It was handy, cheap, and non-corporate. Since then, I have been a member of various retail co-ops and patronised worker-owned cooperatives wherever possible. I appreciate the values of democratic control, member responsibility, and benefits to local communities. Old Grace Housing Co-operative strikes me as being of particular value to the community since it will be creating long-term, low-cost, high-quality, and environmentally sustainable housing in a mixed-income context.

Doug Smith
Old Grace Housing Co-opérative, Winnipeg

#coop150 #canada150 #coops

I started working for Arctic Co-operatives Limited April 6, 2011. I had just graduated from the University of Winnipeg the previous year and had been unemployed for about six months. I was starting to lose hope that anyone would take a chance on me; thankfully, Arctic Co-ops home office needed a Receptionist and I needed a job! When I got hired I had no idea the volume of support Co-ops in the north provide to their Members and Communities, I actually didn’t even know there were Co-ops in the North.

After almost seven years, I am in my fourth role within the co-op system and am so grateful for the opportunities I have been provided. I have travelled to several communities where I met people that only knew my voice over the phone for so many years. I’ve worked in four different departments, attended seminars, courses and special events. What I thought would be as temporary position turned out to be the start of an amazing career. Arctic Co-ops invested in me and my future and saw something in me that I might not have seen in myself and for that I am thankful. I take pride in knowing that I’ve provided assistance to our Member Co-ops because without them, I wouldn’t even be here. It’s an extremely rewarding company to work for and it’s hard to imagine myself anywhere else.

#coop150 #canada150 #coops

What can I say about Sarcee Meadows? In two words – it’s home. Here, I feel safe, secure and comfortable. Sarcee Meadows has many qualities going for it – beautiful surroundings, a wonderful mix of friendly, caring people, a strong management team, and a myriad of opportunities for members to participate in co-operative life.
The physical space and affordability are what drew me in, but over the past 23 years, I have experienced so much more. My eclectic little home continues to evolve, both indoors and out, and my inner self is evolving too, through active involvement on the Board, committees, and volunteering or just participating in special events. Most recently, I became a part of the Women’s Circle, and am learning from and sharing with fellow members from other cultures.
I am so grateful to be a part of this co-operative community and I hope to continue aging in this fabulous place.
#coop150 #canada150 #coops

Notre but [avec Rendez-vous Estates] ce n’est pas seulement de fournir une cinquantaine d’appartements, mais bien d’arriver à créer une communauté. Un milieu où les gens vont se côtoyer, apprendre à se connaître pour être heureux de vivre ensemble.

Our goal [with Rendez-vous Estates] is not only to offer fifty apartments, but also to create a community. A joyful space where people will live, learn and grow alongside one-another.

Léo Desmarais
Tache Seniors Not-for-profit Co-operative

#coop150 #canada150 #coops

Village Canadien Coop is a housing complex off River Rd. Wpg. where I, as a resident of almost two years, enjoy scenic surroundings. The Red River flows some two hundred yards from the back of my residence and the river bank is a wooded area. On the far side of the river deer can be seen on occasion. Our home has been updated lately, with the ground floor having been redone with a wood finish and new carpets. The footpaths in our area were replaced last year so all in all we have a very comfortable home and surrounding area. The property is well managed with good responsive maintenance.
I'm often asked how I got into the co-op and it's simple: through the main gate. I guess someone could have come up river in a canoe, but then you would have to jump the garden fence.
Jim Kavanagh
Village Canadien Coop, Winnipeg

#coop150 #canada150 #coops

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