Co-ops and credit unions in the North East gear up for Sixth "Co-op Connections" conference in Ontario

Mar 20, 2015

On March 26th Sudbury will host a historical gathering of co-operative businesses and credit unions in Northeastern Ontario. It’s the sixth and final conference in a series that has been organized by the Ontario Co-operative Association (On Co-op) in the winter of 2015.

The United Steel Workers Hall will be the site where conference participants will network, build connections and take part in a variety of engaging and interactive plenary sessions led by experts and leaders from established co-operatives in the region.

"We have seen great growth in interest in the co-operative model as well as the principle of co-operation among co-operatives, in action in the Northeast," notes Maureen Strickland, the Northeastern Ontario Regional Co-op Manager with On Co-op. "It is very exciting to be bringing fellow co-operators and individuals involved with economic development together, to continue building this important network in our region. Co-operatives are a key sector in the formation of strong local and regional economies and this conference is integral to strengthening and growing the sector in the Northeast."

Four local co-ops, including Eat Local Sudbury, Moonbeam Co-operative, Sudbury Funeral Co-op and the Sudbury Downtown Independent Cinema Co-operative, will share their best practices and lessons learned, and participants will engage in a working lunch to discuss how they can help build the co-operative movement in the region. In the afternoon, a panel constituted of various Northeastern funders, financial institutions and creative co-operative ventures, will discuss access to capital and funding opportunities.

The Sudbury Co-op Connections will be a bilingual conference, as well as broadcasted through video-conferencing technology, to three remote locations in Kapuskasing, Sioux Ste. Marie and Bracebridge, thanks to the support of a generous FedNor grant. Register here.

"Northern Credit Union is proud to partner with On Co-op, as strengthening co-operative businesses in the region also strengthens the local economy," notes Tim Foster, Board Chair of Northern Credit Union. "Credit unions drive local economic development throughout Canada, including Northern Ontario - often in smaller, isolated communities. Local credit unions are proud supporters of small businesses, providing funding and assistance to those in smaller communities, when banks didn’t see the value. Living and operating in Northern Ontario, we understand what small businesses mean in our communities: jobs, economic sustainability and a more secure future." 

For More Information

  • To learn more about the Sudbury conference, contact Maureen Strickland at northeast@ontario.coop.
  • To learn about the regional Co-op Connections conferences in general, visit s.coop/outreach or contact Alex Shave, Regional Conference Program Manager, Ontario Co-operative Association, at 519.763.8271 x.27 or at ashave@ontario.coop.