Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC) is happy to announce the winners of the annual CMC Awards for 2022. Each year, CMC honours individuals and organizations working in the Canadian co-operative and mutual sector to recognize their outstanding contribution to the sector. All winners were announced during the gala dinner at the annual CMC Congress, held in Calgary at the Fairmont Palliser

“CMC is extremely proud to recognize the leaders of Canada’s co-operative sector,” explains John Kay, president of the CMC Board of Directors. “This annual award ceremony is a way to highlight their hard work, dedication and celebrate the ongoing success of co-operatives and mutuals from coast to coast. Congratulations to all the winners—you are a continuous source of inspiration for everyone involved in the co-operative and mutual sector.”

The winners are carefully chosen by members of the CMC Awards Committee. The committee reviews all applications which were submitted by CMC’s member co-operatives and mutuals. The committee is comprised of Chair Jim Bettcher as well as Pascal Billard, Reba Plummer, John Kay and Isabelle Stein.

Here are the 2022 winners:

The Emerging Co-operator Award: This award recognizes outstanding co-operators, aged 35 and under.

Meg Ronson 

Meg Ronson divides her time between her role as CoopZone’s Executive Director and that of Innovation Lab Manager at the University of Waterloo. Meg is a co-operative and economic development professional, and specializes in community and stakeholder engagement and innovation in research and professional development. She has worked over 5 years in a variety of roles spanning from for-profit business development for a small tech company offering online business succession solutions, to managing complex, emergent research and social innovation projects in the social finance sector at Canada’s leading innovation university. She holds a Masters of Economic Development and Innovation at the University of Waterloo, a Certificate of Economics at Ryerson University and a Bachelor of Humanities at Carleton University.

Francis Ladurantaye 

The co-operative lifestyle chose Francis Ladurantaye somewhat by chance during his college career. During his involvement in the student association, he became interested in the services offered and managed by the student co-operative of his CÉGEP.

Francis holds of a bachelor’s degree in business administration. During his school years, he continued his involvement in school co-operatives. In addition to the board of directors of Coop HEC, he was elected to the board of directors of the Fédération québécoise des coopératives en milieu scolaire (FQCMS) where he sat for 4 years, including 3 as president.

During this time, Francis was also involved in several other committees and boards, including the 18-35 youth committee of the Conseil québécois de la coopération et de la mutualité (CQCM) where he was president for a few years and on the Canada’s Emerging Cooperators (CEC) committee.

Following his studies and his involvement in school cooperatives, he was a cooperative development advisor at the Coopérative de développement régional du Québec (CDRQ). During his stay, he accompanied several promoters to start and structure their cooperative in addition to accompanying others in their governance, among other things through strategic planning projects.

On the strength of his time at the CDRQ, Francis then became a strategic advisor at the FQCMS where his mandate was to support board directors and general managers in addition to carrying out certain interim general management mandates.

He has recently become a commercial account manager at the Solidarity Economy Fund where he is responsible for supporting cooperatives and NPOs in the financing of their various projects.

The Co-operative Achievement Award: This award honours individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the cause and development of co-operative and mutual enterprises in Canada and internationally. 

Dianne Kelderman 

Dianne received her B.A and B.Ed from Memorial University of Newfoundland, her Masters in Education from St. Mary’s University, her Masters in Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University Graduate School of Business, and is a graduate of the High Potential Leaders Program at Harvard Business School.

Dianne is the President of Atlantic Economics, a firm specializing in economic analysis and business development. She is currently on contract as the President and CEO of the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council, a contract she has held for the past 23 years.

Dianne’s work in economic development spans 30 years and several countries. She has worked extensively in Atlantic Canada and has been the lead advisor on assignments across Canada, the New England States and as far afield as India. She is a published author, a well-known speaker on economic development issues, and a government policy advisor.

Dianne has worked in all aspects of economic development but has a particular interest in business and alternative finance development. She was the initiator of the first community economic development investment fund in Atlantic Canada—the Community Catalyst Fund. She is the author of, and currently manages a $210 million small business financing program, for Nova Scotia’s co-operative and credit union sector, the author and manager of the sector’s $1.5 million equity fund, and the author and manager of the credit unions $2 million immigrant financing program.

Dianne led the creation and launch of Canada’s first and only online health care clinic—Connecting People for Health. During her tenure with the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council, the assets of the organization grew from $19,000 to over $7 million, and revenue grew by 4,000%.

In her spare time, Dianne is an active volunteer, having served as Vice Chair of Canada Health Infoway, Director on the Board of Marine Atlantic, Chair of the Board of the Atlantic and Nova Scotia Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the Finance and Planning Committee for Immaculate Conception Church, and many other local organizations.

For the 17 years, Dianne and her husband John were a big couple to Little Sister Sarah. Though 23 years have passed, Sarah is still part of their family.

In 2010, Dianne was named one of Canada’s 8 Women of Influence. In 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014 Dianne also received awards for Top 50 CEO in Atlantic Canada and was inducted into the Atlantic Business Hall of Fame in 2014. In 2022, Dianne was named one of the Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Atlantic Canada, and also, in 2022, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Truro Chamber of Commerce.

Dianne is known by her colleagues as a person “who gets things done”. She does not shy away from challenges! She is a tenacious, innovative leader, action oriented, a visionary, committed to business excellence, and sees opportunities where others see obstacles. She is always willing and eager to tackle tough systemic issues that impact the lives of others.

If you want something done, stay out of her way and watch it happen.

Small Co-operative of the Year Award: This award recognizes the unique impact of a co-operative on a community.

Résidence La Brunante COOP de solidarité en habitation  

Established in 2003, La Brunante co-operative is a solidarity housing co-operative for seniors in the village of Racine in Quebec.

The “Racine model” quickly gained momentum. Several dozen villages have come to visit them, and the model has since multiplied. The founders of this cooperative have given presentations on housing for seniors throughout Quebec and at several conferences, and even three times at World Health Organization (WHO) conferences.

They insisted that the residence be a co-operative because creating a co-operative gives a legal structure that leads to mutual aid. Seniors still have plenty of possibilities and a lot of know-how to share. By living at La Brunante, they retain the pleasure and pride of being useful. La Brunante calls these residents mutual aid advocates as they are committed to maintaining their home together.

Large Co-operative of the Year Award: This award recognizes the unique impact of a co-operative on a community. 

Large Co-operative of the Year Award: This award recognizes the unique impact of a co-operative on a community. 

Arctic Co-operatives Limited

Arctic Co-ops is a co-operative Service Federation owned and controlled democratically by the 33 autonomous Member Co-ops in Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, and Yukon. It provides procurement, logistics, IT, Accounting, Human Resources, and other support services to the Member Co-ops and pursues its vision of people working together to improve their social and economic well-being.