It’s hard to believe CMC’s 10th anniversary Congress is already behind us. The team’s goal was to make this Congress the best to date, and from comments we’ve received so far, it seems that they have knocked it out of the park! More importantly, the ability to catch-up and make new connections throughout the Congress was invaluable. It was so great to see everyone in-person and talk about the co-operative sector in Canada. This Congress was one for the books and I truly believe that the discussions that were had during those days will shape the future of the co-operative ecosystem in Canada.

If you missed our annual Congress in Halifax, I invite you to head to our website and read our in-depth recap to see everything that happened. From interesting panels to circus acts, to workshops and everything in between, CMC’s 10th anniversary was celebrated in style during this Congress. We are also excited to announce that next year, the Congress will be held June 10–12 in Regina, Saskatchewan at The Hotel Saskatchewan. Our team has already started thinking of ideas for next year, as we will be celebrating the International Year of Co-operatives—please stay tuned for more!

During the Congress, we were also honoured to announce the winners of the 2024 CMC Awards. Every year, CMC honours individuals and organizations working in the Canadian co-operative and mutual sector to recognize their outstanding contribution to the sector. Once again, this year, CMC was excited to give two Awards that reflect the ongoing shifts within the sector, highlighting its commitment to JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) and environmental priorities. In addition, the committee tied their votes for the Environmental Initiative of the Year Award, resulting in two award winners. All award recipients were announced during the gala dinner at the annual CMC Congress. Congratulations to all the winners!

We’ve also added some new faces to the CMC teams. CMC held its Annual General Meeting June 13th in Halifax at the end of Congress. I invite you to welcome our 2024–2025 CMC Board of Directors and give a warm welcome to its newest member: Don Dietrich of Gay Lea Food. A big thank you goes out to Chris Johnson for his presence and involvement on the Board. Internally, CMC also welcomed a new addition to its staff: Yousra Kabbani, Senior Bookkeeper. Yousra is a Senior Bookkeeper with nine years of extensive experience in finance and full cycle accounting, holder of BBA accounting major. She has a proven record in implementing new systems and processes resulting in significant reductions in errors, expenses, and audit time. Yousra will be replacing René Bernatchez as the main CMC contact for finance. René will be retiring after working over 10 years at CMC! The entire team at CMC, including myself, the Board of Directors and Canada’s Emerging Co-operators, wish him all the best in this well-deserved next chapter!

And lastly, at the end of June, I was fortunate enough to be able to travel Basque Country in Spain to tour the Mondragon network of co-operatives with the International Centre for Co-operative Management. This life-changing trip introduced me to this vibrant co-operative economy and opened my eyes to the future possibilities that co-operatives can have not just in Canada, but around the world. I learned so much during this co-op study tour and was able to connect with other co-ops and co-operative leaders throughout the voyage. I would like to thank everyone at the International Centre for Co-operative Management for organizing such an amazing tour! If you or anyone you know is interested in doing a co-op tour, make sure to head over to their website and see what other upcoming events they may have in store.

As I mentioned above, June was a busy month for CMC. Before I leave you to read the newsletter, I want to take a moment to thank the team for their incredible hard work and dedication to creating the best Congress we have had to date. It took a lot of long hours, careful planning and collaboration to execute such an event. I am very proud of what this small and mighty team has accomplished. CMC is truly lucky to have such an unbelievable team!