Hard to believe that we are only a month and a bit away from the 2024 Congress! Time flew by this month as the team has been hard at work finalizing the event. The agenda really is shaping up, and I am excited to announce the details of our excellent Annapolis Valley co-op and winery tour. Watching everything come together has been very special and I am confident in saying our 10th Anniversary Congress will be one for the books.

As mentioned, CMC has organized a unique co-operative and winery tour of the Annapolis Valley on June 14, the day following Congress. Departing from the Sutton Place Hotel at 9 am, this guided tour on a fully equipped coach will take us into the beautiful Annapolis Valley. The first stop will be in Wolfville, where everyone will be treated to a tour of Just Us! Coffee Roasters Co-op’s roastery. With our fresh coffees (or teas!) in hand, the group will make its way to the Scotian Gold Co-operative for a guided tour of their operations. Following this, we will head over to Lighthall and Wolfville Vineyards to not only enjoy a curated tasting of their three signature wines, but also enjoy a four-course lunch overlooking their fields. Then onto Gaspereau Vineyards for second tour and wine tasting before settling in for the drive back to Halifax. If spending a day in good company, learning about the Annapolis Valley and co-operatives while savouring delicious food and premium beverages sounds like your idea of fun, I highly encourage you to register today.

Our Congress agenda is also shaping up quite nicely. You can now access it via our event app and see what’s in store. Keep an eye on it as the team will be updating it with more information as we get closer to the event. If you haven’t registered for Congress, tickets are still available from now until May 30th. I also encourage you to book your hotel room using the CMC hotel block at the Sutton Place Hotel, right next to the venue—make sure to use discount code CMC2024.

In non-Congress news, this month the Government of Canada released its 2024 Federal Budget: Fairness for Every Generation. With affordability and economic growth on the minds of all Canadians, this budget addresses these concerns, all while setting up future generations with the opportunity to enjoy a comfortable middle-class life. Prior to the release of the 2024 budget, CMC submitted its recommendations which focused on making sure fiscal and financial measures were put in place for the co-operative and mutual sector. Although we would have liked to see more commitments and direct investments into the movement, Budget 2024 did contain many elements that will impact Canadian co-operatives and mutuals. I recommend you take the time to read CMC’s analysis of the budget and see how it might affect your co-operative or mutual.

And lastly, I am very excited to announce the launch of our partnership with Do Some Good. Do Some Good is an online platform that automates the collection and sharing of your stories, streamline donation and sponsorship requests, while celebrating employee volunteerism. With just one click, you can share compelling stories across social media, your website, intranet, and local media sites. CMC is offering Members a chance to promote their contributions to their communities and the good they are doing across Canada via the platform. We invite you to sign up for a free personal account, and every time you have a new story to share, simply fill out the quick online form. This will automatically publish your stories and the great work you do on local media sites in British Columbia and Alberta. By sharing your stories through these channels, you will not only help attract more folks to your co-operative or mutual, but also raise awareness about the sector and its values.

As always, I am incredibly proud of all the work our team has been putting into, not only the Congress, but all of the other ongoing projects that CMC has in place to support the Canadian co-operative and mutual ecosystem. This small but mighty team is passionately dedicated to this sector, and they cannot wait to see you all at Congress to show you everything they’ve been up to!