Co-op Launch Events ‘Just the Beginning’

Co-op Launch Events ‘Just the Beginning’

Alberta community coming together to raise awareness

CALGARY - The Jan. 12 International Year of Co-operatives launch events in Alberta were “truly a co-operative function” and a springboard for more to come, said Michele Aasgard.

Michele, executive director of the Alberta Community and Co-operative Association, told Axiom News co-operatives are noting the need to get their message out.

“I am really proud of our Alberta community and how they saw the importance of what today is,” she said.

“This is just the beginning of what co-operatives really can do and how they play a role in the country and in the world, and as we move forward in 2012 we are going to see that in terms of really getting the co-operative model out there to understand it,” said Michele.

Fourteen launch cities across Canada took in a national webcast from Ottawa, including Calgary. Other Alberta launch sites were in Red Deer, Stony Plain, St. Isidore, Lloydminster, Strathcona County, High River, Priddis, and two locations in Edmonton.

She pointed to comments made earlier in the day by CEO of The Co-operators Kathy Bardswick, who suggested using 2012 as a launch so by 2020 the economic model of co-operatives is the fastest growing in the world.

“(I hope) this is truly a launch into a future and that our youth get engaged and they can feel the excitement of what’s happening around them,” said Michele.

“Even though there is fantastic stuff going on in 2012 let’s not stop it there, let’s really bring more of this into the future.”

While co-ops have been in Alberta for a long time, Michele said the importance of the launch is to educate and recognize co-ops in communities.

“Stay tuned to what’s happening in the country, not just Alberta, that this is only the beginning of a very exciting year and it’s going to be one of the biggest UN international years that there’s ever been, that’s truly exciting,” said Michele.

Held at the Calgary Farmers' Market, Alberta’s national launch events were hosted by the Alberta Community and Co-operative Association, The Co-operators and the Conseil de Développement Économique de L’Alberta.

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Jennifer Neutel

Jennifer Neutel is a Story Advocate and Generative Journalist at Axiom News. She completed her Bachelor of Journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa in 2006, and joined Axiom News in 2007. She has taken on a variety of roles at Axiom including new social media intiatives and has a passion for creating strengths-based questions that can lead to positive change.

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