Finalists chosen in The National Co-op Challenge, announces The Co-operators

Public voting will decide who shares $200,000 in prizes

Guelph, ON (Sept. 18, 2013) – Public voting has begun in The National Co-op Challenge, a social media contest created by The Co-operators to support the growth of emerging Canadian co-operatives. Sixteen co-ops, four from each of four regions across Canada, are now competing for their share of $200,000 in prize money.

True to the co-operative principle of co-operation among co-operatives, The National Co-op Challenge was created last year as a way of engaging Canadians to decide which small and expanding co-ops would receive funding from The Co-operators. After the success of the inaugural contest last year, the decision was made to put on a second contest this year.

Emerging Canadian co-ops were invited to apply for a chance to compete. Applications from across the country were reviewed by our staff, and the sixteen finalists chosen have each created a short video pitch, vying for their share of prize money. It is now up to Canadians to decide which two finalists in each of the Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario and West regions will win $25,000 apiece. Voting closes October 18.

“Last year’s National Co-op Challenge, during the International Year of Co-operatives, was a great success,” said Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. “So we decided to keep the momentum going by doing it once again, as a fun and interactive way of raising the profile of some extraordinary co-operative enterprises. Good luck to all the finalists!”

The finalists for each region are:

Atlantic region
Co-operative Artisanale de Cheticamp (Cheticamp, N.S.)
Prince Edward Island Co-operative Council (Charlottetown, P.E.I.)
Tignish Co-operative Health Centre (Tignish, P.E.I.)
Valley’s Best Co-operative (Wolfville, N.S.)

Quebec region
Caf� Cambio Coop�rative de Travail (Chicoutimi)
Coop�rative de solidarit� Paradis (Rimouski)
La coop�rative de solidarit� Espace-Temps (Mont-Royal)
Les Grands Rangs, coop�rative de solidarit� des terroirs de Portneuf (Ste-Catherine-De-La-Jacques-Cartier)

Ontario region
Come As You Are Co-operative (Toronto)
Funeral Co-operative of Ottawa (Ottawa)
The Mustard Seed Co-operative Grocery (Hamilton)
Ontario Co-operative Association (Guelph)

West region
Cedar Opportunities Cooperative (Nanaimo, B.C.)
Victory Gardens Co-op (Vancouver, B.C.)
Whitmore Park Child Care Cooperative (Regina, Sask.)
Winnipeg Food Share Cooperative (Winnipeg, Man.)

To view the videos and vote for your favourite co-ops, visit The Co-operators Facebook page. Canadians with a Facebook account can begin voting immediately. Those who are not Facebook users can visit our contest microsite to cast their vote.

About The Co-operators

The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $36 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada and Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada. For more information visit