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Co-operators champions the next generation of co-operative leaders with newly launched Co-operators Young Leaders Award

Applications are now open for co-operative and mutuals difference makers 35 and under

Dec 7, 2021

GUELPH ON, December 7, 2021 – Co-operators, Canada’s leading holistic financial services co-operative, is pleased to announce the launch of the “Co-operators Young Leaders Award”. Created in collaboration with Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC), the new development and award program aims to support young Canadian co-operative changemakers who have been identified as future sector leaders. Applications are open now for young co-operators 35 and under.

“Through the Co-operators Young Leaders Award, we are celebrating the innovation, passion, and potential that young people are bringing to the Canadian co-operative movement,” says Shawna Peddle, director of Co-operators Community Funds at Co-operators. “By spotlighting and developing young co-operative leaders, we also signal to youth outside the sector that there are meaningful opportunities here today and in the future.”

Successful recipients will receive $1,000 and participate in a virtual “Co-operators Leadership Academy”, providing young leaders a foundation on which to build confidence, knowledge and exposure to co-operative values and principles. Participants will attend networking and skill-building events, attend virtual tours, participate in leadership sessions, and events with co-operative leaders nationally. The first cohort of award recipients will be announced in spring 2022.

“Co-operative enterprises help keep our communities and our economy robust and resilient.” says Daniel Brunette, Director of Advocacy and Partnerships for Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada, and a member of the Selection Committee. “By training the next generation of co-operators and spotlighting their leadership potential, we will build a stronger, more diverse and inclusive future.” 

The application is open to young people 18-35 years old who are meaningfully involved in the co-operatives and mutuals sector in Canada through employment, education or volunteering. The deadline to apply is January 30, 2022. Submissions will be reviewed by a selection committee with representatives from Co-operators and CMC. Applicants will be evaluated on their dedication and contributions to the co-operative movement and their interest in the learning opportunities offered through the Leadership Academy.

The Co-operators Young Leaders Award is part of the Pathways to Employability (P2E) initiative of the Co-operators Community Funds (CCF). In 2020, CCF continued its longstanding co-operative sector support by making $1 million in capital available through the launch of its Co-op Impact Program and announced a $220,000 COVID-19 Co-operative Assistance Fund to provide provincial co-operative associations with access to financial support. By supporting co-operatives and providing solutions to challenges facing the sector, Co-operators contributes to the well-being of our communities through the services these co-ops offer.

About Co-operators
Co-operators is a leading Canadian financial services co-operative, offering multi-line insurance and investment products, services, and personalized advice to help Canadians build their financial strength and security. The company has more than $62.6 billion in assets under administration. Co-operators has been providing trusted guidance to Canadians for the past 76 years. The organization is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. Achieving carbon neutral equivalency in 2020, the organization is committed to net-zero emissions in its operations and investments by 2040, and 2050, respectively. Co-operators is also ranked as a Corporate Knights’Best 50 Corporate Citizen in Canada and is listed among the Best Employers in Canada by Kincentric. For more information, please visit:

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