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Guelph celebrates International Day of Co-operatives

Jul 7, 2012

GUELPH, ON, July 7, 2012 /CNW/ - Hundreds of local residents and families enjoyed free and fun activities today at Guelph's Market Square while celebrating the International Day of Co-operatives with local co-ops and credit unions. Throughout the day attendees enjoyed ice cream from Organic Meadow, milk from GayLea, face painting, a handful of musical performances, and a co-operative showcase which allowed them to learn more about Guelph's many local co-ops and credit unions.

Guelph has a rich history of co-operatives, which dates back to the establishment of the first such business, the Guelph Bakery Co-operative, in 1904. Today, it is home to the Ontario Co-operative Association and 45 co-ops.

"Today's event was a great way for local co-operatives and credit unions to connect with the community and raise awareness of the co-operative model and the difference it makes to communities like Guelph," said Celeste Donkersgoed, a volunteer from The Co-operators. "Guelph has a very strong co-operative history and it's nice to celebrate that heritage and introduce it to a whole new generation."

In recognition of the International Day of Co-operatives, the Guelph Civic Museum launched a display yesterday honouring the city's co-operative history. Former Guelph Mayor Samuel Carter, one of the founders of the Canadian Co-operative Association, is featured, along with a showcase of artifacts from past and present local co-ops.  The display gives visitors a true sense of the impact co-ops have made on the city.

The International Day of Co-operatives has extra meaning this year, as the United Nations proclaimed 2012 the International Year of Co-operatives and adopted the theme "Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World" in recognition of the sector's contributions to social and economic development around the world.

Local participating co-ops included: The Co-operators, Guelph Campus Co-op, AgEnergy Co-operative, Meridian Credit Union, Organic Meadow, Gay Lea, Planet Bean, Ontario Co-operative Association, Royal City Housing Co-op, Cole Road Housing Co-op, Royal City Co-operative Pre-School, Guelph Car Co-op, DUCA and Guelph Technology & Design Cluster Co-operative.

About Guelph Co-operative Network:
The Guelph Co-op Network (GCN) is a networking group for Guelph co-ops and credit unions (of all types and sectors) that allows us to support each other and keep current on significant happenings in the Guelph and co-operative communities.

For further information:

Cathy Crawley
Ag Energy Co-operative

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