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Co-op Identity & the Blueprint

We believe that one of On Co-op's primary functions is to be the "keeper of the co-operative spirit" in Ontario. We strongly support the Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade created by the International Co-operative Alliance.

We also believe strongly in a consistent international "brand" for co-operatives. We have adopted the new international co-op marque (logo) as a secondary logo to our own 'rainbow swoosh'  and we use the dot coop domain name ( to promote our co-operative linkages. 

The ICA's Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade

The co-operative decade (2011 - 2020) is a bold vision to build on the achievements of the International Year of  Co-operatives (2012). It marks the beginning of a worldwide campaign to take the co-operative way of doing business to a new level.

The Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade, which was drafted in 2012 by the General Assembly of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) in Manchester, England, outlines five principles to enhance the presence of co-ops worldwide: participation, sustainability, identity, legal framework and capital.  Download the executive summary or the full document from the links at right.

The ambitious plan in this Blueprint - the “2020 vision” - is for the co-operative form of business to become the following before the year 2020:

  • The fastest growing form of enterprise;
  • The model preferred by people;
  • The acknowledged leader in economic, social and environmental sustainability.

THE ROLE OF ON CO-OP. As the Ontario provincial co-operative association with a mission to lead, connect and cultivate co-ops, On Co-op is adopting the Blueprint to guide its strategic areas and focus. All of our programs, activities and events will reflect some aspect(s) or key objective(s) of the Blueprint, as we strive to make our communities a more co-operative place - and to build a better world. On Co-op will be incorporating elements of the Blueprint into its plans and conferences over the next five years.

WHAT ONTARIO CO-OPS CAN DO: Create your own strategies to make the Blueprint’s goals a reality. This can be as simple as acknowledging how the Blueprint’s principles can already be found in the plans and objectives of your co-operative or credit union ... or as ambitious as crafting a long term vision that parallels many of the Blueprint's elements.

We suggest that every co-op commit to one of the five elements of the Blueprint every year and use it as one of many lenses that your strategic and operational plans is viewed through.  

On Co-op has created a strategic planning tool based on the Blueprint that can be shared with any co-op, credit union or sector organization. We launched it during our 2014 annual general meeting. Contact us to learn more. 

A COMMON VISION AND PURPOSE. Canada was a world leader in the International Year of Co-operatives. Working in 2012 with a common purpose and vision supported with an international logo and tagline, we were able to achieve larger co-op goals at a faster pace than we could have as individual organizations. The 2020 vision seeks to build on the achievements of the International Year of Co-operatives in 2012 and the resilience demonstrated by the co-operative movement since the great financial collapse. By pursuing the strategies outlined in this Blueprint, we aim to make 2011-2020 a Co-operative Decade of confident growth in Ontario, Canada and worldwide.


Help to promote our Co-operative Identity! A toolkit has been prepared with downloadable elements to encourage co-op organizations to complete their Co-operative Identity. This includes posters, video tutorials, editorials, buttons for websites and newsletters and a multi-lingual banner - all designed for use in your own communications.

Click HERE to access the Co-op Identity Toolkit Link



The ICA unveiled a new international logo (marque) in 2013. This stylized version of the word “co-op” can be used alongside any co-operative or credit union brand and is meant to complement, not replace your existing look.

On Co-op has adopted the new co-operative marque to support our own co-op ”brand”. We will be fully incorporating it into our print and electronic communications over the next few years as we update our materials. 

We encourage all co-ops, credit unions and caisse populaires to consistently add the co-op logo to their own materials as a secondary image. To learn more about the co-op marque, visit


The International Co­-operative Alliance has developed a global co-­operative identity that ALL co­-operatives can align with and which differentiates us from other forms of business.

The Co-­operative Marque and the .coop domain are the symbols of the global co­-op movement and of our collective identity; together they demonstrate our unity of purpose. Use the Marque and your .coop domain and join thousands of similar organizations around the world giving greater visibility to your co­-operative and strengthening our distinct model of enterprise.


1. Stand out as a co-operative. Why pay for expensive advertising to tell people who you are and what you do, when simply adding .coop to your web and email address instantly tells your customers, members and the millions of people online that you are a different type of business. Don't you think your customers would like to know you are an ethical business with strong values and principles?

2. Choose from a wide range of domain names. You want it? They've probably) got it. Since only co-operatives can register a .coop domain, there is still a wide selection of names available. Choosing the right domain name is essential to your online marketing and brand development, so you should not have to compromise on your preferred name. Put it to the test on the availability page and you'll see the possibilities you have with .coop.

3. Connect with other co-operatives. Want to show the world that you are part of the global co-operative movement? The site links all active .coop websites to encourage co-operation and trade between cooperatives around the world. When you start using your .coop domain name your organization will automatically be added to the worldwide .coop directory, for free!

4. Receive personal service. Because of the smaller, exclusive community served by the .coop domain, is able to provide a higher level of service than other internet domains. If technical or functional questions arise you will receive personal attention and you will be able to speak to someone directly.

We consider the .coop domain to be an international structure by which co-operatives can identify each other, find opportunities to co-operate and strengthen the co-operative movement. 



Guide to Co-op Act written in plain, accessible language

Oct 14, 2015 - On Co-op has created a Guide to Ontario’s Co-operative Corporations Act. The Guide explains the details of the Act, and includes advice about the procedures and protocols that define the operations of co-operatives. The Guide also includes a number of…

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2018 OCA Annual General Meeting

Oct 18, 2018 - 2018 OCA AGM

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On Co-op is a trade association and capacity-building organization that develops, engages, educates and advocates for Ontario's co-op businesses.