Co-op Spirit Awards

The Co-operative Spirit Recognition Awards program was established in 1999 to recognize the enormous contributions made by Ontario co‑operatives to the economic and social well-being of our province. 2015 marks the 16th anniversary of the Spirit Awards!

At the last ceremony in 2013, four Spirit Awards were presented to the following individuals and organizations at the October 16th Co-op Conference and Celebration in Milton, ON: 

  • Harvey Cooper, Manager of Government Relations, Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada, Ontario Region, for his remarkable advocacy and government relations efforts;
  • Hannah Renglich, Animator of the Local Organic Food Co-op through the Organic Natural Food Co-operative, for her passion and commitment to co-operative development;
  • The Ottawa Co-op Network, for their exemplary work on co-operative engagement;
  • Libro Financial Group, for their dedication and commitment to co-operative education.

The Co‑operative Spirit Awards are a project of the Ontario Co‑operative Association to recognize those whose accomplishments reinforce our three strategic pillars and the provincial co‑operative movement.

2015 Spirit Awards Announcement

We are very pleased to announce the return of the Spirit Awards in 2015!

The ceremony will take place during the Conference and Celebration on October 28th, 2015, over a spcial luncheon. All registered participants of the event are invited to attend.


Please feel free to download our new 2015 promotional flyer in the "Downloads" section on the right hand toolbar. Print it off and/or email it to your networks and help us promote this fantastic opportunity to recognize the awesome contributions made by co-operatives and co-operators!

We are in the process of updating our Nomination package. The categories have not changed (please see below for more information), and the application requirements and criteria will be similar to the 2013 process. However, we are streamlining the application process slightly to make it easier to complete. Feel free to view the 2013 Nomination Package on the right for information until the new one becomes available.

In the meantime, you can contact Jennifer Ross at the information below for questions/inquiries.


Co‑operative Engagement

Awarded to an organization
This award recognizes an organization’s dedication to fostering an active and engaged membership, while championing the co‑operative principles and spirit. The winning co‑op or credit union will be an avid proponent of principle six, “Co‑operation among Co‑operatives,” that consistently supports and collaborates with other co‑operative organizations.

Advocacy & Government Relations

Awarded to an individual
This award honours an individual who creates relationships with municipal, provincial and/or federal governments in order to elevate the profile of their co‑operative and the co‑op model. The winner actively strives to affect policy and legislative changes for their sector and/or the co‑operative movement at large.

Co‑operative Development

Awarded to an individual
This award pays tribute to the efforts of those individuals who have facilitated or supported the development of either emerging or established co‑operatives, while demonstrating leadership within the co‑operative movement.

Co‑operative Education

Awarded to an organization
This award acknowledges a co-op, credit union or stakeholder organization that creates and/or promotes youth and adult learning opportunities within their organization and/or community. The winner will be a co‑op education supporter and innovator.




1. Nominations are open to individuals and organizations. Ontario co-operatives, credit unions, caisse populaires, sector organizations, their staff, board members and volunteers are eligible if they are:
a) Members, Supporters or Friends of the Ontario Co‑operative Association, or
b) Members of a Federation/Association which is part of the On Co‑op membership.
2. Individuals must be nominated by an organization from any of the above categories in order to be considered eligible.
3. On Co‑op membership applications may accompany the Nomination if necessary.
4. Group nominations will be considered one Nominee.
5. The number and type of awards to be presented will be determined by On Co‑op or its appointed Selection Panel.
6. Recipients will be chosen by the Selection Panel, consisting of at least three individuals who are familiar with the Ontario co‑operative sector and are not current On Co‑op employees. Decisions are confidential and final.



  1. ** On co-op will be accepting nomination packages again in 2015 **
  2. Any individual, committee or organization may submit a nomination. This could include members, directors or employees.
  3. Nominators may submit nominations in more than one category; however, an individual or organization may only be nominated in one category each year.
  4. The nominee should review the entire nomination package before signing. Nominators should retain a copy of the nomination package.
  5. Download the nomination form from the 'downloads' section at right.



As of October 2013, 118 Spirit Awards have been awarded. All Award recipients enter the Co-operative Spirit Recognition Awards Recipient Hall of Fame. To see current and past Award Recipients, click on the 'In this Section' link at right.

You can see and hear our awards recipients at our Spirit Awards channel on our Spirit Awards Youtube Channel.


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