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Click on photo to view Award Recipient profiles.

The Spirit Awards Hall of Fame honours the incredible 118 individuals and organizations who have been the recipient of Co-operative Spirit Recognition Awards since their inception in 1999. 

The Spirit Awards have a YouTube channel with videos on award winners. Check it out to learn about the recipients in their own words!

2015 Spirit Award Winners 

Co-operative Engagement (Organization) - TeamWerks Co-operative

TeamWerks has shown dedication to fostering an active and engaged membership by being a co-operative social enterprise, owned and operated by consumers of mental health and addiction services in Thunder Bay. As one of the largest worker co-ops in Ontario with over 40 members, they operate a number of businesses that serve the public. In addition to ensuring maximum engagement of its member-owners, TeamWerks is an outstanding contributor to our sector, encouraging and supporting us all.

Co-operative Development (Individual) - Peggy Baillie

Peggy Baillie is a force for positive change in our province, with an extensive background in food systems and an unwavering commitment to co-operation. Her day job is as the Executive Director at Eat Local Sudbury Co-operative, but her contributions to the Ontario-wide Local Organic Food Co-ops (LOFC) Network is the reason for her award. She was the founding Chair of LOFC and has tremendously supported the growth and strengthening of Ontario’s 100+ sustainable local food and farm co-operatives. View Peggy's interview with CTV News HERE!

Advocacy & Government Relations (Individual) - Ian Shewan

Ian Shewan is a Partner with Lerners LLP and is head of their Business Law Group in London, Ontario. He is passionate about the co-operative movement and sees it as supporting “communities and commodities.” For more than nine years, Ian has been strengthening the relationship between policy officials, elected representatives and the co-operative sector. He does this through dialogue and presentations - and by using his “in-the-trenches” co-op knowledge to demonstrate issues and propose solutions.

Co-operative Education (Organization) - Gay Lea Foods Co-operative

Gay Lea Foods Co-operative has made significant efforts to create and promote youth & adult learning opportunities for its member, delegate and director education, as well as employee development. They are truly an organization that facilitates the learning of its members and continuously transforms itself. They believe in developing leadership and understanding of the co-operative model from an early age, and continue to educate their employees, members and directors on the co-operative identity and values through various initiatives.

Click HERE for a short PHOTO SLIDE SHOW of the 2015 Spirit Awards recipients!

2013 Spirit Award Recipients:

In 2013, we created four brand new award categories to reflect our strategic pillars:

  • Harvey Cooper, Advocacy & Government Relations - Individual Award
  • Hannah Renglich, Co-operative Development  - Individual Award
  • Libro Credit Union, Co-operative Education - Organizational Award
  • The Ottawa Co-op Network, Co-operative Engagement - Organizational Award


2012 Spirit Award Recipients:

To celebrate the International Year of Co-operatives, we created four unique award categories to recognize individuals and organizations that embodied the "Spirit of IYC":

  • Florence Carbray, Spirit of IYC - Individual Award
  • Ys Owl MacLure, Spirit of IYC - Small Organization Award
  • The Co-operators, Spirit of IYC - Large Organization (Provincial Impact) Award
  • Sudbury Credit Union,  Spirit of IYC - Large Organization (Local Impact) Award

1999 - 2011 Co-operative Innovator Award

This award recognizes and honours those who have recently contributed to a community through co-operative or credit union initiatives.

  • 1999
    Betty Ann Baker, Niagara Peninsula Community Resources & Niagara Food Innovations, Welland
  • 2000
    Phyllis Winnington-Ingram, Winnington-Ingram & Associates, Bracebridge
  • 2001
    Vineland Growers' Co-operative, Jordan Station
    Aurele St. Jean, Temagami Food Co-operative, Temagami
  • 2002
    Susan O'Neill, Sudbury Regional Credit Union, Copper Cliff
  • 2003
    Jim Judge, Farm Fresh Poultry Co-operative, Harriston
  • 2004
    Options for Homes, Toronto
    Ed Hale, Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, Toronto
  • 2005
    The Renewable Energy Co-operative North Inc., Temagami
  • 2006
    Robert Fairbairn, Espanola and District Credit Union
  • 2007
    The team of Robert P. Sicard, Glen Perschbacher and Bob Peden, UPI Energy LP
  • 2008
    Carolyn Lemon, Common Ground Co-op
  • 2009
    Diane Kocet, The Toronto Electrical Utilities Credit Union
  • 2010
    PenFinancial Credit Union
  • 2011
    West End Food Co-op

1999 - 2011 New Co-operative of Distinction Award

This award recognizes and honours a new co-op, less than five years in business or still in the formative stages, which has made significant social or economic contributions to the community.

  • 2005
    Upper Canada Woods Co-operative Inc, Havelock
  • 2006
    Positive Power Co-operative, Hamilton
  • 2007
    Quinte Organic Farmers Co-op, Picton
  • 2008
    River Village Co-op Market, Teeswater
  • 2009
    Ottawa Valley Food Co-op
  • 2010
    BIAS FREE Co-operative
  • 2011
    AGRIS Solar Co-operative

1999 - 2011 Distinguished Co-operator Award

This award recognizes and honours those who have contributed significantly to the success of co-operatives and/or credit unions across Ontario.

  • 1999
    Harry Joosten, St. Willibrord Credit Union, London
  • 2000
    Blake Halliday, Kingston Credit Union, Kingston
  • 2001
    Bill Chamberlain, North WellingtonCo-operative Services, Harriston
  • 2002
    Nancy Auer, Toronto and District Parent Co-operative Preschools Corporation, Toronto
  • 2003
    Jack Morneau, Credit Union Central of Ontario, Mississauga
  • 2004
    Alexandra Wilson, Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada, Ottawa
  • 2005
    Bert Perriman, Waterloo Oxford Co-operative, Ayr
  • 2006
    Ontario Natural Food Co-op, Etobicoke
    Raymond Savage, la cooperative Regionale de Nipissing Sudbury, Verner
  • 2007
    Charles (Chuck) Desmarais, AGRIS Co-operative
  • 2008
    Gillian Eyre, Shoreline Co-operative Preschool
    Claude Gauthier, GROWMARK, Inc.
  • 2009
    Stuart Steckle, Gay Lea Foods Co-operative
  • 2010
    Clare Hayes, Sunderland Co-op
    Barbara Czarnecki, Windmill Line Co-op
  • 2011
    Ontario Credit Union Charitable Foundation
    Michel Chénier

1999 - 2011 Co-operative Youth Leader Award

This award recognizes young people (30 years of age or younger) who have made significant contributions to co-operatives and/or credit unions.

  • 1999
    Tina Van Loon, St. Willibrord Credit Union, London
  • 2000
    Amanda Yetman, Frank G.McLoughlin Housing Co-operative, Brampton
  • 2001
    Cheryl Rae, University of Guelph
  • 2002
    Beth-Ann Hern, North Wellington Co-operative Services, Harriston
  • 2003
    Krista Wydeven, Ontario Co-operative Association, Guelph
  • 2004
    Sarah Groot, Strathroy
  • 2005
    Rikki-Kay Middleton, Waterloo
  • 2006
    Krista Duynisveld, Ilderton
  • 2007
    Sonja Carrière, Russell
  • 2008
    André Brisebois, Ottawa
  • 2009
    Tanya Gracie
  • 2011
    Céline Carrière

1999 - 2011 Co-operative Youth Mentor Award

This award recognizes the commitment and achievements of individuals or organizations in mentoring youth and supporting their successes as young co-operative leaders.

  • 2000
    GROWMARK, Inc., Mississauga
  • 2002
    Guido Chezzi, Northern Credit Union, Coniston
  • 2003
    Jackie O’Hearn, Frank G. McLoughlin Co-operative Homes, Brampton
  • 2005
    St. Willibrord Credit Union, London
  • 2006
    Craig Steven, Toronto
  • 2007
    Ruth Blackburn (posthumously), Superior Credit Union, Thunder Bay
  • 2008
    Gay Lea Foods Co-operative, Mississauga
  • 2009
    Carlene Frimer, United Communities Credit Union
  • 2010
    Scott Piatkowski, Beechwood Co-operative Homes
  • 2011
    Gary Seveny, former CEO, Alterna Savings

1999 - 2011 Co-operative Social Responsibility Award

This award recognizes organizations within the co-operative sector which have demonstrated socially responsible business practices, and leaership in the implementation and promotion of sustainable social, economic, and/or environmental principles.

  • 2008
    Guelph Campus Co-operative
  • 2009
    La Siembra Co-op
  • 2010
    Caisse populaire des Voyageurs, Inc.
  • 2011
    Science '44 Student Housing Co-operative

Outstanding Contribution to Ontario Co-operative Association

This award recognizes and honours those who have contributed to the success of On Co-op and its membership.

  • 1999
    Cathy Chamberlain, GROWMARK, Inc., Mississauga
  • 2000
    Brian Ashford, Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd., Toronto
  • 2001
    Jim Hoyt, GROWMARK, Inc., Mississauga
  • 2002
    Cathy Lang, C. Lang Consulting, Toronto
  • 2003
    Russ Christianson, Rhythm Communications, Campbellford
  • 2004
    Peter Cameron, Ontario Worker Co-op Federation, Guelph
  • 2005
    Frank Lowery, The Co-operators Group Ltd., Guelph
  • 2006
    Sheena Lucas, Credit Union Central of Ontario, Mississauga
  • 2007
    Larry Sadler, Ontario Natural Food Co-op, Mississauga
  • 2008
    The Honourable Ted McMeekin, Dundas
  • 2009
    Professor Jack Quarter, The Social Economy Centre of OISE/UT
  • 2011
    JJ McMurtry and Brenda Gainer, Program Directors, Co-op Management Certificate Program

2009 - 2011 Special Recognition Award

These awards recognize the co-operative history, leadership or achievements of organizations or individuals in areas beyond the scope of other Spirit Award categories.

  • 2009
    The late Bernie Daly, Ontario Region Manager, GROWMARK, Inc., for a lifetime of co-operative achievement
    CAIC, the Canadian Alternative Investment Co-operative, for innovative financial assistance practices.
  • 2010
    John Ellis, Food Family Credit Union, for a lifetime of co-operative achievement
  • 2011
    the late Penny Bethke, Campus Co-operative Residence
    Dennis Deters, The Co-operators

1999 - 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award

This award recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the Ontario co-operative and/or credit union movement and fostered co-operation among co-operatives. In 2008, this award was combined with the Distinguished Co-operator award category.

  • 1999
    Andrew Hebb, The Co-operators Group Ltd., Guelph,
    Charles Diemer, Woodslee Credit Union Limited, Woodslee
    Jean Stevenson, Organization for ParentParticipation in Childcare and Education, Ontario, Alliston
  • 2000
    John S. Black, Huron Bay Co-operative Inc., Markdale
    Don Ahrens, Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Inc., Chesley
    Dr. Jack Craig, York University, King City
  • 2001
    John Strybosch, St. Willibrord Credit Union, London
    Larry Gordon, Metro Credit Union Ltd., Toronto
    Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto, Toronto
  • 2002
    James Barr, The CUMIS Group, Burlington
    Brian Iler, Iler Campbell Barristers and Solicitors, Toronto
    Mark Goldblatt, Co-operative Housing Federation of Canada, Ottawa
  • 2003
    Stanley Vanden Bosch, Agri-West Corporation, Kemptville
  • 2004
    Donald Altman, Metro Credit Union, Toronto
    William Demerling, Waterloo Oxford Co-op, Elmira
  • 2005
    Lloyd Crawford, Perth County Co-operative Inc., Stratford
    Carol Brown, Organization for Parent Participant in Childcare and Education, Ontario, Toronto
  • 2006
    John Tregunna, North Wellington Co-operative Services, Mount Forest
    Denis Bourdeau, la coopérative Agricole d'Embrun, Embrun
  • 2007
    Leonard Mortson, Simcoe District Co-operative Services, Barrie

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