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. 2013 marks the 13th anniversary of the Spirit Awards!

The 2013 Awards were presented in person on October 16th in Milton, Ontario during the Co-op Week Conference and Celebration. On Co-op congratulated: 

  • 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.


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 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.

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.


Record-breaking Conference and Roundtable series supported by Trillium Grant

Oct 19, 2014 - Made possible by funding from an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant, a project of the Ontario government, On Co-op has launched a ground-breaking series of 30 community roundtables being held from September - November, 2013 and 6 regional conferences…

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