Review: CMC Congress 2018

Published on June 25, 2018 by Will McGlynn

June 25, Victoria, B.C. – Michele Aasgard (Executive Director), represented the ACCA at last week’s Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC) annual Congress in Victoria, British Columbia. Alongside networking with co-operatives from across Canada such as Yellowknife Direct Charge Co-operative, it was great to see several Alberta Co-operatives in attendance including the Alberta Federation of REAs.

Each speaker and session had a variety of focuses, with common themes exploring how the co-op sector can have huge impact by collectively working together; and how a Co-ops strength in collaboration is a unique value proposition that can be central to Canada’s Agenda 2030 commitments.

Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK explored the importance of embedding values and principles in the DNA of co-ops. Kristina Groves, Olympic long-track speed skating medalist and Alberta Solar Co-op ambassador; shared how failure is an important part of development and how Alberta Solar Co-op is “not trying to win the energy market but trying to change it”.

CEO Panel with FCL Ltd., Desjardins Group, Modo and Coastal Credit Union

One of the standout highlights from the 2018 Congress included a panel of Canadian co-op CEO’s, moderated by the excellent Scott Banda (CEO of Federated Co-operatives Ltd.). The panel divulged important lessons around “teaching skills, not attitudes”, alluding to the omnipresent need for co-ops to not only raise awareness of Co-operatives, but instill the skills in their organizations which can create a co-operative attitude throughout society. There were also key messages around sustainability and how “chasing the flavor of the day is not sustainable”, with Modo Car Co-op CEO expanding upon this message by highlighting the important role Co-ops who put “purpose before strategy, and strategy before structure” can play in the wider economy.

As well as participating in a tour of rural Co-ops in Victoria and being an active member in a nationwide Co-op association executive committee, it was fantastic to see the future of the Co-operative workforce in attendance, with a strong contingent of Under 35’s all working on exciting projects at each of their Co-ops.

Emerging Young Leaders recognized by CMC’s Emerging Cooperators Committee

Ultimately, it was one of the best congresses CMC have held, and I am looking forward to finalizing the details for ACCA’s own conference taking place on October 17 & 18 in Stony Plain, AB. I have returned to Alberta this week with renewed vigor to be true to Co-operative principles, leverage the advantage a Co-operative model provides and clearly communicate the ACCA’s value proposition and mandate in a changing world to continue to support the Alberta Co-operative community.


Membership, media or sponsorship inquiries can be directed to Will McGlynn, ACCA Communications Officer (