WELLINGTON, PEI – July 5, 2012 – The Conseil de développement coopératif de l’Î.-P.-É. (CDC) has just hired a co-ordinator to plan a whole series of special events, to be held mostly in the Evangeline region between now and the end of 2012, to mark the International Year of Co-operatives.
Thanks to a contribution from the Employment Development Agency, Sandra Jeffery of Richmond was hired for a 14-week period. She’ll work out of the Wellington offices of RDÉE Prince Edward Island Inc., the umbrella organization of the CDC.
“The Evangeline area of course has the reputation of being the World Capital of Co-operatives since we have more co-ops here per capita than anywhere else in the world. So of course, we absolutely have to mark in a very special way this International Year of Co-operatives,” says Velma Robichaud, co-op development officer with the RDÉE. “We are a bit late getting started with our activities, mostly because of budget cuts at the national level. We’ll therefore have to stretch each and every dollar from the small budget that we’ve received for these celebrations.”
The co-ordinator will collaborate closely with Wellington Co-operative, Evangeline-Central Credit Union and The Co-operators Insurance to plan and organize the “Party Under The Tent” that will be held Aug. 25 in the co-op store’s parking lot.
Next, Jeffery will plan a host of events for Co-op Week, which is slated for Oct. 14-20. She is hoping to be able to organize a special co-op party, possibly like the ones the CDC used to organize several years back. All local co-ops will also be encouraged to organize a special event particularly during this week but also throughout the year.
The CDC would also like to organize a small play this fall to emphasize the value of co-ops.
Very soon, the co-ordinator will organize a little monthly contest inviting locals to answer the trivia question of the month about the local co-op movement. People will simply fill in their name, their contact information and their answer on a ballot and drop it in a box or send it to the co-ordinator by email. Draw prizes would be gift certificates worth $100 to $200 at one of the local co-op businesses.
Jeffery added she will try to bring a co-op presence or visibility at the various festivals and special ceremonies being organized over the next several months in the area.
“In addition to all of that, we’ve developed a great relationship with our Anglophone counterpart, the PEI Co-operative Council, with whom we held a launching ceremony for the year in Charlottetown back in January,” said Robichaud. “It is therefore possible that we will jointly organize some other event between now and the end of the year.”
The co-ordinator said details of each event will be made public whenever they have been finalized. She hopes that people will attend these events in large numbers and mostly that they will realize the immense value of the co-op movement in their daily lives.
Another activity that is already begun is the publication of a special page in the French newspaper La Voix Acadienne to focus on one of the local co-ops each month.
Funding for the organization of these activities comes from a small special grant received from the Co-operative Development Initiative.
CUTLINE: Velma Robichaud, co-op development officer with RDÉE Prince Edward Island Inc., discusses the events planned to mark International Year of Co-operatives in the Evangeline area with Sandra Jeffery, special events co-ordinator of the year, who has been hired for 12 weeks.
For more information:
Co-op development officer
RDÉE Prince Edward Island Inc.
Special events co-ordinator
International Year of Co-operatives