Co-operatives Build a Better World

Shining the Spotlight on Co-ops in Canada’s Arctic

Co-op Week is a national celebration of co-operatives and credit unions which takes place across Canada during the third week of October each year. The Flag Shop has many friends in the co-op sector, a world which opened up to us in a very big way back in 2011. In the weeks leading up to Co-op Week 2017, we will be highlighting some of our co-op and credit union clients.

Our President, Susan Braverman, has been on the board of Common Thread Co-op for the last several years and understands the power and the human impact of co-operatives. It was through her ties with Common Thread Co-op that she was first introduced to Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC), in 2011. In 2012, the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives (IYC), The Flag Shop supplied co-op enterprises with all they needed to make a big splash for the year – everything from banners and flags, to pop-up tents, pennant strings, zoomflags, lapel pins, decals and tablecloths. Susan said, “This was the beginning of a deeper understanding of the real beauty of the co-op business model: a way of doing business that brings lasting human impact, where co-op members are actually owners who set the direction of the business.” She added, “Using this model, ordinary people advance themselves both socially and economically and, without a doubt, we are thrilled to be a part of something that is driven by a deep sense of community and co-operation.”

Through the CMC, The Flag Shop connected with co-ops and credit unions across Canada, including Arctic Co-operatives Limited (Arctic Co-ops). Arctic Co-ops is a co-operative service federation, which is owned and democratically controlled by 32 community-owned co-operative businesses across Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon. The primary role of the federation is to co-ordinate the resources and combined purchasing power of these multi-purpose co-ops as they work together to provide essential services in their own communities. These services include retail grocery stores, hotels, fuel distribution, arts and crafts marketing, cable television, and property rentals.

Co-op celebrations reaching Arctic communities throughout Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and Yukon.

Co-operatives in Canada’s Arctic share a vision of people working together to improve their well-being. These co-ops put into practice their principles such as “Concern for Community”, “Member Economic Participation” and “Voluntary and Open Membership”, giving ordinary people a voice to be heard and a sense of belonging. In many cases, these co-ops are the heart and soul of the communities they serve. They put people before profit and reinvest in their communities. This is the power of the co-operative: members share everything including ownership, decision-making and profits.

Thriving since 1959, even in the face of many obstacles, such as harsh weather conditions, isolation, and huge changes to their traditional ways of life, the Co-op System in the Arctic has endured, showing the remarkable spirit of the people who call the Arctic their home. Co-ops are about people who join together for social and economic advancement, to build communities, and to help themselves by helping each other.

With all this in mind, is it any wonder at all that we would take such joy in helping co-ops in the Arctic celebrate Co-op Week for the past five years? As we gear up for Co-op Week, which is only a few weeks away, we wish the very best to Arctic Co-ops and to the 32 member co-ops who depend on you every day.

These products are made by The Flag Shop for Arctic Co-ops to promote and celebrate Co-op Week, 2017.

For more information about Co-op Week, please visit the Co-ops and Mutuals Canada website.

The Flag Shop is the source for official Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada and ICA Co-op Marque branded products! For more information, please visit:

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