Workshop explains why to choose co-ops

The Upper Columbia Bo-op Council is hosting a workshop in Fernie on January 22.

The Upper Columbia Co-op Council is hosting a workshop in Fernie on January 22.

The Upper Columbia Co-op Council is hosting a workshop in Fernie on January 22.

The Upper Columbia Co-op Council (UCCC) is teaming up with the Basin Business Advisors’ Program this winter to spread the word about why the co-op businesses model is known as the Swiss Army Knife of local economies.

The UCCC will host a number of Co-ops 101 luncheons throughout the East Kootenay in January, to explore how co-ops can ignite business ideas for entrepreneurs, artists and artisans, retiring business owners, graduating students, health care professionals, farmers, consultants, car users, childcare workers and others. For participants in Golden and Invermere who attended last February’s Co-ops 101 sessions, the UCCC will facilitate conversations on specific co-op projects.

Community leaders and those already involved in the co-op/credit union sector are invited to find out more about the benefits and mechanics of co-operation.

Participants in the Co-ops 101 sessions will build an understanding of the basic structure, principles and values of co-operative enterprises, while learning about examples of thriving co-ops in a variety of sectors across the province– from the large scale international operations of Best Western Hotels, to Shift, the four-member bicycle delivery worker co-op in Vancouver.

Co-op businesses creatively generate employment while enhancing economic and community development in the area. Co-op enterprises thrive in times of economic and social challenges, bridge the gap between business and people, and enable individuals to do together what they could never do alone. Their adaptability to virtually any business sector has earned them the “Swiss Army Knife” comparison, and the engaged network of co-ops and credit unions in Southeastern B.C. provides a built-in support system for co-op entrepreneurs.

Want to learn more? The UCCC will be in Kimberley, Fernie, Invermere and Golden during the third week of January:

Kimberley – Tuesday, January 21, 11 AM- 2 PM, The Green Door

Fernie – Wednesday, January 22, 11 AM- 2 PM, Park Place Lodge

Invermere – Thursday, January 23, 11 AM-2 PM, College of the Rockies

Golden – Friday, January 24, 11 AM-2 PM, The Island Restaurant

Pre-registration is required, by emailing The workshops and lunches are free.

Please visit for more information on the UCCC, and details on the sessions.