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Co-operative Spirit Awards

Pictured here, the award recipients of the 16th Co-operative Spirit Award Ceremony, during the "P6" Conference & Celebration, held at theTeatro Conference & Event Centre in Milton, ON on October 28th, 2015 (from left to right): John McFarlane, TeamWerks Co-operative; Peggy Baillie, Eat Local Sudbury; Ian Shewan, Lerners LLP; Ruth Maleki, Gay Lea Foods; Quintin Fox, Gay Lea Foods; Mark Hamel, Gay Lea Foods; Doug Dowhos, TeamWerks Co-operative. 

The Co-operative Spirit  Awards was established in 1999 by On Co-op to recognize the incredible contributions made by Ontario co‑operatives and individuals to the economic and social well-being of our province.

2017 Spirit Awards

The 17th Co-operative Spirit Awards will be held on Thursday, September 28, 2017 at the Courtyard by Marriott, Downtown Toronto. The awards will take place at a luncheon, to be held the afternoon of the Provincial Co-op Conference. 

Stay tuned for more details on the Spirit Awards and this exciting event in the future!

2015 Award Categories

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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 (i.e., MOMO).

2. Individuals must be nominated by an organization from any of the above categories in order to be considered eligible.

3. Individuals and organizations may also self-nominate. 

4. The number and type of awards to be presented will be determined by On Co‑op or its appointed Selection Panel.

5. 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 2017 **
  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 during each nomination 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 (online or printable version) from the 'Downloads' section at right.



As of October 2015, 122 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.


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On Co-op is a trade association and capacity-building organization that develops, engages, educates and advocates for Ontario's co-op businesses.