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March 4, 2011

Trico Charitable Foundation recently announced three major initiatives to encourage and promote social entrepreneurship in Calgary and across Canada.

The Foundation will provide $500 thousand over five years as the Founding Partner of the Canadian Youth Business Foundation's "socialpreneur" Alberta initiative. This program will assist young, socially-minded Alberta entrepreneurs in the establishment of new businesses.

The Foundation has also launched an Enterprising Non-Profits (enp) program in Alberta. enp-Alberta's objective will be to empower Alberta non-profit organizations to enhance their sustainability by providing grants and technical assistance in support of the development and growth of their social enterprise.

The third initiative is the establishment of the Trico Charitable Foundation Social EnterPrize. Every year two individuals and two organizations working in social enterprise in the non-profit sector will be awarded a cash prize to assist them in personal and organizational development and the advancement of their important work.

February 2, 2011

Three years ago, on January 29, 2008, Calgary launched a 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness.

The goal: By January 29, 2018, an individual or family will stay in an emergency shelter or sleep outside for no longer than one week before moving into a safe, decent, affordable home with the support needed to sustain it. This goal is within reach.

Watch this video to learn more about the Plan's history, progress made and next steps.

Three Years In: Ending Homelessness in Calgary from Kaelen Ohm on Vimeo.

Three Years In: Calgary's 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness from Kaelen Ohm on Vimeo.

January 20, 2010

Going Local

Author and activist Michael Shuman with REAP Calgary’s Stephanie Jackman at Thrive’s “Going Local” event yesterday

It was a packed house at Knox United Church yesterday, as hundreds of engaged Calgarians turned up to hear the thoughts of American author and small business activist Michael Shuman.

Brought in by Thrive – Calgary’s Community Economic Development Network, the author of The Small-Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition had plenty to say about this ever-expanding boom-and-bust town of ours, and my, oh my, did people ever want to hear it.

The fact is, many Calgarians are sitting up and taking notice of the reality that Cowtown isn't the most conducive place for a small business to set up shop, given our penchant for big box buying and the frequency in which we turn a blind eye when we see an independent retailer – or an entire street of independent retailers, for that matter – struggling to stay afloat.

No skin off our backs to see 17 Ave. S.W. lose store after store – it’s back to the mega mall we go.

We tell ourselves that in the end, we’re just being price-conscious consumers. And that economies of scale, offshore production and big box shopping are the keys to low prices. Aren’t they?

Not so, according to Shuman, who gave hundreds of examples of international communities now thriving in response to their support of locally owned businesses. Sure, the cost to produce those imported goods might be lower, but the money spent on transport alone is astronomical.

Now imagine what would happen if each of us re-directed just 10 percent of our spending on import goods towards the local economy?

You can bet we’d see more jobs, income and wealth in our community, as well as engaged, self-reliant citizens capable of making both global and locally minded decisions. Less vulnerable to a global economic meltdown, less focused on attracting outside businesses to our city and more intent on keeping the ones we do have going.

Call it a groundswell now, but when oil rises to $150 a barrel again, you can bet it’ll be more like a mainstream movement. And perhaps when it happens, former meccas of foot traffic like 17 Ave. will be able to support independent retailers again after all.

December 30, 2009

Alberta Community and Cooperative Association (ACCA) Newsletter

The mission of the Alberta Community & Co-operative Association (ACCA) is to strengthen Alberta communities through co-operative and agricultural awareness, training and development.

ACCA serves co-operatives, credit unions and agricultural organizations by providing co-op development resources, youth and adult education, rural development, administrative services, conference coordination and financial management.

ACCA News and Views will be published at the beginning of each month. Please submit news items or information you would like to share to acca (at)

View the ACCA Newsletters

September 29, 2009

BALTA’s Research Program – 2006‐2011

What is BALTA?

BALTA (The BC-Alberta Social Economy Research Alliance) is a regional coalition of community based organizations involved in the social economy and academic institutions with an interest in research and studies on the social economy. It was created in 2006 to conduct research that is directed towards better understanding and strengthening the social economy in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada. BALTA is receiving funding from the Social Economy Suite program of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of CANADA (SSHRC) for a five year rogram of research.

BALTA’s research is broadly focused in four program areas/teams:

  • Social Economy Research Cluster (SERC) 1 – The Social Economy in Human Services and Housing

  • Social Economy Research Cluster (SERC) 2 – The Social Economy in Rural Revitalization & Development

  • Social Economy Research Cluster (SERC) 3 – Analysis, Evaluation, and Infrastructure

  • Mapping of the Overall Social Economy in Alberta and British Columbia

Each SERC includes community based practitioners and academic researchers. Individual projects are generally led by one or two SERC members and frequently employ students as research assistants. The thematic division between SERCs is in practice somewhat arbitrary. Research projects initiated by one

team or another often cross over into areas relevant to other SERCs. We also have several projects that were designed specifically as “cross‐cutting” projects linked to more than one SERC.

List of BALTA Projects to June 2009

(Completion Date or Anticipated Completion Date in Brackets)

SERC 1 Projects – The Social Economy in Human Services and Housing

  • A1–2007 Innovative Use of Housing Co‐operative Assets (Completed 2008)

  • A2–2007 Co‐operative Models of Social Care (2008 for initial reports; 2010)

  • A3–2007 The Social Purpose Capital Market in B.C. and Alberta (Completed 2009)

  • A4–2007 Role of Faith Based Organizations in the Social Economy (Mid‐2009)

  • A5‐2008 Affordable Housing Assessment and Strategic Planning, Kootenay Region (Completed Mid‐2009, but further follow‐up occurring)

  • A6‐2009 The Fraser Valley Social Economy with Reference to Affordable Housing Provision and Related Support Services (Mid‐2010)

  • A7‐2009 Co‐op Housing Futures: A Spatial Design Research Approach (Spring 2010)

  • A8‐2009 Creating a Database of Social Enterprise Capital Providers in BC and Alberta (End 2009/ early 2010)

  • A9‐2009 Affordable Housing Initiative: Sustainable Management of Housing by Not‐for‐Profits and Co‐ops (End 2009/ early 2010)

  • A10‐2009 Role of Faith Based Organizations in the Social Economy – Phase 2 ‐ The Role of Catholic Religious Orders and the Mennonite Community (Mid‐2010)

SERC 2 Projects – The Social Economy in Rural Revitalization & Development

  • B1–2007 Understanding the Role of the Social Economy in Advancing Rural Revitalization and Development (Ended 2007)

  • B2–2007 Sustainability and the Social Economy (Completed 2009)

  • B3‐2007 Sustainability, Heritage Conservation and Sheltering the Social Economy (Completed 2009)

  • B4‐2008 Social Economy Case Studies in Rural Alberta (Mid‐2009)

  • B5‐2008 Farmers’ Markets as Social Economy Drivers of Local Food Systems (Mid‐2009)

  • B6‐2009 Prospects for Socializing the Green Economy: The Case of Renewable Energy (Fall 2010)

  • B7‐2009 Farmers’ Markets as Social Economy Drivers of Local Food Systems: Phase 2 (Early 2010)

SERC 3 Projects – Analysis, Evaluation, and Infrastructure

  • C1–2006 Summary of Quebec Polices that are Supportive of the Social Economy (Completed 2006)

  • C2–2006 Nova Scotia Co‐operative Development System Case Study – Phase One (Completed 2007)

  • C4–2007 Preliminary Profile of the Size and Scope of the Social Economy in Alberta and BC (Completed 2008)

  • C5–2007 From Social Economy to Solidarity Economy: Changing Perspectives in a Volatile World – Phase 1 (Completed 2007)

  • C6–20071 From Social Economy to Solidarity Economy: Changing Perspectives in a Volatile World – Phase 2 (Completed 2007)

  • C7–2007 Nova Scotia Co‐operative Development System Case Study – Phase 2: Analysis of Application in BC and Alberta (Completed 2009)

  • C9–2007 CED and Social Economy Policy Inventory in BC and Alberta – Phase 1 (Late 2009?)

  • C10–2007 Municipal Government Support of the Social Economy Sector (Fall 2009)

  • C11–2007 Credit Unions as a Financing Source for the Social Economy (Completed 2008)

  • C13‐2008 Return on Taxpayer Investment for Training Businesses (Completed 2009)

  • C14‐2008 Leadership in the Community Sector: Understanding the Challenges, Competencies and Needs of Practitioners in the Social Economy (Completed 2009)

  • C15‐2008 Taking Social Embeddedness into Account in Monitoring the State of the Social Economy and Community Resilience (Fall 2009?)

  • C16‐2009 Survey of Social Enterprises in Alberta and British Columbia (Mid‐2010)

  • C17‐2009 Building a Supportive Environment for Social Enterprise: Synthesis of SERC 3 Research (Late 2009)

  • C18‐2009 Procurement Policy & Market Development for the Social Economy: Expanding Market Opportunities for Social Enterprise, Co‐operatives, and Other Social Economy Businesses (Late 2009)

Cross‐Cutting Projects

  • D1–2006 Preliminary General Literature Reviews for Three BALTA SERCs (Completed 2007)

  • D2–2007 Leveraging Social Ownership of Proprietary Trademarks related to the Golden Mussel as a Base for Expansion of Social Enterprise in Coastal B.C. Aboriginal Communities (Late 2009/Early 2010)

  • D3‐2008 Land Tenure and the Social Economy (Completed 2009)

  • D4‐2008 Sustainable Infrastructure for the Social Economy: Cluster‐based Social Enterprise Models (Completed 2009)

  • D5‐2008 Credit Unions as a Financing Source for the Social Economy and Rural Community Re‐investment (Completed 2009)

  • D6‐2009 Foundations for the Social Economy (Initial outputs Fall 2009)

  • D7‐2009 Land Tenure and the Social Economy – Phase 2 (2010)

  • D8‐2009 Credit Unions and Rural Reinvestment – Phase B (2010)

  • D10‐2009 Advancing the Social Economy Through Networks and Collaboration (2010)

Mapping Projects

  • E1–2006 Mapping Framework Development (Completed 2007)

  • E2‐2007 Mapping the Social Economy in Alberta and B.C. – Phase 1 (Completed 2009)

  • E3‐2008 Mapping the Social Economy from the Ground Up: A Neighbourhood Case Study (Fall 2009)

  • E4‐2009 BALTA Mapping 2009‐2010 – Survey, Survey Analysis, and Data Archiving (2011)

BALTA gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of CANADA (SSHRC).

March 24, 2009

Report on Perceptions of Global Poverty in Alberta Released

Global poverty is a huge and complex issue! Garnering the support of the general public is a challenge in light of the myriad of social issues present on a daily basis. Thus, the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation (ACGC), in partnership with the Wild Rose Foundation and Angus Reid Strategies has conducted a province-wide and Canada-wide survey which has examined the public perceptions of global poverty and the role that Albertans (and Canadians) play in addressing this important issue.

Among the report's findings...

  • Nine-in-ten Canadians (89%) say they believe Canada should be addressing global poverty in some way, with three-in-ten (29%) actually placing global poverty as a higher priority than local issues.

  • When Canadians are asked to rank a list of 14 global issues, almost half of respondents (48%) say global poverty-in terms of hunger and clean water-is important for them.

  • One-third of Canadians (34%) say they make an effort to get informed about global poverty, 18 per cent talk about this issue with others, 13 per cent report having made a donation, and four per cent have written a letter to politicians.

  • Almost four-in-five Albertans (79%) believe poverty is more prevalent now in both the world and Canada. Three-in-five respondents (61%) report that poverty is increasing in their municipality, and 74 per cent feel it is growing in the province.

  • Albertans believe that providing poverty reduction support to developing countries would bring benefits. Almost two-thirds (64%) claim action to deal with global poverty would contribute to global political stability, and at least half of respondents think it would prevent the growth of breeding grounds for terrorism (55%), and ultimately create a stronger economy at home by creating stronger economies overseas (50%).

For more information and to download detailed results click here>>

March 23, 2009

The Alberta Community and Co-operative Association (ACCA) is pleased to present the CED Toolkit which was developed by ACCA for use by Alberta Community Economic Development Network Cooperative (AB CEDNet) members and other practitioners in the CED sector.

ACCA developed the toolkit in order to provide practitioners and those communities engaged in community economic development with a set of resources, tools and strategies to help facilitate effective best practices and sustainable initiatives within communities.

ACCA is proud to support the sector and engages in community economic development in a variety of programs such as the Rural Co-operative Outreach and Development program and other co-op development activities.

ACCA appreciated the partnership on this project with AB CEDNet and looks forward to future partnerships with them as we undertake new endeavours.

Download the Toolkit here>>

Visit the ACCA website>>

March 9, 2009

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development Introduces Rural Community Adaptation Grant Program


The Rural Community Adaptation Grant Program (RCAP) consists of $15 million new funding to increase the capacity of rural communities and regions to transition and adapt, resulting in greater resilience and new, more diverse economic opportunities. This grant is part of a Government of Alberta (GOA) Community Adaptation and Transition Initiative to support communities. Overall funding for the Initiative was made available through the National Community Development Trust.

Eligible Activities

The program will support eligible projects that are community based and focus on creative community driven actions and solutions that include at least one of the following project themes:

  • Assessment and Planning - projects that engage a community to take stock of its current situation and plan for an adaptation or transition;
  • Capacity Building - projects that increase community knowledge, skills and training through building youth, enhancing community leadership, or strengthening community organizations;
  • Rural economic development - community led economic development projects or strategies such as entrepreneurship encouragement, regional cluster development, the innovative use of technology, value added product development, other economic infrastructure, and economic diversification;
  • Unique community solutions - other adaptation activities driven by rural communities and regions that can demonstrate a lasting impact that might not otherwise be included in the above.

Eligible Applicants

  • Rural communities in transition represented by local governments (i.e. local authorities as defined in the Municipal Government Act that are legal entities, bands as defined in the Indian Act, or Métis settlements) that are in or facing an imminent economic hardship caused by global economic volatility, a significant environmental event, or circumstances that require a new direction for the community may apply.
  • Incorporated community organizations (e.g. not-for-profit organizations, industry associations, or regional organizations) that are collaborating with a rural community are also eligible to apply for program funding.

Funding Levels

  • The program will fund up to 90% of eligible non-capital project costs and up to 50% of eligible capital costs, to a maximum of $500,000 per project.

Successful applicants will be required to cost-share the project. The minimum grant request considered will be $10,000 per project.Program funding will expire on March 31, 2011 or earlier depending on availability of funds.

Application and Selection Process

Applicants must complete an application form and submit a project proposal to Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) where it will be screened for meeting program requirements and criteria. Not all projects will be approved. Only those best meeting the criteria will be considered.

Visit the Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development website for application information. 

March 2, 2009

The Institute for Nonprofit Studies (INS) at Mount Royal College has recently announced the launch of its 2009 - 2010 Research Program. In part, the INS was established to address the lack of research into the nonprofit sector. The INS has a mandate to engage in and support research activities addressing issues within Canada's nonprofit sector. To do this, the INS invites applied research proposals from Mount Royal and other post-secondary institutions across Canada.

The Institute for Nonprofit Studies is looking to provide funding support to approximately five research projects annually. Funding has been made available through the endowment held by the INS.

The 2009-2010 Research Program brochure provides complete details concerning the applied research program priorities and application guidelines.

Or visit the INS website for more information.

January 27, 2009

Communities Wanted

The Alberta Community and Co-operative Association (ACCA) seeks rural communities that are interested in exploring the potential for co-operative innovation. With funding from the Rural Alberta Development Fund, ACCA has launched a Rural Co-operative Outreach and Development Project. The project enables rural Alberta communities to identify ways to apply the versatile cooperative model to their situation.

"Co-operatives are vehicles of mutual self-help" says ACCA's Director of Co-operative Development, Richard Stringham. "In a nutshell, by joining together in a cooperative, a group can achieve something that group members individually cannot achieve on their own."

ACCA is looking for communities that are interested in the potential to translate their needs to a co-operative solution. ACCA will work with a group of interested community stakeholders to help them understand the cooperative nature and the range of co-operative possibilities. For those groups that express further interest, ACCA will work with them to identify co-operative solutions for their community. If the community chooses to develop a co-operative, ACCA will also help to link them to services to complete their co-operative development. Two communities will be selected as a part of a further initiative that provides the funding for the full range of co-operative development stages through to implementation.

To express an interest in engaging in this process, or for more information, contact:

Richard Stringham, PAg, Director of Co-operative Development

Alberta Community and Co-operative Association

Telephone: (780) 963-3766 Fax: (780) 968-6733

#104, 5013 - 48 Street Stony Plain, AB T7Z 1L8


or download the full release>>

December 18, 2008

The Career Focus Internship Program:

Deadline for Interns and Hosts has been Extended

Training Future Co-op Leaders...Today

The Career Focus Internship Program provides co-op organizations with qualified interns while building the skills and knowledge of a new generation of leaders. The program is designed to provide a direct service to co-operatives by finding skilled students to help fill organizational needs. By hosting interns, co-operatives can gain assistance with specific projects of importance to their operations while building the future of the co-operative movement.

Need for New Leadership 

Have you envisioned who will succeed your organization's board and staff positions over the next ten years? The need for new leadership in the co-operative sector has never been so great. We need people who possess not only the necessary skills to perform their jobs, but also the vision and dedication to build a movement. In order to thrive, we must educate young people about co-operative models and values as a viable alternative to traditional business models. How can young people today learn about co-operatives? By hosting an intern, your co-op does more than meet project needs; you are building the skills and experience of the next generation of the co-operative movement.

The Co-operative Career Internship Program aims to:

  • Develop skilled and visionary leaders for the co-operative movement

  • Promote awareness and increased knowledge of the co-operative sector in young people

  • Encourage youth career development in the co-operative sector in Canada

Why Host an Intern?

Access Young, Skilled Talent: Experienced, visionary students can add value to your operations and management.

  • Meet Personnel Needs: Complete special projects or specific assignments with competent short-term employees.

  • Capitalize on Cost Effective Recruitment and Training: Assess new recruits without long-term commitment. Interns employed by host organizations upon completion of program require less training.

  • Strengthen the Co-operative Movement: Develop future leaders of the co-operative sector to ensure growth of the movement.

  • Be a Leader in Co-operative Youth Development: Gain satisfaction and acknowledgement of being a leader in developing the future co-operative generation.


It offers you:

  • A challenging work placement of at least 12 weeks

  • A personal mentor in your host organization

  • Educational activities

  • Job search assistance in the co-operative sector following your placement

I would like to invite you to participate in the Co-operative Career Internship program, 2008/2009. Applications will be reviewed on a project by project basis.

The internships are targeted to start in January 2009. If you have any questions please contact Dianne Schoepp, Project Manager, at 780-963-3766, x 223 or via email at, or visit for more information.

November 27, 2008

Grant program will help rural communities adapt and diversify

Funding will support new and diverse economic opportunities

Edmonton -- Almost $20 million over the next three years will be available to rural communities and regions to help them address economic, environmental and social challenges.

"While Alberta's economy remains strong, communities that rely on agriculture and forestry are experiencing some challenging times,'' said Agriculture and Rural Development Minister George Groeneveld. "This new funding will support community-based projects that help increase skills, encourage entrepreneurship, innovation and promote economic diversification through valued-added initiatives.''

The Rural Community Adaptation Grant Program is designed to assist rural communities that are experiencing or are facing future hardship caused by global economic volatility, a significant environmental event, or reliance on a single industry or employer.

The three-year, $15-million program will support community-based projects that result in more diverse economic opportunities. Grant amounts range from $10,000 to a maximum of $500,000 per project. Another $4.9 million in grant funding will also go directly to 12 rural-based Regional Economic Development Alliances across Alberta to support community and regionally led transition projects.

"REDAs are the foundation for regional economic development in Alberta," said Iris Evans, Minister of Finance and Enterprise. "By ensuring they have the tools and resources they need to succeed, Alberta's economy as a whole will benefit and evolve."

The funding is part of the Government of Alberta's Community and Regional Adaptation and Transition initiative to help communities and regions adjust to changing economic conditions. Communities interested in accessing the Rural Community and Adaptation Grant Program can contact Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development's Rural Development Division at 780-427-2409, email or visit

Overall funding for the initiative was made available through The Government of Canada's $1-billion Community Development Trust to help provinces and territories assist communities, organizations and workers move toward greater economic self-reliance. Community Development Trust funding supports two priorities of the Government of Alberta:

  • enhancing value-added activity, increasing innovation and improving the long-term sustainability of Alberta's economy; and

  • promoting strong and vibrant communities and reducing crime so Albertans feel safe.

Media inquiries may be directed to: 

Ron Popek

Rural Development Division

Agriculture and Rural Development


Jason Maloney


Finance and Enterprise


To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000

Alberta Community and Co-operative Association's Co-operative Career Internship Program


A valuable investment opportunity at a low cost

HELP OTHERS & Help Yourself

As an employer in this program you get...

  • A salary-supplemented youth intern for 12 weeks

  • A skilled and enthusiastic person to complete special projects that you might have put on hold.

  • The opportunity to assist with the career development and co-op knowledge of a young person through mentoring and guidance.

You will be required to pay the prevailing wage for the occupation, but the Alberta Community and Cooperative Association will supplement $8.40 per hour over the 12 week period based on a 35 hour work week. As a The host employer you will be expected to cover the total amount of mandatory employment related costs.

For more information download the employer's brochure>>

or contact:

Dianne Schoepp

Project Manager

Alberta Community and

Co-operative Association

#104, 5013-48th St.

Stony Plain, Alberta

T7Z 1L8

Ph: 780-963-3766

Cell: 780-399-2091

Fax: 780-968-6733


October 21, 2008

New Publication...

Advancing Community Economic Development for Calgary: Open the door to the possibilities…

Many organizations, individuals, and businesses are practicing

Community Economic Development (CED) and don't even know

it. Others are in a position to be involved and will gain awareness of opportunities. The purpose of this booklet is to educate more people about CED and encourage more creative CED initiatives in our community.

Included are examples of CED initiatives: organizational profiles, definitions and terminology, and individuals success stories.

Click here to download the booklet>>

July 14, 2008

CED Certificate Program Now Offered in Cochrane!

This educational program is a unique opportunity for professional development in Community Economic Development. While there are CED programs already available in Alberta, this one is different in that it addresses CED from a social service/social enterprise perspective (rather than a business perspective). This program also includes a module on affordable housing. It nicely complements what is already offered in Alberta and would serve to provide a wider perspective when dealing with community issues.

In order to obtain the certificate, participants must complete 8 courses between September 08 and June 09. Each course consists of 2 days in the classroom and 2 days of homework outside the classroom. Class time for each course is scheduled on a Friday and a Saturday. The cost for each course is $420 and includes all course materials. For those interested in pursuing the certificate program, there is a $25 registration fee. The total cost is $3385. Applications for individual courses will be considered, but priority is given to those who wish to commit to completing the certificate program.

Click here to download the registration form which provides details about each course. Corrine Burns is the Program Liaison for Alberta, and registrations are being processed through Cochrane FCSS. If you have questions or are interested in registering for the course, please contact:

Corinne Burns, Housing Coordinator 

Cochrane FCSS 

Phone: 403-851-2261 

Fax: 403-851-2260 


Jun 9, 2008

Click here to read the May edition of CCEDNet's Alberta CED newsletter.

This month celebrates our national conference, profiles community based energy co-ops, and features a tool to build evaluation capacity, along with all the latest news from the local and national CED scene. Enjoy.