May 2011

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In this Issue

Profile: Rockin' the Fields of Minnedosa Cooperative

Approximately 2000 music fans will flock to Rockin’ the Fields of Minnedosa (RFM) music festival this summer to see headline acts like Big Sugar and John Cochrane. While the music is captivating the crowd, the real action will be occurring backstage, where over 200 Minnedosans come together each year to pull this festival together. Although the vast majority of festival-goers come from far and wide, the RFM is organized by the community and for the community of Minnedosa, MB.

Since 2004, this music festival has been held every August long weekend on the scenic shores of Lake Minnedosa, and has been organized by the RFM non-profit consumer cooperative. The RFM cooperative rose from the ashes of two for-profit music festivals in Minnedosa that went “financially and spiritually bankrupt.” After the private sector had twice disappointed the community, a local group of dedicated music fans decided to take matters into their own hands. To ensure that the new Rockin’ the Fields Festival would avoid the fate of its predecessors, its founders adopted a cooperative model and encouraged Minnedosans to take ownership of the Festival. The benefits have been enormous.

Although hard statistics are lacking, RFM volunteer Grant Butler has other means of estimating the Festival’s wider economic impact. In terms of sales, “the Festival weekend is equal to the Christmas weekend for the Liquor Mart,” says Grant. The local Co-op service station and grocery store also have their busiest weekends of the year during the Festival. It is clear that the RFM means more to this community of 2500 than just an opportunity to hear great music.

Spreading the economic benefits of the Festival throughout the community is a cornerstone of the RFM’s mission. The close relationships that the RFM has developed with local service clubs are key to achieving this goal. Groups such as the Minnedosa Lions, the Little River Game and Fish Association, and the Minnedosa Rugby club “have been onboard since day one,” says Grant. These are win-win relationships. The service clubs provide dozens of volunteers sell raffle tickets and in return, RFM has shared $125,000 in liquor sale profits with these organizations over the last seven years. This profit sharing arrangement ensures that the outside dollars that enter Minnedosa are circulated through the community to help fund recreation and educational programs for local residents.

If stimulating local businesses, helping community groups, and hearing great music is your idea of a rockin’ good time, then head to the fields of Minnedosa this August long weekend and become a part of this great CED success story.

To learn more, visit their website at or email

Canadian CED Network News

New Social Enterprise Tax Credit in Manitoba

Last week, the Province of Manitoba announced the innovative Neighbourhoods Alive! Tax Credit (NA!TC), which first appeared in the 2011 Manitoba Budget. NA!TC will provide a 30% credit to Manitoba corporations that make a minimum $50,000 donation to an organization with charitable status for the purpose of starting a new revenue-generating enterprise or social enterprise that hires people facing barriers to employment.

CCEDNet is thrilled about the opportunities that the NA!TC could bring to Manitoban neighbourhood renewal corporations and other organizations looking to strengthen local economies. This initiative is particularly exciting for CCEDNet as we, through the direction of our members, have long identified the need for stronger support for social enterprise development.

Read CCEDNet - Manitoba's policy resolution on Social Enterprise Animation

Read more about the Neighbourhoods Alive! Tax Credit

New CCEDNet Publication Local Food Procurement Policy

CCEDNet – Manitoba, together with its partners from the Farm to Cafeteria Working Group, have published a policy brief on the benefits of local food procurement policies. The paper outlines the economic, environmental, and nutritional benefits of purchasing local produce, and provides examples of successful local food policies and initiatives.

Did you know that for every $1 of net income resulting from agricultural operations in Manitoba, an additional $1.90 is generated in the Manitoba economy? Just imagine the opportunities for rural communities if the province used its significant purchasing power to procure local food.

Read the full report (pdf)

Blending Models & Adding Value – The Innovation of Social Enterprise

Brendan Reimer, CCEDNet Regional Director, presented this speech to a group of Winnipeg business leaders who are considering initiatives to provide stronger support for social enterprises. The presentation offers a concise introduction to the concept and purpose of social enterprises. Brendan also offers examples of innovative social enterprises in Winnipeg and even draws a unique parallel between sandwiches and the social enterprise sector.

Read more (pdf)

CCEDNet Helps Skyworks Charitable Foundation Promote Documentaries on Homelessness

CCEDNet has partnered with Skyworks Charitable Foundation in helping to promote the Home Safe documentary series, which examines the impact of homelessness on Canadian families. The three-part series examines the systemic roots of homelessness in Toronto, Calgary, and Hamilton as a consequence of economic restructuring, discrimination and displacement. More importantly, these documentaries give a voice to the families who are struggling with homelessness and presents an opportunity to hear firsthand the complex challenges of poverty.

Click here to learn more about Home Safe and view film clips.

If you are interested in organizing a screening, contact Kirsten at our Manitoba office at or 204-943-0547.

Meet our Members

Community Futures is a grassroots economic renewal initiative with over 1000 volunteers in western Canada. Community Futures Saskatchewan provide services for people in rural and northern Saskatchewan (with the exception of the cities of Regina and Saskatoon) who are interested in setting up, expanding or considering a small business.

Visit their website

Saskatchewan CED News

Saskatchewan Community Economic Development & Co-operatives Conference

As a co-host of the Saskatchewan CED & Co-operatives Conference, CCEDNet would like to congratulate everyone who helped put on this amazing event, and thank everyone who attended. Participants had the opportunity to share their knowledge and skills through engaging conversations, workshops, discussions and networking with colleagues in the CED and co-operative sectors.

Read the Conference Final Report

Keynote speaker, John Restaskis, at the Saskatchewan CED & Co-operatives Conference

SaskCentral Named Canadian Top Workplace for Women

SaskCentral, Saskatchewan's credit union central has been named Canada's top workplace for women, and one of the top 100 best places to work in Canada for 2011. SaskCentral received the honour from the Great Place to Work Institute, which published its list in the Globe and Mail on April 12.

Two other co-op sector organizations - Windsor Family Credit Union and Community Savings Credit Union - were also on the Top 100 list.

Click here for the full list

(Source: CCA News Brief)

Station 20 West Getting Closer Fundraising Goal

Congratulations to everyone involved in the Station 20 West Project, who came much closer to their fundraising objectives earlier this month after a generous $275,000 donation from a prominent local business man. This donation nearly tops off the $5.25 million needed to build the proposed 29,000 square foot building. Project members are confident that this contribution will help fuel donations from others to bring in the remaining $275,000 needed.

Read more

SaskCentral's support the promotion of Fair Trade at AGM

SaskCentral's resolution to support the promotion of Fair Trade products recognizes the natural affinity between the Fair Trade and co-operative movements. It encourages both SaskCentral and Saskatchewan credit unions to promote Fair Trade through education, procurement and investment policies and support for both overseas and Canadian co-operatives involved in Fair Trade.

(Source: CCA News Brief)

CED Tool: Community Economic Development Pathfinder

The Community Economic Development (CED) Pathfinder, developed by the Province of Manitoba, is a quick, easy tool to help you find information, resources, and ideas to help your community develop and grow using the CED process which supports development of the community by the community.

The Pathfinder provides information, ideas and resources to help community leaders:

  • Set up a community organization to do CED.
  • Involve the community in the CED process.
  • Find suitable data and information so that communities can identify their assets and resources, analyze trends over time and identify opportunities.
  • Assess economic trends and find economic opportunities using accepted economic analysis methods.
  • Develop a vision of the future and develop a plan that will strategically move the community towards that positive future.
  • And much more

Click here to access the CED Pathfinder

National CED News

Asset Building Learning Exchange (ABLE) Conference 2011

ABLE 2011, being held in Winnipeg on June 6 & 7, draws together asset building practitioners, policy makers and funders from across Canada who are supporting the delivery of innovative asset building programs to people living on a low income.

The Conference will be filled with opportunities and possibilities to exchange asset building tools and techniques and learn from practitioners about current asset building programs and topics.

Read more

New Research on Social Enterprises Empowering Disabled Communities

This report, titled "Social Business: Advancing the Viability of a Model for Economic and Occupational Justice for People with Disabilities," presents the findings of an environmental scan of social businesses in Canada for people with disabilities. This study systematically catalogues key features of established social businesses in Canada, and creates a taxonomy of social business that is grounded in current practice in order to guide future research activity and offer greater understanding of this sector to policy makers and other key stakeholders.

Download the full report (pdf)

Keep in touch with the Community Forward Fund

The Community Forward Fund has recently revamped their outreach campaign with a new e-newsletter and recently renovated website complete with a current blog. Their inaugural newsletter features an article on the Tucker House, which runs educational programs on energy efficiency and renewable energy. The Tucker House used their loan from the CFF to purchase new solar panels.

Click here to read CFF’s e-newsletter

Resetting the Table on Food Policy

The People’s Food Policy Project has developed a policy recommendation aimed at Canada’s new government, titled Resetting the Table – A People’s Food Policy for Canada. The document includes the PFPP’s ideas on how to make Canada’s food system fair, healthy, and ecological. It also calls for an overhaul of Federal policies governing all aspects of food: where it comes from, how it is produced, and how all Canadians can have access to safe and nutritious food at all times.

Download Resetting the Table (pdf)

U.K. Co-ops Launch Anti-Poverty Campaign

Co-operatives in the United Kingdom have joined forces with a wide range of non-governmental organizations for a petition campaign aimed at reducing the gap between rich and poor.

The petition -- which aims to attract at least 100,000 signatories -- was launched outside the Bank of England by leading figures in the co-operative movement, including Ed Mayo, secretary general of Co-operatives UK and Len Wardle, chair of the Co-operative Group. Over 25 prominent NGOs are supporting the petition.

Read more

(Source: CCA News Brief)

 The CCCR's new eJournal to Inspire, Innovate, Incite, and Invent

In the wake of Making Waves magazine’s end, the Canadian Centre for Community Renewal has launched i4, an ejournal about how we craft more creative, democratic, and sustainable economies in this century of climate change and peak oil. In the tradition of Making Waves, i4 will rely heavily for its technical content (articles of 2-5,000 words) on practitioners, researchers, and policy-makers directly engaged in community resilience and transition. In addition, stories of 5-600 words will act as "gateways" to these and other valuable resources.

Read more

2011 ACE Institute Coming to Winnipeg

Don't miss the ACE Institute! The 2011 ACE Institute will be held on July 26-29 at the University of Winnipeg in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The theme of this year's Institute, taking place on July 26-30, is Opening New Doors: Exploring current innovations and asking "what's possible" in co-operative research, education and development. The Institute will include speakers and workshops on a wide range of co-operative issues, as well as co-op tours featuring such well-known organizations as Arctic Co-operatives Ltd., Assiniboine Credit Union, Neechi Foods and Pollock's Hardware.

Scholarships are available to attend. For more information, please contact Sarah Pike at or 763.432.2032

Read more

Job Postings

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