CWCF Conference 2021 Program

Detailed program. All times are in Eastern time zone.

This conference will feature simultaneous English-French interpretation.

Click here for facilitator and presenter bios.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

11:30am: Ice Breaker (or networking social connections), led by Sandra Allen, Shift Delivery Co-op and CWCF Board member, Vancouver

12:00pm to 1:30pm: Welcome and Land Acknowledgement, & housekeeping, from CWCF, by Reba Plummer, Urbane Cyclist, CWCF Board President, Toronto

Keynote Panel: 

Global view of what the effect of COVID has been on the worker co-op Sector. What’s the big picture? What strategies have worker co-ops used to survive and thrive in the face of the pandemic?

And: How can worker co-ops show the way?

Worker co-op models to building better together: Challenges and opportunities


  • Francesca Zaganelli, Membership Coordinator, CICOPA, Brussels
  • Kelly Storie, Executive Director, La Siembra Co-op, Ottawa
  • Jonny Sopotiuk, Founding Member, VALU Co-op, Vancouver
  • Hazel Corcoran, Executive Director, CWCF, Calgary
  • Esteban Kelly, Executive Director, USFWC, Philadelphia

Facilitator: Victor Beausoleil, Executive Director, SETSI, Toronto

2:30pm to 4:00pm: Peer learning sessions

Facilitator: Jessica Provencher, Réseau COOP & CWCF Board member, Québec

Participants will choose two break-out rooms of the following three topics; one-half hour each:

1. Benefits that worker co-ops can provide.


2. How to attract talent to our sector. How can we grow if we can’t attract talent? What does your co-op do to attract workers?


3. How to get members engaged in the governance of the co-op / training on co-op governance.


  • Joey Pittoello, Just Us! Coffee Roasters Co-op, Grand Pre, NS. (facilitator)
  • Isabel Faubert, Executive Director, and Matthieu Dionne, Coordinator of Advisory Services and Human Resources, Réseau COOP, Montreal

(There will be some discussion on the focus of pandemic experiences and learnings regarding the above topics.)

Ignite presentations by Worker Co-op Academy groups: 1) Oasis Lavender Farm Co-op (forming), Summerland, 2) the Massage and Holistic Co-op (forming), Calgary

7:00pm to 8:30pm: CoopZone Developers Network session, re: Co-op Conversions

Facilitator: Michael Norris, administrateur de CoopZone

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

12:00pm to 1:30pm: Building on anti-racism in worker co-ops: practical tools to build real diversity, inclusion, and racial justice, and need for a culture shift (planned by CWCF’s Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (“JEDDI”) Committee as part of their action plan)


2:30pm to 4:00pm: CWCF Annual General Meeting

  1. CWCF AGM Part 1: Reports
  2. CWCF AGM Part 2: Financial Statements and Budget
  3. CWCF AGM Part 3: Elections and Resolutions

Award Presentations:

  • Worker Co-op Merit Award – presented to Eric Tusz-King, by Frank Bezanson-Harris (Just Us! Coffee Roasters, and CWCF Board)
  • Worker Co-op Best Practices Award – presented to London Brewing Co-op by Reba Plummer

With brief presentations by Hugues Bourgeois, Interim Executive Director Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada, Alexandra Wilson, Board Vice Chair (TBC), Co-operators, and Francesca Zaganelli, Membership Coordinator, CICOPA, Brussels.

6:00pm to 7:30pm: Freedom Dreams Education Co-op Workshop

Nourishing Belonging: Forging Co-operation in Food and Farming.

When resources were scarce, BIPOC folks worked the land together in a spirit of abundance. In their third workshop, Afri-Can FoodBasket founder and farmer Anan Lololi joins us for a look at how co-ops offer a sustainable approach for small-scale food and farm businesses. Register at this link.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

12:00pm to 1:30pm: Worker Co-op Financing Workshop

Successful financing: What are financiers looking for? What are some financing tools that are available?


Facilitator: Erin Hancock, International Centre for Co-operative Management, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax

2:30pm to 4:00pm: Worker Co-op Marketing Workshop

Marketing/visibility – including marketing the Worker Co-op advantage


Facilitator: Jared Blustein, The Allium Restaurant Co-op, and CWCF Director, Calgary