CWCF Conference Press Release


Learn How Worker Co-ops are Building Better Together

at Virtual, Bilingual, National Conference

Nov. 15, 2021, Calgary, AB. – The Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation (the “Federation” or “CWCF”) will focus on opportunities for worker co-ops and the movement for economic democracy in Building Better Together, at its annual fall Conference, taking place virtually from November 16 – 18th, in both official languages.

Although many worker co-operatives have faced significant challenges, they have as a rule demonstrated resilience and solidarity throughout the Covid19 pandemic.  We will share strategies of worker co-ops in dealing with crises. Further, this theme will cover how communities would benefit from building more worker co-operatives, including through the lens of racial and economic justice.  There will be sessions on topics of practical interest for worker co-operators and those interested in starting worker co-ops.  The Conference will explore public policy for more worker co-op development, topics around worker co-op conversions (from traditional businesses), member engagement, anti-racism, worker co-op marketing, worker co-op finance, and more.  This Conference will feature simultaneous interpretation, English-French and French-English by Coopérative L’Argot

“I’m excited by worker co-op movement potential at this critical time of multiple crises:  pandemic, the climate crisis, and more,” says Hazel Corcoran, the Federation’s executive director. “With growing inequality and other profound economic challenges, people are clearly looking for an alternative economic model.  Worker co-ops, which are proven solidarity-based enterprises, are uniquely positioned to fill this role.  The Conference will offer a chance to learn how we can maximize this opportunity and have worker ownership strengthen the economy and make it fairer.”

The three-day virtual Conference, which brings together many of the Federation’s over 50 member organizations and 100+ additional indirect members from across the country, aims to strengthen Canada’s growing worker co-operative sector. It features a number of workshops, networking sessions, and guest speakers. This year’s keynote speakers include Francesa Zaganelli from the international co-operative association CICOPA of Brussels, US Federation of Worker Co-operatives’ Executive Director Esteban Kelly of Philadelphia, and Hazel Corcoran, Executive Director of CWCF from Calgary. 

A worker co-op, for the uninitiated, is a form of business where a company’s employees own and democratically manage the business. They share in both the business’ decision-making and its profit. Currently, there are an estimated 350 worker co-ops across Canada.  Examples include Just Us! Coffee Roasters’ Co-op in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, la Coopérative de communications MOLOTOV of Montréal, Shift Delivery Co-op of Vancouver, and the Canada-wide Sustainability Solutions Group. 

This Conference is open to non-members as well, and Program details can be found at , and the list of presenter biographies can be found at this link.

Conference presenters include Member of Parliament Matthew Green of Hamilton,  long-time co-op developer Russ Christianson, and Susanna Redekop, Local Food and Farms Co-op Network.

Founded in 1991, the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation is a national, bilingual grassroots membership organization of and for worker co-operatives, related types of co- operatives, and organizations that support the growth and development of worker co-operatives.

The Conference registration link (in English) is available here

Download the press release.


For more information/interviews, contact: Federation Executive Director Hazel Corcoran:, (403) 276-8250