International Day of Cooperatives

Quick Facts - CA

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2024 DateJuly 6, 2024
2025 DateJuly 5, 2025

International Day of Cooperatives

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International Day of Cooperatives History

The International Day of Cooperatives is celebrated on the first Saturday in July every year as a tribute to the cooperative movement's efforts to improve people's lives globally. The day's goal is to raise awareness about the cooperative movement's relevance, contributions, and impact. The day also aims to promote and uphold the cooperative model as a valuable and sustainable alternative to business as usual.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the first International Day of Cooperatives in 1995, and the theme for the inaugural observation was Cooperation among Cooperatives. Since then, the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and the United Nations invite cooperatives globally to celebrate the day with a particular theme each year. In Canada, cooperatives play a crucial role in the country's economy, providing employment opportunities, essential services, and food security. According to the Canadian Co-operative Association, over 18 million Canadians are members of at least one cooperative, and the top 100 cooperatives in the country generate over $55 billion in assets.

The day's celebrations in Canada include events organized by cooperatives to educate the public about the benefits of cooperatives to their communities. Such events could include cooperative fairs, workshops, exhibitions, and community service projects. Through these activities, Canadians are given the opportunity to learn more about the cooperative movement and show their support for it. The International Day of Cooperatives is observed annually on July 1st.

International Day of Cooperatives facts

  • The theme for International Day of Cooperatives in 2023 was Cooperatives: partners for accelerated sustainable development.
    The theme in 2022 was Cooperatives Build a Better World.
  • Globally, 1 billion people are members of cooperatives according to the IWDC.
  • According to IWDC, in 2023, there are over 30,000 cooperatives operating in every sector of the U.S. economy.
  • Canadian cooperatives play a significant role in the national economy, providing direct employment to more than 150,000 members and generating over $50 billion in annual revenues.
  • According to Canadian statistics, there are over 9,000 cooperatives in Canada, with approximately 160,000 employees.

Top things to do in Canada for this observance

  • Explore upcoming events near you. The International Cooperative Alliance hosts events that focus on community and societal growth.
  • Watch the UN's 2020 International Day of Cooperatives video if you missed it. The video focuses on cooperative solutions that can help lower the risks of climate change.
  • Watch a documentary to learn more about cooperatives in Canada. Here are some suggestions:
    1. A Silent Transformation (2017) - This documentary showcases the transformative power of the cooperative model in diverse Canadian communities. It features several Canadian cooperatives, including a renewable energy co-op and a housing co-op.
    2. The Spirit of Cooperation (2017) - This documentary, produced by the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation, explores the concept of worker cooperatives and highlights one example, Just Us! Coffee Roasters, in Canada.
  • Show your support by visiting and purchasing from local cooperative businesses such as food co-ops, credit unions, housing cooperatives, and worker co-ops.

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