On May 13, 2014, Skookum held its Annual General Meeting in Trinity Hall at the Powell River United Church. Once again, we started with a potluck accompanied by a couple of fabulous main courses prepared by member Jacqueline Huddleston.
As always, we heard from our Treasurer Laura Berezan about the year in finances; President Pete Tebbutt talked about some of the accomplishments of the past year, singling out the work done by such stalwart members as Melissa Leigh (volunteer bookkeeper) and the duo of Wendy Pelton & Barry Bookout, who have done so much to get The Abundant Pantry up and running and keep it going.
Sadly, the board said goodbye to Jan Burnikell and Giovanni Spezzacatena, two directors who had been serving since before the cooperative incorporated. We also said adieu to Rosemary Bjorknas and Julia Downs. Then we moved on to the happier task of finding new directors to fill the gaps. Luckily, we had expressions of interest from several members: Tara Chernoff, Dan Glover, Chris Matheson, & Edward Sanderson. With Pete, David, & Laura staying on, these four new directors will bring all kinds of new energy and ideas to your board. So please join us in welcoming these new directors and thanking them for their generosity in taking on the work of helping to guide our cooperative as we move into our fifth year of operations!
Please join us at the Cranberry Seniors’ Centre on Thursday, Oct 17 at 6:30 PM (show at 7:00 PM) for an evening with Tom Shandel, visiting film-maker, producer, writer, and board member of Duncan BC’s Cowichan Co-operative Connections, for a screening of his short documentary film Civilizing the Economy (read on below) and clips from some of his other work, plus a discussion on building and maintaining cooperatives in our region and beyond.
This event is co-sponsored by Skookum and First Credit Union to celebrate Co-op Week (Oct 13-19) and Credit Union Day (Oct 17). Everyone is welcome to attend; arrive early as seating is limited, plus we will have some delicious snacks conjured up by Chef Jacqueline Huddleston. A $5 donation at the door is much appreciated, as this is a fund-raiser for future Skookum projects.
“Civilizing the Economy
The Corporation documentary showed us how bad they really are. But there is an alternative way to organize enterprise better than no-public-liability en-corporations. And it’s been around for years…and built a lot of western Canada. How come we stopped?
Produced for British Columbia Cooperative Association and directed by Tom Shandel, written by John Restakis with strong support by Robert Williams, CIVILIZING THE ECONOMY, narrated by Patrick Watson, shows there’s another way to do business in a more or less free market: COOPERATIVES! CIVILIZING THE ECONOMY explores one of Europe’s most successful economies, featuring three interdependent sectors, private, public/state and cooperatives. ” From: http://shandel.ca/?page=Civilizing%20the%20Economy
This is Part 2 in a short series on cooperatives, and specifically on Community Service Cooperatives, because that is the designation for Skookum.
As a cooperative, we adhere to all the rules as described here (there are 171 of them) based on the BC Cooperative Association’s Regulations. This includes the fact that cooperatives are owned by their members (that’s one member=one vote, as opposed to being based on amount invested/donated, making cooperatives very democratic entities), and that each member holds a stake in the cooperative, that can be redeemed at any time. At Skookum, this is represented by your share certificate that costs $20.
The gist of it: What’s A Community Service Cooperative?
The purpose of a Community Service Cooperative can be either charitable or to provide health, social, educational or other community services to members, with a responsibility to the wider community. While Skookum is a non-profit cooperative organization, we are eligible via this new Community Service Cooperative designation, to apply to the Canada Revenue Agency for charitable status, if we so wish.
Assets collected or donated may only directly support and grow the cooperative (providing members with services and access to information, events, tools, land, supplies etc.), Skookum cannot return profit shares to members (unlike Mountain Equipment Co-0p or First Credit Union), whether on a periodic basis nor upon dissolution of the cooperative.
If the cooperative were to dissolve, members would receive their initial share price, after satisfaction of its liabilities and the costs, charges and expenses properly incurred in the dissolution or winding up. Any further assets must be transferred to or distributed among one or more community service cooperative or a registered charitable organization.
Skookum is concerned with increasing the amount of food available locally, regardless of how it comes to people:
Grown: any kind of produce, grains, beans, etc.
Gathered: wild foods, gleaned fruits nuts, etc.
Raised: animals other domesticated food sources;
Caught: wild animals, fish, etc.
In practical terms, the cooperative’s members are encouraged to reflect Skookum’s commitment to the three pillars of the Triple Bottom Line (social, environmental, economic) by creating and supporting projects that help members to grow, gather, catch, raise, preserve, prepare and share healthful food as locally as possible.
As a cooperative, Skookum is a ‘bottom-up’ organization that relies on the energy and ideas of its membership to address this Triple Bottom Line through engagement at the levels of governance, project management, and participation in the projects or events we develop/participate in.
Skookum has no paid staff, but projects are expected to provide for coordinator remuneration, while addressing our core values and purposes, and providing a percentage toward Skookum operating costs. Recent projects include a member-run bulk purchase of fruit trees, ongoing Tattler lid sales, Cover Crop sales, and The Abundant Pantry Bulk Buying Club (now offering Cafe Justicia fairer-than-fair trade coffee, and always more local products), but also the recent get-together and plans for more informational/fun events like seasonal potlucks, film screenings and guest presentations in the fall/winter to come. We are also planning another round of our yearly ‘Apple Cider Press-a-Thon’ at the 2013 Powell River Fall Fair on the weekend of September 21-22.
We are seeking helpers for this as well as materials to make it work even better, so contact us with how you want to help out or click here and come up with your own Skookum project; check this page out for inspiration.
We’ll let the pictures speak for themselves! Many thanks to Skookum members Lyn and Kathie for inviting us to their amazing home, and to Jacqueline for the equally stellar barbecued local fish, chicken and burgers. It was a great time and we look forward to more events such as this year-round. If you want to host a Skookum get-together, just let us know (email@example.com).