Our history

Pre-incorporation (November 2009 to April 2010)

Skookum Food Provisioners’ Cooperative began in November 2009 with a series of conversations and planning meetings involving Pam Brown (Brownie), Jan Burnikell, Sharon Deane, David Parkinson, Giovanni Spezzacatena, Julie Thorne, and Heather Wheating.

This team came together around the idea of an organization which would help people become more self-reliant in providing for their own food needs and the needs of their families, friends, neighbourhoods, and community. We chose to structure the organization as a cooperative, because cooperatives are explicitly member-focused and based on solid values and principles.

After some discussion of the pros and cons, we decided to incorporate as a community service (i.e., not-for-profit) cooperative. This means that Skookum is able to generate a surplus through its activities, but that any surplus must not be distributed among its members. Surpluses will go towards creating a reserve of funds, towards furthering Skookum’s purposes, and towards worthy projects in the community, as determined by our members.

The initiating team met eight times from November 2009 to April 2010, refining the plan for Skookum and preparing the documents of incorporation. During that time, the initiating team accomplished the following:

  • Decided to incorporate as a community service (i.e., not-for-profit) cooperative;
  • Decided on a name;
  • Created the Statement of Purpose;
  • Created our Rules, involving decisions about the cost of a membership share, joint memberships, proxy voting, term limits, and other matters;
  • Worked with cooperative consultant Marty Frost to refine our incorporation documents;
  • Created our vision statement (“A thriving community with a strong reliable local food network”);
  • Began discussing potential projects for Skookum to carry out for the benefit of its members.

Incorporation and first term (April 2010 to June 2010)

On April 6, 2010, the BC Registrar granted Skookum Food Provisioners’ Cooperative’s application for incorporation. The initial subscribers were Pam Brown (Brownie), Jan Burnikell, Sharon Deane, David Parkinson, and Julie Thorne. At the first meeting of the board, these first directors appointed Giovanni Spezzacatena as a director. The board appointed David Parkinson to the offices of President and Secretary; Julie Thorne to the office of Vice-President; and Sharon Deane to the office of Treasurer. This initial appointed board served until our first Annual General Meeting in June 2010.

From incorporation to the first Annual General Meeting, the first directors accomplished the following:

Management & documentation

Projects

  • Began managing the Fruit Tree Project, now named Skookum Gleaners;
  • Held five meetings of the Skookum Gleaners organizing team;
  • Visited Bill LePage, owner of The Cider Press in Courtenay, to get information about cider presses and other equipment;
  • Bought a cider press for use by our members;
  • Planted a test patch of hull-less oats in Wildwood;
  • Made a bulk purchase of eight Piteba oil expellers, one of which we hold for use by members.

Publicity & outreach

  • Created our website and associated email addresses and lists;
  • Created a logo;
  • Attended the Chambers of Commoners get-togethers in February and June to spread the word and recruit members;
  • Held a public meeting on April 27, 2010;
  • Began planning a public event and workshop on July 13 & 14, 2010, to publicize Skookum Gleaners and raise funds.

Fundraising

  • Investigated several potential sources of funding to support Skookum’s projects.

Membership

  • Accepted 32 applications for membership, of which 7 are joint, giving us 39 members.

Second term (June 2010 – June 2011)

At the first Annual General Meeting, held on June 23, 2010, the following directors were elected by the membership:

  • Jan Burnikell (Secretary)
  • Sharon Deane (Treasurer)
  • David Parkinson (President)
  • Nola Poirier
  • Giovanni Spezzacatena
  • Julie Thorne
  • Jonathan van Wiltenburg (Vice-President)

Third term (June 2011 – April 2012)

At the second Annual General Meeting, held on June 22, 2011, the following directors were elected by the membership:

  • Jan Burnikell (Secretary)
  • Sharon Deane
  • David Parkinson (Treasurer)
  • Jacqueline Huddleston
  • Giovanni Spezzacatena
  • Pete Tebbutt (President)
  • Jonathan van Wiltenburg (Vice-President)

Fourth Term (April 2012-April 2013)

  • Jan Burnikell (Secretary)
  • David Parkinson
  • Jacqueline Huddleston
  • Giovanni Spezzacatena
  • Pete Tebbutt (President)
  • Rosemary Bjorknas (Vice-President)

  • Laura Berezan (Treasurer)

Fifth Term (April 2013-present)

  • Jan Burnikell
  • David Parkinson (Secretary)
  • Julia Downs
  • Giovanni Spezzacatena
  • Pete Tebbutt (President)
  • Rosemary Bjorknas (Vice-President)

  • Laura Berezan (Treasurer)

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