About the project

The Backroad Diaries project showcases the resilience and ingenuity of rural and Indigenous communities across western Canada. It also highlights the role of co-operatives in supporting these vibrant communities.

Why we’re doing the project

The role of co-operatives in rural and Indigenous communities, and the unique story of every small community in western Canada, is important to us and we feel more people should know about these stories.

Where we’re going

In 2019, we are going to two communities in each of the western provinces — and we hope yours will be one of them.

How we plan on sharing our stories

We have hired two talented storytellers to travel across the western provinces, visit eight communities and capture their co-op and community stories through photos, audio, words and video. These stories will be shared on our social media sites and website.

Why your community and co-op?

Because they’re awesome, of course! Plus, we think your co-operative would be a great fit for this project and showcases a unique way the co-op model can be used. We want to share your amazing story with others. Contact us with your story today!

What will happen if you say “yes!”

  • We call and set up a day and time to come out.
  • We arrange interviews and tours of your community and co-op.
  • We collect images and stories (with permission, of course).
  • We share the visit and stories on social media.
  • We edit a video that you will have an opportunity to view before we distribute.
  • We post the video and stories and promote them.

To participate or learn more about the project, please call 306.382.4410 or email info@cooperativesfirst.com.

Stay Connected With Us:

“Heather and the team at Co-operatives First are top-notch. Not only their knowledge but their understanding of the project. They have truly helped us along every step of the way. Their timely response and knowledge of the steps are extraordinary. They are forthcoming with information. This is one of the most knowledgeable and friendliest teams I have ever had the pleasure of working with.”

Weyburn Theatre

“Co-operatives First made the process of establishing our Artisan Co-operative a very clear and easy process. The expanse of available tools and resources provided by Co-operatives First answers many questions and lightens the workload. Greatly appreciate having the connections made with Trista and Kyle, they keep the co-operative moving forward.”

Nehiyawaskiy Indigenous Peoples Art Co-op

“Our experience working with the Co-operatives First team was absolutely fabulous. The staff was accommodating, knowledgeable and patient. It was truly a breath of fresh air to have such a wealth of skill and resources available to a non-profit. They were invaluable to our successful launch!”

Heart Linked Community Services Cooperative

“Working with Co-operatives First was fantastic! We are still new to the cooperative world, and we relied heavily on their advice and expertise when drafting our rules/bylaws, and our memorandum of association. The team has experience with many different cooperative models, so they provided advice on what has and hasn’t worked for other cooperatives. We wouldn’t have been able to incorporate without their help!”

Ananda Cooperative

“We have had a very positive experience with everyone at Co-operatives First. They have helped us in multiple ways. Right from the first step in knowing how to incorporate, how to set our business and offering ideas for us to help steer us in the right direction plus allowing us to really make our own decisions. If our decisions go off track, they have gently guided us back to where we needed to be. The Co-operatives first guys are always eager to answer questions, and give ideas to us that got us off the ground.”

South East Butcher Block