Monday, 31 August 2020 20:15

Unique Co-operatives in Saskatchewan, an Armchair Tour

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Image provided courtesy of Buckland Fire and Rescue Co-operative Image provided courtesy of Buckland Fire and Rescue Co-operative

There are so many interesting types of co-operatives in Saskatchewan. Of course, I love ALL co-operatives and credit unions. But there are some pretty unique co-operatives here. Since we’re all not traveling too far this year, this blog post will take you on an armchair tour of just some of these co-ops around the province that you may not have heard of before, as well as a few examples of industries that have a lot of co-operatives here. 

We’ll start our tour with Christmas Trees

Did you know there is a Christmas tree growers’ co-operative in Saskatchewan?! 

The Prairie Christmas Tree Growers Association Co-operative has about 25 members in Alberta and Saskatchewan. It is a non-profit co-operative grower organization controlled by the members and relies on the volunteer efforts of its members.

Fire Protection

There are a surprising number of fire protection co-operatives in Saskatchewan. From volunteer fire fighting, to rural fire service and fire protection, there are six fire protection co-ops in the province, including: 

Buckland Co-op Volunteer Fire Fighters / Buckland Fire and Rescue (you can also find out more about them from the story we did about their co-op a couple of years ago in our Planet S/Prairie Dog Co-op Week feature)

Lakeland & District Volunteer Co-operative Fire Department

Nokomis & District Fire Protection Co-op Ltd.

Sturgis and District Rural Fire Co-op

Raymore & District Fire Protection Co-op

West Central Volunteer Fire Co-op Ltd.

Farmers’ Markets

Most of the farmers’ markets in Saskatchewan are co-operatives. They are a great source of local food. There are over 25 farmers’ market co-ops in Saskatchewan and there is also a provincial level Saskatchewan Farmers' Market Co-op (SFMC) that was formed to represent community based farmers' markets in Saskatchewan. You can see a list of most of the farmers’ market co-operatives here.

farmers market 1 copy

Petroglyphs

Well, I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know until a few months ago that there are petroglyphs in Saskatchewan, let alone a petroglyph co-op! The Friends of St. Victor Petroglyphs Co-op Ltd. is located in the south of Saskatchewan, between Rockglen and Assiniboia. The St. Victor Petroglyphs Park is a Provincial Heritage Site and is home to the largest collection of petroglyphs on the prairies, with over 300 carvings recorded.   

A Bowling Alley

Glentworth Bowling Alley Co-op Ltd. was incorporated back in 1992 and still operates in Glentworth. Glentworth, Saskatchewan is a small hamlet in southern Saskatchewan (check out their hilarious Wikipedia page description of the community here). 

Childcare co-operatives

Childcare co-ops are in many communities around the province. There are over 90 childcare co-operatives in Saskatchewan! Chances are, there is a childcare co-operative in your community. They are a great option for affordable childcare, which is why there are so many of these co-operatives. 

Golf

There are a couple of golf course co-operatives in Saskatchewan. For example, the Meadowdale Golf Co-operative Limited operates a nine-hole golf course, 5 km east of Gull Lake, and the golf course in Davidson is also a co-operative. Check them out for some co-operative golf! 

Mobile Crisis

The Prince Albert Mobile Crisis Unit Co-op Ltd. offers crisis intervention, sexual assault counselling, and community education. Mobile Crisis Prince Albert is a community based not-for-profit organization providing services to Prince Albert and area since 1977. Crisis intervention workers are available after-hours 4pm-8am, Monday to Friday and 24 hours per day on weekends. 

Water and Utilities co-ops

There are more than 15 water and utilities co-operatives around Saskatchewan. Most of these co-operatives are in rural areas and most are water co-operatives. 

Fishing! 

In the north of the province especially, there are fishing co-ops. Many of these co-operatives were formed in the 1960s or 1970s, and before that quite a few were formed in the 1940s and 1950s. While there used to be more of these co-ops, there are currently 8 fishing co-ops active in the province. 

Grazing, pasture, feeder, breeding, cattle, and bison co-ops

There are a LOT of these co-operatives in Saskatchewan, and a growing number of grazing and pasture co-ops in recent years. There are almost 80 of these co-ops in the province! These co-operatives are a great option to work together to share in the expenses of raising or breeding cattle or bison. 

 

I hope this post informed you about some co-operatives you didn’t know about, in a few new locations in Saskatchewan. There are lots of other interesting co-operatives around the province, and we’ll look at more of them in a future blog post.

 

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Last modified on Friday, 23 October 2020 19:58