Kawartha Works Community Co-operative

Written by Tyson Shennett

Around town, it is hard not to notice the good work being done by a number of different groups, from the Snowshoe Race to Simcoe Day, Fenelon Forward to Friends of Lock 34. All these groups are run by wonderful, hardworking volunteers who do a great job of adding something special to Fenelon. 

What’s harder to notice is the good work being done in the background. Back in 2014, I first heard of the idea of a community co-op from Jim Armstrong. He had been involved in a variety of small non-profit groups and had noticed that an issue these groups had was around the basic administration of the organization - that when it came to applying for grants, it was difficult to have the structure required to satisfy the granting agencies. 

In other areas, he had seen a community co-operative formed which can provide a separate corporate structure and administration support, while allowing the various non-profit groups to still operate independently on their own projects. 

In 2015, the Kawartha Works Community Co-operative was born, with the founding members Friends of Lock 34 and Impact 32. Since then, others have joined for the benefits of sharing overhead costs like insurance, sharing dedicated administration and finance support, and the ability to share information and successful strategies between groups. 

Jim’s dedication to selling this project to new groups and making sure that Kawartha Works runs smoothly is behind the scenes, but the impact his efforts have made have surely been felt by all. Thanks Jim and the Kawartha Works Community Co-Operative!