About the Co-op

The Kootenay Boundary Community Services Co-operative’s mission is to work together to strengthen the capacity of each member agency through cooperation and collaboration nurtured in a spirit of mutual support and respect.

Co-op Principles

Co-ops are founded on a common idea – that people, no matter what their economic class or educational level, know what’s best for them. Through cooperation, people work together to meet their common needs. The following principles are guidelines by which co-operatives put their values into practice:

  • Voluntary and open membership
  • Democratic member control
  • Member economic participation
  • Autonomy and independence
  • Education, training, and information
  • Cooperation among co-operatives
  • Concern for community

Co-op Values

Our values are the foundational declarations which ground the work of the Co-operative.

Our values are:

  • We believe that people who live and work in a community are best positioned to make decisions about services provided and resources available to their community.
  • We believe in sharing information, expertise, resources for the good of the community and for the good of the community of communities; that is, our region.
  • We believe that decisions about regional matters are best achieved through information sharing and cooperative decision-making.
  • We believe that consensus is the best way to make decisions.
  • We strive for the best possible quality of service based on high standards, including:
    • professional ethics, competence, and integrity;
    • respect for rights and differences
    • safety and confidentiality
    • empowerment of individuals and respect for their choices
    • integration and holism
    • social responsibility
    • promotion of social change and enhancement of community capacity
  • We are committed to fair and equitable treatment of workers in our organizations and to demonstrating value and respect by ensuring that they are adequately trained, supported, supervised, and compensated.
  • Our organizational culture is one of respect, mutual trust, and proactive consultation.
  • We will strive to have core services distributed equitably among communities.
  • We will be responsible to our members and the individuals and families they serve, to the people in communities and to our partners.

Our vision is to foster a community of thriving social service agencies improving the lives of people in the Kootenay Boundary Region.

Purpose of the
Co-operative

The purpose of the Co-operative is to pursue, deliver, and coordinate resources and services provided by and for its members. The Kootenay Boundary Community Services Co-operative will:

  • help maintain and support member organizations in the face of challenges such as limited funding and geographic distribution and isolation;
  • provide for the members a regional community-based forum for planning, pursuing, and distributing community, social, and health service resources within the context of larger and more inclusive regional forums;
  • offer a range of alternatives for providing community, social, and health services, based on what is deemed most appropriate and effective for service recipients;
  • serve as a platform for the development of organizationally efficient and effective practices in areas of interest to some or all members;
  • strengthen the ability of the member organizations to offer high quality, cost-effective community, social, and health services to the residents of our region, especially those who are not well-served by conventional government services and/or private, for-profit enterprises.

KBCSC Structure

  • The Kootenay Boundary Community Services Co-operative (KBCSC) is composed of non-profit social service-providing agencies in the Kootenay Boundary Region.
  • Its members are organizations.
  • Each member organization has two designated representatives, one staff and one volunteer, on the Member Council. The KBCSC Member Council makes decisions about what services, initiatives and projects the Co-operative delivers and includes representatives from all member organizations.
  • The Board of Directors provides stewardship and oversight of the financial and operational business of the Co-operative and is composed of five to fifteen representatives of member organizations.
  • As a co-operative, it may also add directors (up to 20%) who are not representatives of the membership (i.e., members-at-large).
  • The Co-op has a part-time Executive Director and a few part-time staff.
  • The Co-op hires staff, often on a contracted basis, as they are needed to meet its commitments.

Member Council

The Co-operative is a democratic organization controlled by its members, who direct the work of the Co-operative by actively participating in setting policies and making decisions. The KBCSC Member Council makes decisions about what services, initiatives and projects the Co-operative delivers and includes representatives from all member organizations. Each member organization may have two representatives, one staff and one volunteer, on the Member Council.

    Board of Directors

    The Board of Directors provides stewardship and oversight of the financial and operational business of the Co-operative as defined in policy and as directed by the Council. Current Directors are:

      Lena Horswill,
      Chair

      Member-at-large

      Joanna Temple,
      Vice Chair

      Representative of the member agency North Kootenay Lake Community Services

      Phyllis Nash,
      Treasurer

      Representative of the member agency Nelson CARES

      Cathy Leugner,
      Secretary

      Representative of the member agency Nelson Community Services

      Ron Liddle

      Representative of the member agency Boundary Family Services

      Margaret Nickle

      Representative of the member agency Castlegar & District Community Services Society

      Gerry Rempel

      Representative of the member agency Circle of Indigenous Nations Society

      Jim Fisher

      Representative of the member agency Kootenay Family Place

      Elly Boer

      Representative of the member agency Kutenai Art Therapy Institute

      Jocelyn Stuart

      Representative of the member agency Salmo Community Resource Society

      Membership Application

      To be eligible for membership in the KBCSC, an organization must be a non-profit, community-based social service society registered in BC. A copy of the Membership Application Guidelines can be accessed by emailing info@thekoop.ca.