Language Partners BC is a co-op!
That’s right. In the summer of 2021, Language Partners BC Co-operative was officially incorporated.
What is a co-operative? How does it work?
A co-operative (or co-op for short) is a legally incorporated organization that is owned by its members.
Co-operatives are created and owned by people who are willing to work together to operate the organization to meet the needs of the community. Members pay a fee to hold a share and with this share they have a voice in the direction of the co-op. Equity and equality are among the founding principles of co-ops; every member has one vote, giving everyone the same voice.
Language Partners BC is registered as a Community Service Co-operative, which means that we have a non-profit status and our purpose is to provide educational and community services.
You can learn more about co-ops at the BC Co-op Association website: https://bcca.coop/
What does this mean for Language Partners?
Fear not. In terms of our language exchange programs, nothing will really change there and we will continue to offer these one-on-one programs (free of charge) to BC residents who are interested in finding a partner for a language and cultural exchange.
It’s good to note that you do not need to be a co-op member in order to participate in our programs.
Why did Language Partners BC become a co-op?
- The main reasons that we have become a co-op are:
- Shared ownership
- Access to grants
- Structure and accountability
- The hope is that LPBC will be democratically run and taken in a direction that best serves the needs of its members and the wider community. In addition to this, there may be opportunities for services to grow in size, number or diversity.
Which leads on to the exciting part. In addition to the language exchange programs, we will be adding new events for you to enjoy, such as our Lunch and Learn seminar series or workshops/talks with a variety of guest speakers.
How do I become a member?
It’s very easy. All you need to do is complete the application form and pay the one-time fee of $10 for your membership share. Once we review your membership application, we will deposit payment and confirm your membership has been approved.
What are my rights and responsibilities as a member?
In simple terms, as a member, you have the right to decide and participate in how Language Partners BC Co-op operates. You have also the responsibility to be a part of the collective effort.