On July 19, Battle River Power Coop was pleased to welcome Aasa Marshall and Sisan Fregene from Co-operatives First, an organization devoted to increasing awareness and understanding of the co-op business model. The organization assists co-ops in Western Canada at every stage of their development through workshops, online courses and advice.

The Backroad Diaries is a project of Co-operatives First, with its purpose summed up in a statement on their Facebook page: “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”. Aasa and Sisan are visiting rural co-ops in Western Canada, conducting interviews and shooting videos along the way. They are finding amazing diversity and adaptability in the co-operative model, visiting a First Nations co-op store, a health co-op, a worker co-op, a community co-op, a radio co-op, a carshare co-op, a producer co-op, a grocery co-op, and now a power co-op. The Backroad Diaries paints a picture of co-ops as vital, innovative and relevant in today’s business world, and the stories are both inspiring and entertaining.

Battle River Power Coop appreciates the opportunity to add our story to the Backroad Diaries. It was told through the voices of members, the Chair of the Board of Directors, managers, staff, and the personal observations of Aasa and Sisan. We told them about the unique attributes of a power co-operative and about our role in the communities we serve. We also told the story of rural electrification in Alberta, and we are delighted to play a part in increasing awareness of Rural Electrification Associations (REAs), the grassroots co-operatives that successfully brought electricity to rural Alberta.

Check out The Backroad Diaries to see the co-op stories assembled so far, soon to be joined by video and stories from Battle River Power Coop.