Opening Reception Welcomes Calgarians and The World…

First Annual Mark Goldblatt Memorial Lecture

Come to the Opening Reception of the Energizing Communities Conference 

5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. May 31

at Triwood Community Association 2244 Chicoutimi Drive NW

This opening reception will welcome those who have travelled to Calgary for this conference as well as local co-operators. It will feature the first Mark Goldblatt Memorial Lecture. Hazel and Greg feel honoured to have been asked by the founding directors of the Mark Goldblatt Foundation to present, The Big Idea –  Building a Co-operative Economy through Popular Culture.

The focus of this lecture will be about co-operative education, with a focus on popular culture and social media. It will cover the history and evolution of adult education techniques used by the co-operative movement. There will be a description and examples of artwork, stories, plays, etc. including from the UK around 1900, the Nova Scotia-based Antigonish Movement in the 1920’s – 1930’s, and others. There will also be songs, presented by Greg O’Neill and the Big Idea Band.

In the words of Hazel Corcoran, “If we are to have a broadly based Co-operative Movement which captures the public imagination there must be access to adult education; history has demonstrated this. The goal is to germinate co-operative enterprises for effective mutual self-help in all fields of human enterprise. The conditions for a new explosive effort in co-operative development exist.

“We need to say loudly and clearly what we are for. The most successful movements are those that are clear and loud about their purpose. Part of what is needed is spirit and passion. As others have done throughout history (with variations), let’s invite the successful co-operatives to showcase themselves along with the green entrepreneurs, the artists and others that celebrate life.

“Let’s have a good time doing it. Let’s celebrate the joy, hope and spirit that is the basis of our co-operative principles. Following in the footsteps of our co-operative foremothers and forefathers, including Mark Goldblatt, let’s let our Co-operative Movement be an explosion of creativity that is irresistible.”

(The “Big Idea” is the use of adult education techniques from popular culture to promote co-operatives, in order to build a more dynamic co-operative movement.  In 2006, Hazel and Greg, along with the late Mark Goldblatt, incorporated the Big Idea Rainbow Foundation, with the goal of using popular culture to promote the co-operative model.)

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