Co-op Film Project

The Canadian Co-operatives and Film Research Project was a collaborative undertaking with George Melnyk from the Department of Communication, Media, and Film at the University of Calgary. The Co-operative College in the UK established a National Co-operative Film Archive in 1992 to preserve all film and photographic material relating to the consumer co-op movement, to promote the use of films in co-op education, and to stimulate research. No such archive exists in Canada and there has been no academic study of Canadian co-ops and film. And yet Canada has been the home of the most successful documentary filmmaking tradition in the world with its National Film Board, which has made dozens of films about co-ops during its seventy-year history. Professor Melnyk has developed a catalogue in Canada similar to that in the UK, which he hopes will encourage an academic study of Canadian co-ops and film. The publication is titled Co-op Films in Canada, 1940–2015: A Filmography and is freely available here. The filmography indicates where each film can be accessed. Many of them are housed at the Centre and can be borrowed at no cost; we hope to digitize them at some point and make them available online. The collection includes both English- and French-language material and will be an invaluable resource to researchers, the sector, and the public alike.