Calgary Co-op members pay $1 for a lifetime membership, which buys them one share in the co-operative, making them member-owners, and grants them an equal amount of decision-making power. One member, one vote. At the end of the year, our member-owners participate in profit sharing, called Patronage. Patronage is made up of cash and equity shares.
Patronage is a term in co-operative businesses to mean that when you spend with us, the profits go back to our members… you! Each year you’ll get a patronage return, based on your annual spending at Calgary Co-op* stores and how well we have performed. You’ll also earn equity.
Shopping at Calgary Co-op earns you a patronage return (our version of profit sharing) once a year.
Purchases that don’t count towards your total patronage: bus passes, tickets for events and activities, the purchase of gift cards (the person using it will earn towards their return), lottery tickets and stamps. This list is subject to change.
*The cash portion of Patronage is only issued when in excess of $10
*Please note: shopping at other co-operatives doesn’t contribute to your return. Calgary Co-op stores are found in Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane, High River, Okotoks and Strathmore. Other co-operatives are operated separately and require their own membership to take part in their profit sharing benefit.
Equity is the term we use to describe the shares you’ve accumulated through your patronage earnings (the longer you’re with Calgary Co-op, the more equity you have).
All members start out with the $1 share they purchased to become a member. Every year, some of your year-end patronage may be returned in shares (and some will be cash aka the patronage return).
Your full equity account can be paid out when you move or turn 65.
As we continue to evolve and modernize our co-operative, we are changing how patronage is paid and equity is structured to make it more simple, immediate and transparent. Your 2023 Patronage return will be deposited into your Bonus Cash Bubble and available to redeem at Calgary Co-op businesses.*
We are reducing our equity and cash payout rates from 11 tiers to 3 tiers meaning most members will get a great proportion of their patronage back in cash.
Receive your Patronage return early. On January 18, 2024, members with the new Calgary Co-op app will receive their cash portion of patronage as a lump sum into their Bonus Cash bubble in the app. See FAQ for Patronage return details for members without the app.
Watch your patronage earnings accumulate through the year in your Member Earnings Bubble. On January 18, 2024, members with the new Calgary Co-op app can see their estimated patronage for the year accumulate in real time as they shop.
Uncover more with Calgary Co-op’s Refreshed Membership Program.
Calgary Co-op has been serving Calgarians since 1956 when we opened our first store with local farmers and ranchers selling fresh, farm-to-table foods—even before farm-to-table was a buzzword. Based here in Calgary, we prefer to source as much of our food as possible from Calgary, across Alberta and throughout western Canada.
We want our members to feel good about choosing our fresh, local products. Part of that is getting to know the people who produce them and the places they come from. That’s why our local selection is always growing. We also you to have the highest-quality local products at the lowest possible price.Learn more
At Calgary Co-op, we are guided by the 7 Co-operative Principles. These are central to a co-operatives DNA and help decision makers in a co-op accomplish dual, financial and social, goals:
A lifetime Membership at Calgary Co-op is only $1 and is open to all persons, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
Members have equal voting rights – one member, one vote, which means our members can actively participate in our Director Election and Annual General Meeting. Our member-elected Board of Directors are accountable to the membership.
Members participate in profit sharing, called Patronage, which is made up of cash and equity shares. The more a member spends in our stores, the more patronage they earn, and is returned to them each year.
Calgary Co-op is member-owned and locally operated, right here in Calgary, Alberta. Our member-elected Board of Directors represents our 400,000 members and helps steer our cooperative down a successful path.
Calgary Co-op provides education and training for our members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their co-operative. We inform the general public – particularly young people and opinion leaders – about the nature and benefits of co-operation.
We serve our members most effectively and are able to strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
We are here for our community. Together with our members in 2023, we donated $3.06M in food and funds to address food security in the community we serve.
Anyone can shop at Calgary Co-op Food, Wine Spirits Beer, Home Health Care and Cannabis stores but our members get perks because our purpose is different than other businesses—Calgary Co-op provides benefits to its members.Explore member benefits
Download the Calgary Co-op app to earn and save more. Find it on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
Find frequently asked questions about Patronage.