An open letter from our CEO

Dear Members, 

I’m reaching out to extend a heartfelt thank you for all the support you’ve shown your Co-op when it needed it most. Our online store is busy and while some of our other stores are reopening, we still aren’t in the position to connect with you like we normally do at this time of year.  

Since the first few cloudy days of COVID-19, MEC members and staffers have reached outlooking for ways to help our brave healthcare workers and the outdoor community organizations we love. As we announced last year in our 2018 MEC Annual Report, MEC has been in a tough spot financially and COVID-19 hasn’t helped. That doesn’t mean we stop helping our communities. Like you, we figure out new ways to help and we move forward. 

Your support has made it possible for our Co-op to assist frontline healthcare workers with donations of MEC label gear and product from our friends at Chaos and Nuun. MEC has donated thousands of products to healthcare workers over the last month.  

I’m proud of our MEC Label team who designed Canada’s first Fair Trade Certified non-surgical mask, made with washable, recycled fabricMEC will be producing an initial order of 10,000 masks, which will become available to members in June, with all profits from the sale of masks going to the Canadian Red CrossMasks will also be distributed, at no charge, to all MEC staffers. 

In response to member inquiries, we have created the MEC Outdoor Partner Relief Fund​ in partnership with the Vancouver Foundation. This fund will support trail organizations that maintain some of your favourite local trail networks across CanadaWe know our members are eager to support the organizations and people that keep our trails safe and beautiful. 

While our stores have been temporarily closedyou’ve blown us away with your support. Our online store has never been busier. If you’ve ordered online within the past few monthswe may have already personally thanked you. MEC staffers spontaneously started writing thank you notes and outdoor inspiration on your packagesOur store teams are awesome and we can’t wait to reopen more of our doors and welcome everyone back in a safe and responsible manner.  

Thank you for supporting your Co-op. A shared love of hikes, fresh air, bike trails and adventure connects us, and we can all be proud of the positive impact we make together. With that in mind, I’ll take this opportunity to share a few more important pieces of MEC news with you:  

  • MEC Recco-equipped hiking packs  – Canada’s first Recco-equipped packs, detectable by ski patrols and search and rescue teams. They’re made with recycled materials and start under $40.  
  • Our stores are reopening, please see the reopening schedule

Be safe and be well, 


Phil Arrata, CEO of MEC
Phil Arrata

CEO of Mountain Equipment Co-op. Skier, runner, cyclist and father of two adventurous kids. Strongly believes in MEC’s purpose to inspire and enable people to lead active outdoor lifestyles.