MEC: Canada’s most Québécois company

MEC in Quebec, means 15 years of thousands of outdoor enthusiasts, passionate employees and a bunch of local organizations working hand in hand. MEC was established in British Columbia, but its desire to integrate itself nationwide has surely made it Canada’s most Quebecois company. To mark 15 years in the Belle Province, here’s an overview of its most impressive contributions.


Since MEC had 90,000 Quebecois members before it even opened its first store in the province, a team was created to undertake a considerable francization process. From the start, MEC strived to create a sense of belonging and to go beyond simply translating its messages and adapting them so they had a more Quebecois style. We wanted to avoid the bad translations that can often be found, well, pretty much everywhere. MEC also inspected its shelves looking for labels and packaging written in questionable French and informed the relevant suppliers so they could correct their mistakes.

MEC collaborated with the Office Québécois de la Langue Française (OQLF) to create Le Petit MEC, a French glossary of 6,500 words and technical ters related to the outdoors. Many of these words and terms did not exist in French before and had to be crafted with care. In 2004, MEC received a recognition and merit award from the OQLF for its efforts in francization.

Accessibility to the Outdoors

According to the last ParticipACTION survey, conducted in collaboration with MEC, 82% of the population does not reach the recommended levels of physical activity. Through many community events (races, running clubs, bicycle excursions, workshops, conferences, etc.) and its affordable outdoor equipment rental service, MEC helps enable people in Quebec to adopt a more active lifestyle. Since 2012, almost 40,000 people have participated in a MEC race. That’s about 403,740 km of ground covered by the racers! And they keep on running.

4 million dollars handed over to the community

MEC gives 1% of its sales revenue to support organizations and projects that share its vision: to inspire and enable people to lead an active outdoor lifestyle. Every time you purchase something at MEC, you’re also giving back to the community. Since 2003, MEC has invested more than 4 million dollars in Quebec to help make the great outdoors more accessible to all, to maintain recreational infrastructures and to protect green spaces. Have you cycled on the Route verte, paddled on the Route bleue, tested your skills on the mountain bike trails or scaled the climbing walls in the Belle Province? If so, you probably enjoyed structures and facilities built by one of the many partner organizations that have benefited from MEC’s support.

A leader in sustainable development

An eco-construction pioneer, MEC designs its stores to use recycled materials and green energy and inspires other companies to follow its example. The MEC store at Marché Central was the first retail business building in Quebec to meet Natural Resources Canada’s green building standards. The store consumes 70% less energy than a traditional building. Moreover, because of its waste prevention policy, MEC has a recycling rate that borders on 90%. The goal for next year: 92%!

Co-op model

With 5 stores and more than 850,000 members in Quebec, MEC has an impressive community in the Belle Province. The needs and values of our members guide the operations of our cooperative. With your help, MEC can make a real difference in Quebec and beyond.

Thank you, our members, for 15 years of loyalty, of cooperation and of responsible choices. You are at the heart of our efforts to remain an outdoor co-op that’s one-of-kind.

Alain Legault
Alain Legault

Born in the land of Mario Vargas Llosa, Alain is a translator, editor and guidebook author who also enjoys cycling, running and all food grilled over coals.