Elections and nominations


MEC is Canada’s go-to place for outdoor gear, know-how and inspiration: a large retail cooperative with over 5.4 million members nationally, $462 million in annual revenue, a global supply chain, more than 2,500 employees, 22 stores across Canada, and a gear-packed website.

As a retail co-op, MEC is owned by its members and is governed by a nine-member Board of Directors elected by the membership. Our goal is strong and balanced leadership, and our nominations process helps us get there.


In 2020, MEC members will elect three directors to MEC’s Board. MEC is looking for candidates who have significant experience in areas relevant to MEC’s business. This needs to be coupled with a deep commitment to MEC’s values and purpose, to inspire and enable all Canadians to enjoy active outdoor lifestyles. Candidates will ideally be able to contribute insight and innovation at the board table, provide diversity of thought and experiences, and demonstrate an understanding of governance norms.

MEC is a complex and growing organization that is committed to improving its diversity and inclusion efforts. We have heard your feedback and know that ethnic and cultural diversity on the board level is important to you, our members. We too recognize the benefits. Bringing a variety of thoughts and lived experiences to the boardroom is critical for improved governance, greater innovation, deeper insight and better decision-making.

Though we recognize diversity encompasses many facets, we are actively working to increase ethnic and cultural diversity on our Board, as well as maintain a gender balance.

This year, the Board will be looking to recommend candidates who:

  • Have experience at a senior governance or senior leadership level of a business of similar or greater complexity to MEC,
  • Have leadership experience in a large organization undergoing significant growth and change, and/ or
  • Have broad retail or consumer-oriented experience in diverse sectors.

To increase the diversity of skills and perspectives on the Board, we are particularly looking for:

  • Candidates who come from diverse ethnic and cultural groups not currently represented on the Board.

To qualify as a candidate, you must meet the minimum requirements, as outlined in MEC’s bylaws, at the close of nominations. These include, among others:

  • being a member of MEC for at least three years; and,
  • having voted in the 2018 or 2019 MEC Board of Directors elections.

Those interested in candidacy, a full description of requirements is provided in the MEC Nominations Guide.


MEC conducts all nomination and election processes as prescribed under the Co-op’s Rules.

MEC’s Nominations Committee supports the delivery of the Board’s mandate in the areas of board elections and candidate nominations. The Committee is composed of three board members and two members-at-large. The inclusion of members-at-large promotes objectivity and allows for a wider spectrum of perspectives throughout the process.

To maintain a firm foundation for corporate governance, it is imperative to regularly review the composition of our Board of Directors to ensure it is made up of committed individuals, who collectively have the required characteristics, skills, experience and leadership abilities required to carry out the roles and responsibilities of the board.

Director Recruitment: Step by Step 

  1. Criteria Assessment
  • MEC’s Governance Committee leads an assessment of the Board to determine where gaps in skills and experience exist, based on the strategic needs of the organization.
  • Using this assessment, the Board, annually sets out the Nominee Criteria, outlining the skills and experiences that would be most beneficial to strengthen the Board.
  1. Screening and Recruitment
  • Co-op members nominate candidates to stand in the Director Election.
  • All nominees who meet the minimum qualifying criteria can go forward as candidates on the election ballot.
  • The applications of all eligible candidates are reviewed and those who closely meet the Nominee Criteria are interviewed by the Nominations Committee and independent recruitment consultant.
  1. Selection of Recommended Candidates
  • The Nominations Committee works together with the independent recruitment consultant, WATSON Advisors Inc., to proactively identify individuals who meet the Nominee Criteria.
  • Following a robust interview process, the Board selects and presents its recommended candidates to members.
  1. Election
  • Co-op members vote for up to three candidates for the Board of Directors.
  • Co-op members elect three board members to serve for a 3-year term.

All election procedures are monitored by the Co-op’s independent election auditor.

Recommended Candidates

To help drive business success in this rapidly changing, digital world, we need guidance from capable experts and passionate people who shared the Co-op’s values – people who collectively have the desired criteria based on the Board’s required skills in the coming years. These needs are determined by an assessment of the current Board composite.

Knowing this, in 2013 the Board proposed new Rules that would, among other things, mean that the Board must indicate to members which election candidates most closely fulfill the Board’s identified needs. These new Rules were approved by 91% of voters in the 2013 MEC election. In a normal year with three vacancies, the Board must recommend between four and nine candidates.

Purposeful board composition or actively recruiting recommended candidates allows us to find great candidates who share MEC’s values and can contribute their wisdom and experience – but who might not have traditionally put themselves forward for election. The Board will be able to indicate to members the candidates who would be best equipped to contribute to the overall composition and abilities of the Board most effectively. Members, however, will be able to choose between all eligible candidates on the ballot.

Diversity and Inclusion

Over the past few years, we have been stating our diversity aims in the Nominee Criteria and proactively seeking candidates from diverse backgrounds. Despite this, we have not achieved significant change in effectively reaching candidates from diverse ethnic and cultural groups, who are able to contribute to the overall composition and skills of the Board.

We appreciate that significant change may not be achieved in the first years of this proactive approach. However, we believe these efforts are laying the groundwork needed to help us achieve greater board diversity over the coming years.

To advance our commitment to board diversity, our Nominations Committee is working with WATSON Advisors Inc. our independent election consultant, to actively increase the diversity of the pool of candidates considered for recommendation.



Our call for nominations for the 2020 election is now open.

Please review the following four steps to help ensure your application is completed and submitted in its entirety.

All applications must be received by January 10, 2020, at noon, Pacific Time. 

  1. What should I do before I submit my application?

Contact the MEC Governance Office to confirm that the minimum application requirements are met at the close of nominations.These include, but are not limited to:

  • You are at least 18 years of age (born before January 10, 2002).
  • You have been an MEC member for at least three years (joined before January 10, 2017).
  • The membership is in your name
  • The address on file with MEC matches your current address (this can be updated if required).
  • You have purchased or rented at the Co-op within the past two years.
  • You have voted in at least one of the two most recent MEC elections (2018 or 2019).

Those interested in candidacy, a full description of requirements is provided in the MEC Nominations Guide.

  1. What do I need to know when submitting my application?

Review the MEC Nominations Guide which includes basic information and details about the nominations process, election guidelines, and candidacy skills and requirements.

  1. What do I need to include in my application?

The online application form contains a number of items for you to complete. These include:

  • Personal information
  • Acceptance of nomination form
  • Personal statement (3,600 characters max.)
  • Candidate Skills & Qualifications Matrix
  • Related items:
    • Additional information statement (1,000 characters max.)
    • Resume (maximum 2 pages)
    • Nomination form link (to be shared with and completed by 5 MEC members in good standing)
  1. How do I submit my application?

You may begin your application by clicking the Apply link below.

Applicants are requested to complete all parts of the submission in their entirety and by the deadline posted of noon Pacific Time on January 10, 2020.

Please note: As we often receive a large number of submissions in the final days of the nomination period, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to review submissions received during this period before nominations close.  If errors are discovered after the deadline, there is no opportunity for them to be corrected; and if submissions are found to be incomplete, they will be rejected.

Key Dates
Call for nominations begins November 1, 2019
Deadline to submit nominations and acceptance of nomination January 10, 2020
Screening process including interviews and Nomination Committee and Board review November 2019 – January 2020
Nominees confirmed as candidates February 2020
2020 Election begins April 23, 2020
2020 Election finishes May 21, 2020
2020 AGM June 23, 2020



If you have questions, please contact the MEC Governance Office at governance@mec.ca or call us at 604.707.2346.