At MEC, we believe in the power of the outdoors to transform people’s lives. We also believe in the power of community to help make this happen.
Being a member of MEC comes with hidden benefits: each time you purchase something at MEC, part of your sale goes back to the outdoor community by supporting our community partners. It all adds up – every headlamp, bike tire, tent or sleeping bag you purchase also helps other Canadians get active outside.
MEC has many long-time partnerships with Canadian organizations that share our mission to inspire and enable everyone to lead active outdoor lifestyles. We contribute to our partners by providing gear and funding to support priorities we both have in common. That means a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, responsible outdoor recreation, and outdoor skill building for all.
We are proud to announce MEC’s community partners for 2021:
Alpine Club of Canada
Since 1906, the Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) has been Canada’s national mountain organization. They have a lot of goals in common with MEC, and want to inspire and enable Canadians to climb, go mountaineering, and get into the alpine. The ACC has an extensive system of alpine and backcountry huts, along with regional club sections across the country to create a vibrant, active outdoor community. As an official benefactor, MEC provides the ACC with annual funding for core operations and youth programming.
Association of Canadian Mountain Guides
The ACMG is committed to nurturing a culture of outdoor adventure in Canada, and give young Canadians the opportunity to safely develop skills and experience the outdoors. MEC and the ACMG run the Adventure Access Program that subsidizes ACMG guides and instructors to work with schools, clubs and other youth groups.
MEC has partnered with Avalanche Canada for a long time. Since 2001, we’ve supported Public Safety Programs and donated funds to help deliver their free Public Avalanche Bulletin. We’ve also partnered with them to provide a free avalanche forecast app, and are the presenting partner of their Avalanche Skill Training (AST) program. We send staff members for AST training, and provide space in stores for the course classroom component. Our partnership helps us provide people with information and training critical to safer enjoyment of the winter backcountry.
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
Since 1988, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) has been one of MEC’s key partners. We work with CPAWS’ national and regional teams to help increase protection of natural spaces where we all play. MEC has supported CPAWS through national and regional initiatives that have helped develop parklands across the country. Just a few of the projects on the go include the Bighorn Country in northern Alberta, Magpie River in Quebec, South Okanagan Similkameen in BC, and Rouge National Urban Park expansion and improvement in Ontario.
Leave No Trace Canada
The highly regarded Leave No Trace program promotes and inspires responsible outdoor recreation. MEC provided the organization’s initial seed funding and helped build their infrastructure. To strengthen their roots in Canada, we continue to support their core operations and encourage MEC staff to become Master Educators. We’re delighted to see them flourish and teach Canadians that even small changes in behavior have monumental impacts on the outdoors.
MEC partners with Parkbus to help thousands of Canadians visit national and provincial parks from major cities across Canada. From day trips and family camping weekends to wilderness expeditions, Parkbus offers accessible transportation options to help city dwellers connect with nature.
Parks Canada and MEC work together to provide a national Learn to Camp initiative. Learn to Camp aims to instill confidence in participants through sharing skills and resources, so they can camp on their own and discover the joy of camping and connecting to outdoor experiences at Parks Canada’s places.
Protect Our Winters – Canada
Protect Our Winters (POW) Canada is our national chapter of the global non-profit POW, which is dedicated to fighting climate change on behalf of the snowsports community. POW’s mission is to turn outdoor enthusiasts into climate advocates to keep the snow in snowsports. They lead a community of athletes, creative pioneers and forward-thinking industry leaders to effect systemic policy solutions to climate change. As a founding partner of the Canadian chapter, MEC helps engage Canadians on the real threat that climate change poses to winter recreation.
Spirit North empowers Indigenous youth to be unstoppable in sport, school and life. Through the transformative power of land-based sport and play, Spirit North helps youth find the courage to take on any challenge, develop leadership skills, improve their health and wellness, discover new talents and unlock their limitless potential. Last season, Spirit North delivered programs to over 6,300 Indigenous youth in 62 communities and 77 schools across BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and the Northwest Territories – and they’re just getting started! MEC supplies gear and funding to support Spirit North’s sport for development programs.
Take Me Outside
Take Me Outside believes in a future where spending time outside learning, playing and exploring is a regular and significant part of every student’s day. They work collaboratively with other organizations, school boards and individuals to encourage children and youth to spend more time outside through various projects and initiatives. MEC provides funding for initiatives such as ‘Take Me Outside Day‘ and the ‘Take Me Outside for Learning Challenge’.