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Friesens joins Canadian Employee Ownership Coalition

January 26, 2023  By PrintAction Staff

Friesens joins the newly launched Canadian Employee Ownership Coalition (CEOC). Chad Friesen, CEO of Friesens, join CEOC as a member of the steering committee. This nonprofit has a mission to bring the multi-billion-dollar wealth-building benefits of employee-ownership to Canada.

Friesens has been employee-owned in various forms since the 1950s, benefiting thousands of employees, their families, and the local economy.

The company would likely not exist in Altona, Man., today had it not been for the foresight of the original Friesen family. The Friesen brothers, D.K. Ray and Ted, were active in the co-operative movement and that experience influenced their belief that “the employees who contribute to the success and well-being of the business should share in the profits”.


Friesens is participating in the CEOC for several reasons such as:

  • promote employee-ownership as a solution to today’s business succession challenges;
  • help preserve local business ownership and the benefits to communities across the country;
  • change the trust structure and taxation in Canada to enable more employee-ownership; and
  • help close the growing wealth gap in society.

“The federal government announced in the 2022 Budget their intent to encourage employee-ownership in Canada, but now we need action. We’re encouraging the government to pass legislation in 2023. The CEOC will be actively advocating for and supporting this effort until the legislation is in place,” said a company statement.

Friesens is owned 100 per cent by an employee trust(s) and the current employees of the company are the beneficiaries of the trust. It is a great time to be an employee-owner of Friesens, as the company is in a strong financial position, operating four growing businesses (books, yearbooks, packaging, and Friesen Press), and increasing ownership rewards.

Last year, the trust distributed $5,000,000 among 550 qualifying employee-owners (on average that is over $9,000/employee or more than two months of additional pay).

The company broke records for revenue, profits, and number of employees in 2022.

The 115-year-old company plans to invest a record $19 million in several new presses, including the largest single investment it has ever made in a printing press (a new Timson T48 that will arrive in 2024).

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