Community Investment Funds


Community Investment Funds

First Credit Union recognizes that not-for-profit organizations and grass-roots community groups play a vital role in building financially healthy communities by providing programs & services that contribute to economic stability, social cohesion and environmental sustainability. As a way to bolster First Credit Union’s support to the non-profit & community sector we offer annual Community Investment Funds.

Through our application process applicants are selected by a volunteer panel of First CU employees and managers to receive the Community Investment Funds for their community. See below for details and examples of previous years.

Preference is given to applicants whose work is aligned with our areas of focus:

Engaging Youth – These projects are not only available to youth but they are youth driven and/or empower youth to fully participate in the local culture and engage with the community. Projects could include workshops, training, youth-focused events, or after-school programs.

Poverty Reduction – These projects improve the economic well-being of individuals and our communities. Projects could include affordable housing, access to childcare, social cohesion, or addressing training - especially for those with special needs or barriers to employment.

Building Strong Local Economies – These projects support capacity building for small businesses and community organizations. Projects could include workshops, education/training seminars, or knowledge-sharing.

Environmental Sustainability – These projects demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and support citizens, neighbourhoods, and organizations to make a positive difference to the environment. Projects could include topics such as climate change action, waste reduction, renewable energy, or environmental education.

Application Guidelines Expand/Collapse

Consideration for Community Investment Funds is given to applications meeting the following criteria:

  • Applicants must be community-based/volunteer run groups OR registered non-profit or charitable societies
  • Preference is given to applicants whose work is aligned with our areas of focus (as stated above)
  • Applicants must be members in good standing for the period of one year or more

Ineligible requests:

  • Requests where only one or a few individuals benefit
  • Requests for donations specifically for travel
  • Requests for general operational funding (requests should be project or event based)
  • Requests where the primary purpose of the donation is to promote a religious or political view
  • Requests where the expectation of the donation is recurring or for operational costs
  • Requests where the funds are requested payable to an individual (i.e., a payment cannot be made to an individual only to a community or business account)

Deadlines & Approval Process

We are currently reviewing our Community programs including the Community Investment Funds. Please check back in the fall of 2020 for the next application deadlines.

If you have any questions please contact

2019 Community Investment Fund Recipients Expand/Collapse

On behalf of First Credit Union & Insurance,The Co-operators, and Westview Agencies congratulations to all of the 2019 Community Investment Fund recipients!

Westview Agencies Community Investment Fund recipient:

Powell River Orphaned Wildlife Society (awarded $1200.00)

PROWLS was incorporated in 2016 to rescue and rehabilitate ill, injured and orphaned wildlife in the Powell River area, and to educate the public in wildlife protection, foster environmental awareness, and promote good stewardship of British Columbia's indigenous species.

In 2019 PROWLS will take in more than 350 animals  of many different species. Most of the patients are birds, but last year several mammals were also taken in (fawns, a young hare, squirrels, a flying squirrel, raccoons, a river otter, bats, muskrat, deer mouse) in addition to a turtle. PROWLS  does not turn anyone away, the animals all require suitable housing and specific diets as well as medical care. Some need to be transferred to other facilities. All of this is expensive.

First Credit Union, First Insurance and The Co-operators Community Investment Fund recipients:

Powell River Farmers Market (awarded $5000.00)

The Powell River Farmers Market is a Committee under the Powell River Farmers' Agricultural Institute who's mandated:

To improve conditions of rural life, so that settlement may be permanent and prosperous, and to welcome newcomers to the agricultural community.

  • To promote the theory and practice of agriculture by lectures, essays, the circulation of information and other educational material, methods, and to stimulate interest by exhibitions, prizes, and other means.
  • To arrange on behalf of its members for the purchase, distribution, or sale of commodities, supplies or products, and generally to act on their behalf in all matters incidental to agricultural pursuits.
  • To promote & facilitate community involvement in agricultural initiatives and food systems.

Electricity Access Expansion Project. The Farmers Market would like to expand the locations that are able to easily utilize electricity. Today there are a few strategic plugs that quickly become overloaded with extension cords without creating tripping hazards. Over the past 5 years the market has grown significantly and is a breeding ground for local micro businesses within Powell River and the qathat Regional District.

Texada Island Food Bank (awarded $500.00)

The Texada Island Food Bank resides under the umbrella of the Texada Island Community Society. TICS has been a registered Society since 1930 and the general mandate is to encourage the enhancement of youth and community, support the advancement of education and to assist the needy.

The Food Bank’s on-going project is to source out nutritious foods at the best possible cost, educating food growers to bring extra garden products to the food bank, sourcing out bulk food buys and repackaging.

Sandpipers Play Centre (awarded $500.00)

Sandpipers opened in the mid 1980's as a preschool program for children ages 3-5. The mandate is to provide children with a strong learning environment.

The new generation of parents and children are very engaged in the environment. Community Investment Funds would enable the purchase of books, materials, and equipment needed to offer an environmental/science program for Texada children.

St. Georges United Church (awarded $2500.00)

St. George's United Church provides a place of worship for about 160 members and many community outreach programs such as the Comox Valley Toy Library, Alcoholics Anonymous meeting rooms, and the Sonshine Lunch Club. 

The Church is planning an extensive renovation of their kitchen, originally built in 1964. The adjacent washrooms will also be renovated to make them accessible. The kitchen renovations include new flooring, increased ventilation, a new hot water tank, and new food preparation work surfaces. The kitchen is used by the Sonshine Lunch Club to prepare an average of 110 hot lunches on a 5-day per week basis. 

Cumberland Events Society (awarded $2500.00)

The Cumberland Events Society is a not for profit community society dedicated to providing a low to no cost Victoria Day celebration for the residents of Cumberland and the larger. The Victoria Day celebrations include a cinch tournament, fashion show, Market Day by Elevate, a Washoe Tournament, Sports & Soccer Sunday, the annual parade, crowning of the May Queen, and maypole dancing. As the oldest running society in the Village The Cumberland Events Society supports the Cumberland Community School Society Thunderballs, The Soap Box Derby, the Heritage Faire and Lantern Festival, parade & sky lantern release, and the Christmas Truck Light Parade. The Society also provides support for various activities in the Village of Cumberland and the Comox Valley by providing such things as tables, canopies, visi vests, and other miscellaneous items free of charge. Events hosted by the Cumberland Events Society are designed to provide entertainment for the residents of Cumberland, the Comox Valley, and beyond. The Cumberland Events Society is a non reporting, non charitable organization that relies solely on donations and grants. Without this support the signature community events would not continue.

This grant would help provide music and entertainment in the Village Park, for busker style entertainment on Dunsmuir Avenue before the paradeon May 20, and for the entertainment on the stage in the Village Park after the May pole dance and May Queen crowning.

Bowen Island Football Club (awarded $2000.00)

The Bowen Island Football Club was formed by a small group of like-minded individuals that wanted to give Bowen Islanders the opportunity to play soccer, or "the beautiful game" as it is often referred to. Their mandate is to make soccer accessible and affordable for any children and youth that wish to play. Growth has relied heavily on the commitment of dedicated volunteers and community support throughout the years. Today, The Bowen Island Football Club serves around 220 members of the community at any given time, providing soccer programs to youth, children and adults as well as a social hub where strong community connections have been built over the years.

Bowen Island Football Club (BIFC) coaching sessions and home games are held at the artificial turf or the grass field at Bowen Island Community School. The installation of the turf was the result of collaboration between BIFC, Bowen Island Municipality and West Vancouver School District, and has benefited many youth, children, and adults in the community over the years. After 10 years of operation the turf is at the end of its projected lifespan and desperately needs replacing. The adjacent grass field is also in bad shape and maintaining it is an ongoing burden to the municipality. To investigate the different options available to BIFC for replacing the turf, improving the grass field, and enabling the community to continue benefiting from the spaces the Bowen Island Football Club plan on completing a feasibility study.

2018 Community Investment Fund Recipients Expand/Collapse

Westview Agencies Community Investment Fund:

  • Senior Citizens Association of BC Branch (awarded $1,200)
    This volunteer group provides seniors with access to nutritious frozen dinners (vital since Meals on Wheels is no longer operating in our district). At present they provide over 60 meals to seniors every week. Funds will go towards cost of meals, and operating the kitchen.  

First Credit Union and Insurance Community Investment Funds:

  • K-Lumet (awarded $500)
    K-Lumet is a social enterprise embarking on a pilot project to research and test an adaptive model of inclusive employment for people with disabilities. They will employ 20 people, including 10 people with disabilities and 8 people with high barriers to employment for the duration of the pilot project. You will hear more about this innovative and exciting project at our AGM.
  • Texada Sandpiper’s Playcentre (awarded $100)
    This non-profit preschool has been in operation for over thirty years and provides preschool services for children ages 3 to 5 on Texada Island. Funds will assist with the purchase of natural playground equipment.

  • Powell River Hospital Garden Project (awarded $4,700)
    By combining land available on the hospital grounds and local gardening expertise, community organizations are joining forces to develop an on-site institutional food garden and produce market at the Powell River Hospital. Funds will assist with the purchase of garden construction materials.

  • Bowen Island Food Bank (awarded $1,100)
    The Bowen Island Food Bank has been in operation for 25 years and provides a no-threshold food pantry for people needing support. Funds will purchase a frost-free upright freezer to replace their second-hand chest freezer which is not in good shape. The freezer is used to sort food which recipients can access at any time. An upright freezer will make it easier to see what food is available and will help keep the food in better condition.

  • Glacier View Lodge Senior Centre (awarded $2,700)
    The Glacier View Lodge Senior Centre is a not-for-profit agency that provides residential care and programs for community seniors and their caregivers. In an effort to create engaging spaces and jobs that provide meaning and allow seniors to use their strengths, Glacier View is expanding one of their garden areas to grow vegetables and fruits. Funds will go towards building a greenhouse to extend their growing season and a market cart that will be used to sell the produce.
  • Cumberland Community Forest Society (CCFS) (awarded $750)
    The CCFS was formed in 2000 to purchase and protect the forest lands surrounding the Village of Cumberland for the benefit of the community. As a result of increased forest use by residents, schools, and visitors, the CCFS has created The Forest Footprint Project to engage the community in dialogue, education and creative problem solving to help ensure the long-term ecological integrity of the forests the community is working so hard to protect. Funds will go towards developing learning materials, curriculum kits or community programs to explore the ecological impact of our ‘footprint’ on the Cumberland Forest.  
  • Cumberland Community Housing Society (CCHS) (awarded $1,550)
    The CCHS is a non-profit affordable housing organization that was recently formed to help facilitate the development of affordable housing in Cumberland through forming partnerships within the community to help find opportunities for development. Funds will be used to help this new society begin work on its mandate.

2017 Community Investment Fund recipients Expand/Collapse

Westview Agencies Community Impact Fund:

  • Powell River Technology Co-op (awarded $1,200):
    The project is an interactive public art installation for multiple public events, allowing PR Technology Co-op to start dialogues with the public about the accessible technology that the project was built around. This fits into the greater PR Technology Co-op mandate to promote technological product development in Powell River by providing opportunities and assistance learning new technology.

First Credit Union and Insurance Community Investment Funds:

  • Powell River Therapeutic Riding Association (awarded $4,600):
    Will be using the funds towards building a much needed two-stall shelter beside their existing barn. The PRTRA works collaboratively within our community to provide therapeutic horseback riding for children and adults with physical, mental, emotional, and learning disabilities. 
  • Cumberland Market (awarded $1,000):
    The Cumberland Market is intended to provide Cumberland residents with access to fresh local food, encourage Cumberlanders to grow (and sell) their own food, and increase awareness around food security. The money will help support the Cumberland Coupon program which gives Cumberland residents in need $20 in market coupons each week to spend on fresh whole foods.
  • Coal Hills BMX (awarded $1,000):
    Coal Hills BMX is hosting the 2017 Vancouver Island Nationals this June. The event attracts riders from across Canada and the US, positively impacting local riders, the community and local businesses. The funds will go towards upgrades and maintenance of the track and building repairs.
  • Vanier Community Garden (awarded $2,700):
    The Vanier Community Garden is a project that will provide growing and educational space to students at Vanier High School during the school year and to community members and organizations during the summer months. Their aim is to create an outdoor learning space that will serve as a model to the rest of the community.
  • Texada Food Bank (awarded $500):
    Texada Food Bank is open twice a month; they provide balanced, nutritious food support to those in need.
  • Bowen Island Museum and Archives (awarded $1,000):
    Bowen Island Museum and Archives is creating an attractive garden pathway that will be wheelchair accessible providing seniors located further down Senior Rd to have safe access to the heart of Snug Cove Village. They are including several park benches and gardens along the way. Outdoor artifacts and archival photos will be displayed is designated areas for community interest and education.

2016 Community Investment Fund recipients Expand/Collapse

  • Powell River Child, Youth & Family Services (Recreation Wednesdays): $4,400
  • Comox Valley Therapeutic Riding Society (Barn Buddies): $2,700
  • Texada Food Bank: $650
  • Cumberland 50 Plus H.U.B. Society: $1,400
  • Coast Animal Welfare and Education Society (CAWES): $1,000
  • (Westview Agencies Fund) PR Community Resource Centre (Monday Brunch): $1,200

2015 Community Investment Fund recipients Expand/Collapse

  • Powell River Hospice Society: $4,150
  • Texada Island Health Services Society (Cancer Group): $650
  • CV Family Services Association (Creating Calm Program): $2,700
  • Cumberland Community Schools Society (Mamacentric Program): $800
  • Bowen Island Snug Cove House Society: $850
  • (Westview Agencies Fund) Assumption Soup Kitchen: $600
  • (Westview Agencies Fund) Kaleidoscope Art Collective: $600

2014 Community Investment Fund recipients Expand/Collapse

  • Powell River Family Place: $4,000
  • Courtenay Elementary School Friendship Garden: $2,700
  • Texada Island Library: $650
  • Cumberland Motorcycle Roundup: $700
  • Bowen Island Community School PAC: $750
  • (Westview Agencies Fund) Powell River Parks & Wildnerness: $600
  • (Westview Agencies Fund) Powell River Council for Arts, Culture & Heritage: $600

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