The Foundation’s primary purpose is to provide education awards to British Columbia resident post-secondary students in need of financial assistance for academic, technological, or vocational training at accredited schools within the province. Awards are also given to mature students upgrading their basic education and skills to allow them to enter the workforce.
The Foundation was incorporated in 1958 under the Society Act of British Columbia and is administered by a twelve-member Board of volunteer Trustees elected by members of the Foundation at the annual general meeting. The Trustees are responsible for the administration and investment of donations, capital grant contributions, memorials, gifts, bequests and trusts, and for the disbursement of income derived from capital as well as from donations.
Every credit union in British Columbia supports the Foundation through annual donation dues. The funds for awards come from the earnings the Foundation receives on its capital. Most of the capital has been donated by credit unions and credit union members to Memorials & Trusts in honour of credit union pioneers.
Credit unions are local, democratically controlled co-operative financial institutions. When first started in the 1940’s, they relied totally on the unpaid volunteer commitment of their members for their board of directors and operating staff. Over the years, as they grew, they hired professional personnel. It is in recognition of the time and dedicated service of both volunteers and personnel that credit unions donate funds to the Foundation.
Since then several named funds have been established by credit unions, individual credit union members honouring loved ones while others have been created through bequests in support of the Foundation’s work. All provide ongoing gifts to future generations of British Columbians striving to complete their education and become contributing members of their community.
About the Trusts & their Awards
The Credit Union Foundation provides public colleges and universities throughout BC with award monies annually to be disbursed to deserving students in need of financial assistance to complete their course of studies. The “Student Information” section lists the colleges and universities to which grants are presently provided.
For individual applications received by the Foundation, while many funds generously provide bursaries to students on any program of studies, there are a few for which the donor preferences are taken into consideration when selecting recipients for the awards, eg:
Garry Ermacora Memorial Trust: Former Selkirk Secondary student whose goal is to become a medical doctor.
Paul Humphries Memorial: For students on aviation related programs.
Shirley C. Schmid Bursary Trust: A Co-operative Housing Association resident.
Shirley Lewis Smith Memorial: Selkirk Secondary student pursuing fine arts.
Wallace Wright Bursary Trust: Surrey School District student pursuing post-secondary vocational or technological training.
For credit union named funds, their members receive first preference for the awards.
The A. Rod Glen International Trust Fund provides for grants to credit union and co-operative projects overseas.
The Board of Trustees
David Lanphear, President (Envision Financial)
Jessie Sidhu, Vice-President (Khalsa CU)
Nolan Hill, Secretary (Williams Lake & District CU)
Jana Lukasek, Treasurer (Bulkley Valley CU)
Gus Hartl, Trustee (Aldergrove CU)
Gene Creelman, Trustee (Interior Savings CU)
Jeff Shewfelt, Trustee (G&F Financial Group)
Balbir Bains, Trustee (Greater Vancouver Community CU)
Deborah Edwards, Trustee (Coastal Community CU)
Tyler Patak, Trustee (Central 1)
Anita Cheng, Trustee (Vancity CU)
Kirsten McElgunn (Prospera CU)
Bill Wright and Phil Moore (GVC Credit Union)
Gene Blishen (Mt. Lehman CU)
Meredith Pue (Westminster Savings CU)