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Aug 7: Vancity $1 Million Award Finalists Named

Vancity $1 Million Award Finalists Named

Vancouver, August 7, 2002 - Three finalists for The Vancity Award, a $1-million award to be given to a BC-based non-profit organization, were announced today by Vancity Credit Union. The shortlisted finalists have proposed projects for an expanded car-sharing network; the transformation of a former gravel pit into a wildlife habitat; and the renovation of a cultural centre.

In September and October, Vancity members will choose the recipient of the second annual Vancity Award by voting for the project of their choice. Voting will take place by mail, over the Internet or telephone and in Vancity's 39 community branches. The award will be presented in November 2002.

The Vancity Award will invest $1 million each year in a community project sponsored by a non-profit organization that supports the social, environmental, or economic well-being of the community. Funding may go towards development, capital, operational, or endowment needs.

The shortlisted finalists are:
Co-operative Auto Network

The Co-operative Auto Network (CAN) is a not-for-profit, member-controlled car sharing organization incorporated in 1996 and designed to reduce people's use of, and dependency on, automobiles. By sharing ownership and access to vehicles, CAN actively encourages their members to use alternative modes of transportation and improve the quality of air in our communities.

CAN is proposing the rapid expansion of car sharing throughout the Lower Mainland. CAN will purchase an additional fleet of 30 electric-gas hybrid cars and will create a pilot project to use hybrid cars in corporate car sharing, and a "station car" program aimed at multi-user alternative transportation solutions to transit-poor areas.

Mennonite Central Committee-British Columbia
Founded in 1920, the Mennonite Central Committee-BC is a widely known international relief and development agency and its British Columbia office in Abbotsford is involved in a range of community service activities.

MCC's proposal involves the restoration of a 16-hectare gravel pit, located in Aldergrove, using environmentally based techniques. The restoration project will include a water park, small lake, recreation area, riparian area, and habitat restoration of marshland. Training and social development elements will be integrated into the project by employing unemployed and marginalized members of the community. A co-op to continue operation and develop revenue-generating strategies will be formed.

Vancouver East Cultural Centre
The Vancouver East Cultural Centre (VECC) provides an East Side home for cultural activities in many disciplines. For 30 years, the VECC has hosted over 7,500 performances and welcomed 1.5 million visitors.

As part of its 30th anniversary celebration, VECC is proposing to restore, renovate and revitalize its existing main theatre space, and expand to house a new 80-seat studio theatre, art gallery, rehearsal space, office facilities, and backstage areas. VECC's aim is continued excellence in programming and increased access for artists and audiences.

Vancity is Canada's largest credit union, with $7.5 billion in assets, 280,000 members, and 39 branches throughout Greater Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Victoria. Vancity owns Citizens Bank of Canada, serving members across the country by telephone, ATM, and the Internet. Both Vancity and Citizens Bank are guided by a commitment to corporate social responsibility, and to improve the quality of life in the communities where we live and work.