Join us

Vancity redesigns branches to be living labs

Vancity redesigns branches to be living labs

Free meeting space and “gift” are key features to build community connections

Vancouver, British Columbia – Vancity has redesigned two of its branches to act as living labs that signal a new way of doing business for Canada’s largest community credit union.

Vancity’s South Burnaby and Port Coquitlam branches have been redesigned to intentionally meet the needs of local members and businesses in a way that recognizes the role they have in the community and meets the needs of that community. 

Rick Sielski, Vancity’s chief operating officer, Member Services, says the redesign is more than a new look.

“One of Vancity’s strengths has always been our ability to help members thrive financially as we build vibrant communities together. We’re a community asset, and we want our branches to reflect that in a physical way,” says Sielski. “This redesign transforms our branches into community hubs where you can also get the savvy financial services and advice you need, while helping build community.”

“The branch redesign is beautiful, welcoming and different,” said Anahi English, owner of Stomping Ground, a local catering business and Vancity member. “Having worked with some of the businesses that Vancity is involved with, it made me feel like we were all connected in some way. This is what community building is all about. “

The branches provide an integrated offering of day-to-day financial services, business banking expertise and wealth management services. In addition to a concierge who greets members at the entrance and helps direct them to where staff can meet their needs, the branches have other innovative features.

The Community Stage is free meeting room space designed for use by community groups for events and gatherings. It includes a large flat screen monitor with PC feed, keyboard and wireless Internet access.

The Gift is a venue for local merchants and not-for-profit organizations to interact with members and share their story with a brochure, a coupon or a sample of the goods they sell. The Gift provides a prominent location for businesses and community groups to raise awareness and build connections.

There’s a Think Tank, professional meeting space that can be used to meet and brainstorm the art of the possible, whether it’s a small business owner, a not-for-profit or a member meeting with their sustainable wealth management advisor.

Both branches also include a large scale art installation commissioned from a local artist to reflect and interpret, in a celebratory way, the rich and diverse culture of that community.

This redesign represents a major change for Vancity in the way it does business in its branches. We’ll test these design features in the months to come, and as we learn from these changes, we hope to replicate it in other branches over time.

At Vancity we make you good money by putting money to good. Our vision of redefining wealth incorporates personal and community well-being. We have distributed $221 million to members through dividends and to communities through grants and community investment initiatives since 1994. We are a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values—a network of the world’s leading sustainable banks sharing the commitment to achieving triple-bottom-line impact through responsible banking practices. We are A Living Wage employer and Canada’s largest community credit union, with $16.1 billion in assets, more than 479,500 members and 58 branches throughout Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria and Squamish.

For more information, please visit our website at: or call 778-837-0394