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Vancity supports centre for social innovation

For Immediate Distribution January 15, 2013

Photo: Andy Broderick, VP Community Investment visits the home of the late Jim Green to share funding announcement with Heather Redfern, partner of Jim Green

Vancouver, BC. Vancity announced today it’s providing $1.5M to help set up a centre for social innovation and inclusion in honour of Jim Green’s commitment to Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside community. The funding for the centre will be managed by Vancity’s Community Foundation, a public charity focused on long-term community development, to further the former city councillor’s many years of social activist work in the community.

Social innovation is simply activating new ideas and involving people in projects that make a positive impact that benefits the community for the long term.

“We want to build on the great work already achieved by Jim and his commitment to the residents of the Downtown Eastside,” says Virginia Weiler, Chair of the Board of Directors for Vancity. “This project embodies our approach to banking which puts the needs of people and their communities first.”

Andy Broderick, VP Community Investment at Vancity says, “We believe this centre will be a catalyst for bringing together neighbourhood partners including community groups, businesses, and cooperatives, to produce social, economic and environmental results that benefit everyone and in a way that’s sustainable for the long term.”

Heather Redfern, partner of the late Jim Green says, “Jim had a vision for the Downtown Eastside which activated his lifelong commitment to Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood. Our family is honored that his legacy is being carried on. He would be very proud of this announcement today.”

Vancity is working together with other community partners such as Simon Fraser University to develop the centre, which will engage organizations, institutions, and businesses committed to building a more resilient and inclusive community to support and inform one another’s work.

Andrew Petter, President and Vice-Chancellor for Simon Fraser University says, “It’s important to develop new methods and models focused on the needs of communities. A centre for social innovation will help connect those creating solutions to complex social, environmental and economic problems to each other, as well as to the knowledge, skills and resources they need to succeed.”

About Vancity:

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 57 branches throughout Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria and Squamish.
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About Vancity Community Foundation

The Vancity Community Foundation (VCF) is a public charity created to help gather together community resources to realize the potential that exists when we invest in the vision of communities. Through the generosity of donors, and the expert contributions of staff, board, and partner organizations, VCF strives to be a catalyst for transformation.

Vancity media contact: 778.837.0394