Past Recipients

2018 | 2017 |  2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011

Building on five years of great success and community support across Canada, Concentra is proud to announce our 2016 emPOWERING Your Communities campaign. This year, Concentra will grant two awards valued at $25,000 each, as well as 15 awards valued at $10,000 each.

By increasing our corporate support to $200,000 in 2016, Concentra is demonstrating our unwavering commitment to credit unions and the co-operative values we share. We want to partner with and support credit unions as you serve your local communities.

$25,000 Recipients

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Victoria, Cowichan Valley, Central Vancouver Island (Duncan, British Columbia)
​Vancouver Island's Big Brother Big Sisters organizations support hundreds of children aged 7-18 through In-School and community mentoring programs. Mentoring has been proven to enhance a child's sense of belonging, self-worth and capacity to make healthy, well-informed choices, such as staying in school, avoiding risky behavior and growing up having more respect for family, peers and community.

Island Savings is proud to have partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters since 2011, contributing $65,000 in annual funding to support in-school mentoring programs in all three agencies serving Island children and families. Our employees are given paid time off during working hours to volunteer as In-school mentors in our communities of Duncan, Lake Cowichan and Nanaimo. In-school mentors visit with elementary students for one hour every week, providing friendship and encouragement during the regular school year.

In 2015 Island Savings staff contributed 632 hours of service to BBBS agencies through volunteer support at community events and fundraisers and through their efforts as In-School Mentors and on the Board of Directors. 41 staff members participated in the March 2016 BBBS of the Cowichan Valley Bowl for Kids' Sake fundraising event.

Food4Kids (Hamilton, Ontario)
​Food4Kids serves children, aged 5 - 14 years who experience limited access to food in their homes. The children are identified by their schools through submission of a referral and parental permission form. Food items are packed by volunteers and delivered to schools each Friday morning. At the school, the food package is placed into the student's own backpack, helping to shield the child from any stigma associated with hunger or receiving food assistance. Each child in the home receives their own food package. The cost per backpack is $10.00 - $400 to feed a child for an entire school year.

The program is in 82 schools within the Hamilton, Halton and Halton Hills areas, feeding 1,110 children every week, and growing. Through Food4Kids, barriers to accessing healthy foods on weekends are eliminated, ensuring children chronically without food and deemed hungry, have access to food on a consistent basis. Children with access to healthy food on a regular basis have fewer health problems, are better able to fight off infection, and have a better chance of a healthy development both physically and emotionally. Good nutrition habits and healthy food at an early age are critical to preventing obesity and other detrimental health problems later in life.

In late 2014, we launched a highly successful and national-award-winning 'Warm Bellies' initiative, with Food4Kids as the fundraising beneficiary, and a $25,000 donation funded by Tandia and many of our corporate partners. This complimented an earlier donation in 2014 of $7,000 to Food4Kids from the Charitable Giving Account.

$10,000 Recipients

Blue Sky Opportunities Recycling Plant (Winkler, Manitoba)
​Blue Sky Opportunities is a non-profit organization located in Altona, Manitoba supporting adults with intellectual disabilities in our community, including the Town of Altona and the Municipality of Rhineland. Due to strong community support, Blue Sky has outgrown their current facility which is home to their combine chain assembly and recycling plant. A larger facility will allow Blue Sky to grow their programs, employ more individuals, offer improved working conditions and meet their growing demands, while also minimizing the volume of recyclables in our landfills.

Kent North Centre Arena Rebuild Committee (Rexton, New Brunswick)
In 2009, our arena was destroyed by fire. A new, year-round facility for the Greater Kent Region is set for construction to begin between fall 2016 and spring 2017, with a planned completion date of the fall 2018.

The new facility will serve 8000+ community members by hosting hockey, sporting, recreational and leisure events. The arena will help in promoting wellness for young and old alike, while at the same time providing a boost for local business.

Refugee Transportation Loan Financial Literacy Program (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
​This program serves low-income refugees to Canada by assisting with the financial challenges of resettlement in Canada. It enables repayment of transportation loans owed to the federal government, while providing money management training. Families receive group and individual money management training, focused on improving knowledge of Canada's financial systems including savings, debt and credit. Participants have their savings matched 3:1, up to a maximum of $1000, to assist in repayment of their transportation loans.

One Rafter at a Time Perdue Arena Re-build (Biggar, Saskatchewan)
​The communities of Perdue, Arelee, Kinley, Sonningdale and surrounding area lost our local arena to fire in May 2015. In Saskatchewan, the arena is the focal point in winter, bringing everyone together. A proposed re-built structure will be a 220' x 120' steel-clad building with a kitchen, restrooms, dressing rooms, Zamboni storage, mechanical room and ice surface measuring 185' x 85'. The new facility will be beneficial for businesses and schools by adding value to the entire social and economic fabric of the community.

Community Investment Grant Program (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
​CUA's Community Investment Grant Program was launched in 2015. It provides direct funding by investing in community projects through a series of grants to support smaller-scale, local initiatives creating immediate, positive impact in Halifax. Six grants are provided each year to projects, programs, businesses and organizations demonstrating their ideas will effect positive economic, social and environmental change. Awards are provided in three categories: Youth (19-30), Local Business and Community.

The Full Cupboard (Langley, British Columbia)
​Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union, founded The Full Cupboard in 2013. It is a community investment partnership with eleven local food banks serving the communities of Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Delta, Hope, Kitimat, Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, Surrey and White Rock. The program is designed to raise food, funds and awareness about the critical issue of hunger by providing bi-annual funding to all partner food banks. Donations are used by food banks to purchase food, support community programs and client services.

Foam Lake Lab Equipment Upgrade (Foam Lake, Saskatchewan)
​The X-ray machine and lab equipment in our local health care facility must be replaced. The facility serves citizens of Foam Lake and area with the lab processing more than 500 tests and X-rays annually.

Without this service, our citizens would have to arrange travel up to an hour to have routine tests and X-rays performed. A local fundraising committee has been established, and with approval from the Sunrise Regional Health Authority, is working to raise approximately $250,000.00.

Wilkie Community Center Rebuild Project (Wilkie, Saskatchewan)
The Wilkie Community Center, referred to as the 'Town Hub' was damaged by fire in October 2015 resulting in the cancelation of  the 2015-2016 curling and hockey seasons, as well as closure of the Community Hall. A rebuild process is enabling upgrades and adjustments for a newer and more modernized facility. It will benefit the entire community and surrounding area by inspiring youth to be more active and involved, and helping to ensure recreational activities can be enjoyed closer to home.

Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim (Kelowna, British Columbia)
​Canada's largest and longest running open water swim, now in its 68th year, takes place in Okanagan Lake and promotes healthy, active lifestyles. Proceeds from this swim benefit the YMCA Okanagan Swim Program, an initiative to "drown proof the Okanagan" by providing free swimming lessons to 1400 grade three students in School District 23,which spans from Peachland to Lake Country. With a grant from Concentra, we will be able to offer free swimming lessons to an additional grade level next year, doubling the number of students receiving free lessons.

emPOWERING Entrepreneurs, Building Communities (Toronto, Ontario)
With MaRS, Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs and Futurpreneur Canada, Meridian plans to expand and tailor our free educational website for entrepreneurs: This platform was community-designed and promoted beginning in 2015, informed by research on the pressing financial and business education needs of entrepreneurs. Having supported 4,527 local entrepreneurs in its first 6 months, the website shows promise as a powerful digital platform for business owners of all types, including founders of co-operatives, not-for-profits, charities and social enterprises deciding how to incorporate and structure their organizations. aims to help entrepreneurs to focus on what they do best – building communities.

Osoyoos Child Care Centre Infant/Toddler Playground (Osoyoos, British Columbia)
​The Osoyoos Child Care Centre, a fully licensed, non-profit centre, has been serving families in our community since 1997, and is the only program of its kind in the area. The centre meets care needs of families through three programs: infant/toddler, daycare (3-5 years) and after school. The facility has recently lost its outdoor play structure, leaving no outdoor play area. A new play structure will help engage the children when they play outside, and improve their focus during more structured activities, benefitting their overall quality of care.

Skates for Kids (Welland, Ontario)
Our Skates for Kids Program was launched in 2009, in partnership with local businesses and service organizations, to assist Niagara schools in developing school-wide skating programs. Since inception, Skates for Kids has collected, cleaned, sharpened and delivered over 3,500 pairs of gently used skates and over 1,500 new helmets to schools in the Niagara Region. In addition to skates, we've organized free skate days for all sponsored schools, including complimentary bussing, refreshments and volunteers to help deserving children hit the ice!

Elbow Trail Project (Elbow, Saskatchewan)
​Elbow residents, business owners and vacationers have come together in hopes of building a public recreational trail along the shoreline of Lake Diefenbaker. The 5 km trail would link the Harbor Golf Clubhouse, our iconic Marina and our Community Campground, and would be wheel chair accessible during good weather conditions. An all-season trail for hiking, biking, jogging, snowshoeing and cross country skiing will provide residents and visitors with an excellent natural surface, environmentally-friendly trail system that is safe for beginner and intermediate, young and old.

Andrew Arena (Edmonton, Alberta)
Andrew Arena, owned and operated by the Andrew Agriculture Society, is 40 years old and in dire need of upgrades. Local volunteers run the facilities and concession operations, as well as fundraising activities in order to support a renovation project. Plans include a new lobby, dressing rooms, bathrooms, updated spectator seating and 'finishing touches" like new chairs and tables to make the facility more user-friendly and available for more diverse events.

Tiger Hills Medical Clinic Expansion (Treherne, Manitoba)
​We are expanding and upgrading our outdated Medical Clinic. Tiger Hills Health District serves a large area in Central Manitoba with a population of approximately 3000 people, covering the communities of Treherne,Holland and Cypress River. We currently have three doctors and our expansion plans will add six examining offices to the facility, making room for an additional physician. The clinic will be attached to the hospital and enable Tiger Hills Health District to expand teaching facilities at the clinic.