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Westminster Savings Funds Arts Umbrella to Bring Arts Education to Children

New Westminster, B.C., December 12, 2014 – Arts education early in life results in long-term, life-changing benefits from enhanced critical thinking, increased self-esteem and ability to collaborate, to improved scores in math and science – skills that will help children into adulthood. Thanks to a continuing partnership between Arts Umbrella and Westminster Savings, more children in Surrey will have access to arts learning.

Westminster Savings is extending its funding through 2015 with a grant of $60,000 to support the Artful Afternoons outreach program in the Central Surrey community, which provides after-school arts classes for at-risk youth. Westminster Savings is also a proud supporter of Arts Umbrella's successful Artful Mornings drop-in program in South Surrey, which will expand into Central Surrey in 2015.

"Arts Umbrella gratefully acknowledges the renewed support of Westminster Savings," says Lucille Pacey, President and CEO, Arts Umbrella. "Their ongoing support of high-quality programs for young people has been critical in helping us deliver arts education opportunities to youth in Surrey."

Westminster Savings is supporting two programs that provide young people and families facing geographical, cultural or financial barriers with access to the highest quality arts programming free of charge or at a reduced rate:

  • Artful Afternoons - This outreach program delivers engaging arts programming for young people living in the Central Surrey community. The four-day a week program provides a fun and safe environment for youth to develop skills and expertise in the fine and performing arts. The 2014 program will service over 70 vulnerable children, age 6-19, living in the area.
  • Artful Mornings - This drop-in class for young families is available Saturdays at the Arts Umbrella Central Surrey (102-13678 100 Avenue) and South Surrey (The Shops at Morgan Crossing, 116–15850 26 Avenue) locations.

"We are proud and excited to extend this partnership for another year to help Arts Umbrella continue their great work in the Surrey community," says Gavin Toy, President and CEO Westminster Savings. "Through our partnership, just over 400 children have enjoyed high-quality arts programming, which can make a huge, positive impact in their lives. The programs are giving children and young families the opportunity to access the lifelong benefits arts education can bring, in the communities they live in. In short, Arts Umbrella is contributing to better balance for Surrey residents, and that's what we're all about."

Westminster Savings supports Arts Umbrella as part of Project Better Balance, a community investment program to provide people with opportunities to get active and engage with the arts.

About Westminster Savings

Established almost 70 years ago, Westminster Savings provides a full range of retail, commercial, and wealth management solutions to its members across metropolitan Vancouver. Westminster Savings offers a wide range of online and mobile banking services, access to global ATM networks and extended banking service through its contact centre located in New Westminster. Through its wholly owned leasing subsidiaries, Westminster Savings also provides auto, equipment, and fleet leasing solutions to its customers across the country.

About Arts Umbrella

Arts Umbrella is a not-for-profit arts education centre committed to delivering the highest quality visual and performing arts education to young people, regardless of their socio-economic circumstances. With more than 270 tuition-based classes and numerous outreach classes each week, Arts Umbrella's dedicated arts educators cater to children of all artistic interests and skills levels - from early learning to advanced pre-professional training. For more information, please visit www.artsumbrella.com.

For more information

Cathryn Tucker
Manager, Corporate and Internal Communications
Westminster Savings