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Westminster Savings receives the 2017 Award for Philanthropy at the Surrey Mayor's Art Awards

Surrey, B.C., June 15, 2017– Westminster Savings is thrilled to be the recipient of the Surrey Mayor’s Art Award in the category of Philanthropy. This annual award is given to an individual or business that has generously contributed to arts and culture through grants, donations or other investments, thereby enriching Surrey through the arts and enhancing the city’s livability.

Arts Umbrella nominated Westminster Savings in recognition of its longstanding partnership with the organization, and especially for Westminster Savings’ ongoing support of disadvantaged children in the Central Surrey area since 2012.

“We are extremely honoured to be receiving this award and very proud of our continuing partnership with Arts Umbrella,” said Gavin Toy, President and CEO, Westminster Savings. “At Westminster Savings, we believe strongly in the positive impact that arts and culture have in creating healthy, inspired communities. We hope that our joint efforts will continue to open up more opportunities for learning and enrichment, and for kids and families to explore their creativity and self-expression.”

Westminster Savings has supported Arts Umbrella with $385,000 over the past six years, and recently confirmed an additional $225,000 in partnership funding from 2017 to 2019. To date, the two organizations have reached 1,448 students up to grade 12 from 27 schools in Surrey. These young people have formed tight friendships, been inspired to start careers and have gained increased confidence, creativity and expression. Importantly, support from Westminster Savings has also transformed an otherwise unstable period of the day (after school), helped to get kids off the streets and away from risky behaviors, and provided an exciting time of new experiences, learning and growth with exceptional mentors.

“In the time since Westminster Savings first approved funding for our Surrey after-school and drop-in programs, they have continued to defy expectations and have gone above and beyond in their commitment to support children and families,” said Paul Larocque, President and CEO, Arts Umbrella.

Westminster Savings was pleased to accept the Surrey Mayor’s Art Award at this year’s creative economy dialogue with the mayor, hosted by the Surrey Board of Trade on Friday, June 9, 2017. Representing the organization were Central City branch manager, Harinder Gill, Westminster Savings Foundation board chair, Hanne Madsen and Foundation and Community Giving Manager, Nicole Eich. Arts Umbrella was represented by Director, Community Programs, Miriam Aiken and Senior Director, Programming, Susan Smith Alexander.

L to R: Central City Branch Manager, Harinder Gill, Foundation and Community Giving Manager, Nicole Eich and Westminster Savings Foundation Board Chair, Hanne Madsen. L to R: Central City Branch Manager, Harinder Gill, Foundation and Community Giving Manager, Nicole Eich and Westminster Savings Foundation Board Chair, Hanne Madsen.

About Westminster Savings Credit Union

At $3.6 billion in assets under management, more than 55,000 members and 400 employees, Westminster Savings is among the largest credit unions in Canada. Known for its customer and community focus, people oriented culture, and sound financial and operating practices, Westminster Savings provides a full range of retail, commercial, leasing and wealth management solutions to meet its customers' evolving needs. To learn more, visit www.wscu.com.

About Arts Umbrella

Art can change the lives of children in incredible ways, which is why Arts Umbrella helps young artists cultivate creativity and grow self-confidence through Performing, Visual, and Media Arts programs. Since 1979, the not-for-profit has opened doors for young people ages 2 to 22 to find and explore their artistic voices. More than 20,000 students discover the magic each year, with more than half participating at little to no cost to their families. For more information, please visit www.artsumbrella.com.

For more information, please contact:

Cathryn Tucker
Manager, Corporate and Internal Communications