Central 1 Credit Union $1 Milion Gift Funds Co-Operative Outreach

Central 1 Credit Union is donating almost $1 million over the next five years to the University of Victoria’s Centre for Co-operative and Community-Based Economy (CCCBE)—a gift that could increase if the province’s 1.7 million credit union membership expands as well. The financial contribution is based on a unique funding arrangement of nine cents per British Columbia credit union member. Subject to an annual review by Central 1’s board of directors, the Centre could benefit by up to an additional five percent per year.

“This is an extraordinary gift, especially given that Central 1 Credit Union has already been extremely generous to the centre with previous contributions of over $1.24 million over the past 12 years,” says UVic Vice-President External Relations Valerie Kuehne. “This generous gift will permit the centre to continue its focus on enhancing UVic’s connections to the credit union and cooperative sectors while increasing integration with the academic community, both at the university and beyond.”

Central 1 has supported the Centre for Co-operative and Community-Based Economy (CCCBE) since its inception by Dr. Ian MacPherson in 2000 as the BC Institute for Co-operative Studies. Through its support, Central 1 has helped create a dynamic research centre where public interest combines with academic energy towards a greater understanding of the role and potential for co-operative and community-based economy.

Patrice Pratt, a director of Central 1 Credit Union and a member of the CCCBE’s advisory board, noted the commitment of credit unions, as financial co-operatives, to the International Cooperative Alliance’s Principles of Co-operation, especially education, training and information, and concern for community. “In the International Year of Cooperatives, it is only fitting that Central 1 should continue to demonstrate, in a very tangible way, the affinity that credit unions have for the CCCBE,” she said.

Through Central 1’s financial support and active participation on the CCCBE’s advisory board, the centre is able to forge new links with academics on campus and with students in the classroom, create and renew new research partnerships, and establish new ways of spreading research outcomes. One funded initiative is a national research project to measure the social, environmental and economic impact of co-operatives in Canada. This project involves three other Canadian universities and more than a dozen co-operative associations, co-ops and credit unions from across the country. Research results will demonstrate and quantify the co-operative difference in different contexts.

As part of the CCCBE’s increased campus and community engagement it will host Professor Elinor Ostrom, 2009 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, as its Distinguished Speaker in 2013. Ostrom is the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Economics since it was established in 1969. She is cited for her analysis of how common property can be successfully managed by groups using it.

CCCBE is a focal point on campus for the promotion of interdisciplinary research and learning on subjects related to co-operative and community-based economy, engaging faculty members from the University of Victoria and elsewhere, graduate and undergraduate students, and members of the wider community.

Central 1 is the central financial facility and trade association for the BC and Ontario credit union systems. Central 1 represents a consumer-oriented, full-service retail financial system that serves 2.9 million members and holds $80 billion in assets and is owned primarily by its member credit unions, 45 in BC and 113 in Ontario.

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Media contacts

>Dr. Lee (Acting Director, CCCBE) at 250-472-5227 or jalee@uvic.ca

In this story

Keywords: donation, education, Central 1 Credit Union

People: Valerie Kuehne

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