Record 50 Infrastructure Grants awarded by Western Financial Group!

Funds support local projects aimed at strengthening communities in Western Canada

High River, AB – Western Financial Group (Western), through its charitable arm, the Western Communities Foundation, has awarded a record 50 infrastructure grants totaling $250,000 for 2016. The number of grants awarded this year increased from 40 awarded in 2015. Each $5,000 grant will go toward various projects supporting public health, public housing, education, and recreation in the communities where Western operates. In accordance with the program guidelines, grants must be awarded to municipalities or registered charities.

Funds for the infrastructure grants are raised by employees of Western through an annual Support the Cause Day Walk and other charitable ventures. Winners are then chosen from a pool of deserving nominees put forth by each office.

“We are beyond excited that our budget allowed us to add an additional 10 grants this year. These communities support us, and we love that we are able to support them in return,” said James Bond, Executive Chairman of the Western Communities Foundation.


2016 Grants include:


  • Barrhead: Community pool
  • Bashaw: Volunteer fire department – new rescue unit
  • Bassano: Curling rink – repairs
  • Bow Island: Senator Gershaw School – greenhouse project
  • Brooks: New library – shelving and furnishings
  • Clive: Clive School – greenhouse project
  • Cold Lake: Lakeland Humane Society
  • Coleman: New mobile stage for community use
  • Hanna: City of Hanna – upgrade to Arena
  • High River: Notre Dame School – outdoor seating
  • Mayerthorpe: New splash park
  • Red Deer: City of Red Deer – new downtown arena
  • Turner Valley: Boys & Girls Club – new bike track
  • Vermilion: Community hall – sound system
  • Wainwright: Wainwright Elementary School – new playground


British Columbia

  • Coquitlam: Tri-cities – dialysis unit upgrade
  • Coronation: City of Coronation – new seating area for the swimming pool
  • Cranbrook: East Kootenay Regional Hospital – MRI machine
  • Cranbrook: Idlewild Park – dam replacement & park upgrades
  • Duncan: Chemainus Elementary School – playground equipment
  • Fernie: Tom Uphill Manor – facility upgrades
  • Fruitvale: Fruitvale Elementary School – new playground
  • Golden: Community park – upgrade washroom structure
  • Houston: Child care facility – rebuild & expansion
  • Lake Country: Okanagan Rail Trail
  • Nanaimo: Uplands Park Elementary School – playground
  • Nanaimo: Eden Gardens – new facility for dementia patients
  • Richmond: Homma Elementary School – courtyard upgrade
  • Salmo: Salmo Community Golf Course – facility and ground upgrades
  • Sidney: Tulista Skatepark
  • Smithers: Field house replacement and playground equipment
  • Sooke: Fred Miln Field – grass replacement
  • Sparwood: New community skatepark
  • Surrey: Peace Arch Hospital – emergency room expansion
  • Surrey: Pacific Heights Elementary School – playground replacement & equipment
  • Vanderhoof: New swimming pool
  • Victoria: View Royal Elementary School – playground replacement of
  • Victoria: Colwood Creek Water / Spray Park
  • Victoria: Little Waves Daycare – upgrade for deck & handicap access
  • Victoria: Glanford School – playground replacement
  • Victoria: Westshore Family Centre – playground upgrade
  • Victoria: Victoria Native Friendship Centre – new playground at community centre



  • Brandon: New women’s home for those struggling with addictions
  • Gilbert Plains: Electronic sign for community events
  • Roblin: Roblin Swimming Pool – stair replacement
  • Winnipeg: Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre – Hospital & Education Centre



  • Estevan: Habitat for Humanity
  • LeRoy: Humboldt District Hospital – horizon clip applicator for operating room
  • Weyburn: Weyburn Humane Society – shelter upgrade
  • Wolseley/Glenavon: Glenavon Curling Rink – upgrade / ceiling repair


About Western Financial Group and the Western Communities Foundation

Western Financial Group is a diversified insurance company that serves more than 800,000 customers across western Canada. Founded in 1996 and headquartered in High River, Alberta, Western provides personal and business insurance services through more than 162 office locations and affiliates. With a skilled team of approximately 1,900 employees, Western is committed to building the strongest insurance brokerage network in Western Canada. Western Financial Group is a subsidiary of Desjardins Group, the leading cooperative financial group in Canada.

The Western Communities Foundation was founded by Western Financial Group in 2002 as a non-profit organization under the Income Tax Act of Canada (Registration #87030 2619 RR0001). The Foundation’s core donation programs include community infrastructure grants, exceptional achievement bursaries for graduating high school students, and matching grants. Since its inception, the Western Communities Foundation has raised more than $2 million to support the communities in which Western Financial Group operates.


For further information, please contact:

Dena DeGrofft
Communications Manager
Western Financial Group
Phone: (403) 652-2663 ext. 516 Cell: (403) 336-5469

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85 Exceptional Achievement Student Bursaries Awarded for 2015

Each year $500 bursaries are awarded to high school students in Western Canada

High River, AB: Western Financial Group, through its charitable arm the Western Communities Foundation is proud to announce that 85 student bursaries have been presented to deserving students in communities across Western Canada.

These student bursaries are handed out each year to graduating high school students who have overcome adversity, achieved success despite physical or mental limitations, displayed outstanding community or school spirit, performed an act of heroism or demonstrated leadership in a crisis. The bursaries, each worth $500, made for a total donation to students across Western Canada of $42,500.

“As an organization, we are so thrilled to be donating more bursaries this year,” said James Bond, executive director of the Western Communities Foundation. “It is so important to give back to our local communities and to support exceptional students.”

This is the 10th year that the awards have been given to remarkable student leaders across Western Canada. Since its inception, the Western Communities Foundation has awarded more than 500 bursaries.

The 2015 Western Communities Foundation Exceptional Achievement Citation & Bursary Award Recipients are:

  • Josh Xander of Oilfields High School; Turner Valley, AB
  • Rachael McKay of Gilbert Plains Collegiate; Gilbert Plains, MB
  • Dayton Funk of JV Humphries; Kaslo, BC
  • Tristiana Allwood of Peter Skene Ogden; 100 Mile House, BC
  • Brayden  Reedy of Sparwood Secondary; Sparwood, BC
  • Arnaud Nimenya of Holy Trinity Academy; Okotoks, AB
  • Alexandra Sime-Vivian of Golden Secondary School; Golden , BC
  • Martina Moore of LeRoy School; LeRoy, SK
  • Aaron Heinze of Chase Secondary; Chase , BC
  • Samual Finnigan-Griffin of Rutland Senior; Kelowna, BC
  • Kyra Kallies of Fernie Secondary; Fernie, BC
  • Liam Jensen of Winston High School; Watrous, SK
  • Molly Moar of Drumheller Valley Secondary School; Drumheller, AB
  • Vanessa McCulloch of Willow Creek Composite; Claresholm, AB
  • Stephanie Wills of Cochrane High School; Cochrane, AB
  • Jeanelle Kozak of St. Anthony’s High School; Drumheller, AB
  • Alekz Moes of Barrhead Composite High School; Barrhead, AB
  • Hannah Roach of Semiahmoo Secondary; Surrey, BC
  • Jocelynne Limoges of Strathmore High School; Strathmore, AB
  • Carrie Kelly of Holy Cross Collegiate; Langdon, AB
  • Brennan Lal of Semihamoo Secondary; Surrey, BC
  • Vanessa Snowden of Westshore Centre for Learning and Thinking; Cobble Hill, BC
  • Krystal Adams of Souris School; Souris, MB
  • Dane Larsen of John Barsby; Nanaimo, BC
  • Francis Krakue of Estevan Comprehensive; Estevan, SK
  • Kennedy Woof of JT Foster; Nanton, AB
  • Keith Martin of Fraser Lake; Fort Fraser, BC
  • Braxton McKean of Murdoch MacKay; Arola, MB
  • Nicole Strachan of Kelowna Senior Secondary; Kelowna, MB
  • Nicole Jones of  Dave Penner; Hythe, AB
  • Maryna Eil of EMCS; Sooke, BC
  • Chelsey Cordes of Rosetown Central; Rosetown, SK
  • Connor May of Gulf Island Secondary; Salt Spring Island, BC
  • Emma Clarkson of W.R. Myers High School; Taber, AB
  • Emil Titow of Vincent Massey High School; Brandon, MB
  • Karin Dimock of Salmo Secondary; Salmo, BC
  • Jenea Maise of RD Parker Collegiate; Thompson, MB
  • Rylie Basacaba of Neelin High School; Brandon, MB
  • Andrea Zangl of Goose Lake High School; Roblin, MB
  • Jenillee Rice of Senator Gershaw; Bow Island, AB
  • Kayla Harrison of RE Mountain Secondary; Langley, BC
  • Benjamen Taylor of Wolseley High School; Wolseley, SK
  • Elizabeth Stoker of Chemainus Secondary; Duncan, BC
  • Madison Smith of L.P. Miller Composite; Nipawin, SK
  • Jon Morin of Melfort Collegiate; Melfort, SK
  • Layne Campbell of Crocus Plains; Brandon, MB
  • Nicole Buckle of Esqualimat High; Victoria, BC
  • Caitlin Wolf of Morrin High School; Morrin, AB
  • Christopher David Walker of Nechako Valley Secondary School; Vanderhoof, BC
  • Jillian Sloane of Dawson Creek Secondary; Dawson Creek, BC
  • Katarina Ziervogel of Kelvin High School; Winnipeg, MB
  • Paige Straf of St. Mary High School; Prince Albert, SK
  • Arianne Jahnke of Assiniboia Composite; Assiniboia, SK
  • Felicia Dovell of Selkirk Secondary; Kimberley, BC
  • Taylor Wurmlinger of Elkford Secondary School; Elkford, BC
  • Haley McLeod of Parkland; Sidney, BC
  • Rachel Illerbrun of Shaunavon High School; Shaunavon, SK
  • Kianna Brown of Garden City Collegiate; Selkirk, MB
  • Veronica Suarez of Timberline; Campbell River, BC
  • William Nti of Fort Richmond Collegiate; Winnipeg, MB
  • Cameron Dorbolo of St. James Collegiate; Winnipeg, MB
  • Jeanette Mwayuma of College Louis Riel; Winnipeg, MB
  • Fiona Uson of McMath; Richmond, BC
  • Madison Ferland-Peters of Gordon Bell; Winnipeg, MB
  • Corbin Mayer of Medicine Hat High School; Medicine Hat, AB
  • Bryce Villanueva of Miles Macdonell Collegiate; Winnipeg, MB
  • Winston Griffith of J.C. Charyk; Hanna, AB
  • Robert Michell of YRHS; Theodore, SK
  • Cynthia Forman of Glenmary; Peace River, AB
  • Charles Holtz of Hines Creek Composite; Hines Creek, AB
  • Nadya Dishko of Parkland Composite High School; Edson, AB
  • Scott Kostuik of North Peace Secondary; Fort St. John, BC
  • Justin Kristoff of North Peace Secondary; Fort St. John BC
  • Cody Fraser of North Peace Secondary; Fort St. John BC
  • Alexandria Dorner of Lloydminster Composite High School; Lloydminster, AB
  • Kianna Goldstone of Foothills Composite High School; Okotoks, AB
  • Destiny Sydora of Vegreville Composite High School; Vegreville, AB
  • Taylor Hiron of Alix Mac School; Alix, AB
  • Reegan Jones of Coronation School; Coronation, AB
  • Arlene Coleman of Highwood High School; High River, AB
  • Erin Hanrahan of St. Joseph’s Collegiate; Brooks, AB
  • Paige Wards of Charles Spencer; Grand Prairie, AB
  • Brittany Walkosky of John Barsby; Nanaimo, BC
  • Elandra Small of Bow Valley High School; Cochrane, AB
  • Emily MacMillan of St. Jerome’s High School; Vermillion, AB
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11th Annual Support the Cause Walk Raises Record Funds

High River, AB: Each year, Western Financial Group employees from branches across Western Canada participate in the annual Support the Cause Walk which raises funds for Western Financial Group’s charitable arm, the Western Communities Foundation. This year, more than 1,400 employees donned their red t-shirts and walked in the 11th annual walk, raising nearly $260,000.

All of the funds raised in the Support the Cause walk go towards the Western Communities Foundation’s three core programs which are infrastructure grants, matching grants and student bursaries.

“It is great that we are continuing to give back to the communities where we live and work in such a big way,” said James Bond, Executive Director of the Western Communities Foundation. “As an organization and a foundation, we are so proud to be able to raise funds that directly give back to so many deserving communities.”

The Support the Cause walk has been an annual event since 2004. During its 11 years, the event has raised over 1 million dollars for the Western Communities Foundation.

“The Western Communities Foundation is such an integral part of Western Financial Group’s culture,” said Western Financial Group Vice Chairman and Founder, Scott Tannas. “It is amazing that over 11 years, our employees have come together to grow Support the Cause into what it is today.”

The funds raised through the walk are distributed by the Western Communities Foundation throughout the year.

Founded in 2002, the Western Communities Foundation serves to give back to the communities where Western employees live and work, and foster employee pride and engagement. The Foundation’s core donation programs include community infrastructure grants, Exceptional Achievement Citation & Bursary Awards for graduating high school students and a Matching Grants program. Since its inception, the Western Communities Foundation has raised more than $1 million to support local communities.  – See more at:

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Multiple Charities Receive Warmth from Western Blankets

The Western Communities Foundation is pleased to announce the donation of blankets created at the 2015 Leadership Conference to five charities in Western Canada. Each charity received around 22 fleece blankets all made by Western Financial Group employees that attended the Leadership Conference this year.

The blankets went to the following charities:

  • Blankets for BC in BC

  • Partner Family Services in Humboldt, SK

  • Big Country Victim Services, Drumheller/Morrin, AB
  • YWCA Women’s Shelter in Brandon, MB
  • Salmo Children’s Centre in Salmo, BC
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Western Gives out Record Infrastructure Grants for 2015

Funds support local projects aimed at strengthening communities in Western Canada

High River, AB – Western Financial Group (Western) is donating a record 40 infrastructure grants totaling $200,000 to support public health, public housing, education and recreation causes in the communities where it operates.

The Western Communities Foundation, Western’s charitable arm receives nominations from employees for these $5,000 infrastructure grants. The infrastructure grants contribute funds to build projects such as hockey rinks, libraries, SPCA’s, and schools in the communities where Western is located. Funds for these grants are raised through the Western Communities Foundation by Western employees through the annual Support the Cause Day Walk each May, to give back where they live and work.

“Western Financial Group is proud to give back to our local communities through our Western Communities Foundation,” said Scott Tannas, Founder, Vice-Chairman, Interim President and CEO of Western Financial Group. “It is wonderful that much of the funds are raised by employees for their communities. At Western we are proud of the 119 communities and we want to support them by making contributions to encourage learning, recreation, and healthy communities.”

Some of the 40 infrastructure grants included a donation for a new kitchen exhaust fan at an assisted living facility in LeRoy, SK, a contribution to the construction of a walking trail in Fernie, BC, and updates to a school’s library in Winnipeg, MB.

2015 Grants include:


Cloverdale – Surrey Association for Community Living

Dawson Creek – Dawson Creek Rotary Manor Gazebo

Duncan – New recreational community park

Fernie – Construction of walking trail

Golden – Golden Early Learning and Care Centre

Kaslo – Improvements to Kaslo Public Library

Lake Country – Okanagan College Room Sponsor

Mill Bay – Renovation of access to Kerry Park arena

Nanaimo – Renovation to warehouse for Loaves & Fishes

Richmond – Reno to Japanese Fisherman’s Village

Richmond – Expansion of playground at Tomekichi Homma School

Richmond – Brentwood Park School water refill stations

Salmo – Upgrades to Salmo Public Swimming Pool

Sparwood – Elk Valley Seniors Housing Society

Surrey – New playground at Pacific Heights Elementary School

Surrey – Peace Arch Hospital emergency room renovation

Sidney – Upgrade to Saanich Peninsula Hospital

Williams Lake – First Nations Museum

Victoria – Playground at Mount Pleasant Elementary

Victoria – Renovations at Victoria Sexual Assault Centre



Barrhead – Barrhead Curling Rink Update

Beaverlodge – McNaught Homstead

Cold Lake – Summer camps for children with FASD

Cochrane – Affordable Housing Project

Hanna – New playground equipment for J.C. Charyk School

High River (Head Office) – Repair of Happy Trails

Letnbridge – Parking lot upgrade at Lethbridge Family Services

Medicine Hat – New Dr. Roy Wilson School Playground

Morrin – Morrin Library Upgrade

Strathmore – Youth Club of Strathmore renovation

Vermillion – Museum roof replacement

Wainwright – Equipment for outdoor fitness park



Assiniboia – Payground upgrade at Limerick Daycare

LeRoy – LeRoy Assisted Living Facility upgrade

Nipawin – Upgrade fire suppression systems in Whitefox Community Rink

North Battleford – Upgrades to dressing room in Civic Arena

Wolseley – Repairs to community cenotaph



Brandon – Kristopher Campbell Memorial Skateboard Park development

Souris – Score clock for Souris School athletic park

Winnipeg (WP2) – Library renovation at Harold Hatcher School


In its 13-year history, the Western Communities Foundation has distributed more than 100 infrastructure grants to communities across western Canada for numerous projects.

Founded in 2002, the Western Communities Foundation serves to give back to the communities where Western employees live and work, and foster employee pride and engagement. The Foundation’s core donation programs include community infrastructure grants, Exceptional Achievement Citation & Bursary Awards for graduating high school students and a Matching Grants program. Since its inception, the Western Communities Foundation has raised more than $1 million to support local communities.

“It is wonderful to see a record number of infrastructure grants going to these great causes,” said John Jenner, Executive Director of the Western Communities Foundation. “The projects are selected by the employees as they know the specific needs of their communities. At Western we are proud to give back where we live and work and it’s great that we are able to contribute to so many local initiatives in the areas of public health, public housing, education and recreation.”

– See more at:

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