Are You Prepared For An 8.0 Earthquake?

Shake ZoneResidents and business owners of the Comox Valley and Powell River are invited to participate in the Shake Zone earthquake simulator and emergency preparedness fair to experience what an 8.0 magnitude earthquake feels like and shake up their personal preparedness planning.

The portable simulator will be set up in Simms Millennium Park on Friday, June 3, 2016 from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m in the Comox Valley and in Crossroads Village Parking Lot on Monday, June 6, 2016 from 1:30 to 7:00 p.m in Powell River.

In addition to the earthquake simulator, emergency responders as well as emergency preparedness and insurance displays will be onsite to help educate on best practices to be prepared and lower your risk.

The Comox Valley and Powell River  Emergency Program has partnered with Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), First Insurance, Westview Agencies and other emergency programs across Vancouver Island to bring the Shake Zone to various stops on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast. The event is free to attend and up to three people at a time will be able to take part in the simulator. Elected officials and school groups will take part between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m in the Comox Valley and at 1:30 p.m in Powell River.

Children must be a minimum of eight years old to participate and children eight to 10 years old must participate with a legal guardian. To view highlights from the 2015 tour, click here. For more information about the Shake Zone, visit or

Partnership with Success by 6 cooks up Recipes for Healthy Beginnings

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First Credit Union & Insurance (Comox Valley) recently enjoyed connecting with the younger residents of the community during a Success by 6 public awareness campaign.

In partnership with Family Literacy Week (Jan. 27th – 30th), Success by 6 distributed approximately 1000 brightly coloured lunch bags – each containing books, milestone charts and Recipes for Healthy Beginnings. These kits were designed to provide resources and tools for families who may not otherwise have access to the information.

Over the course of the week, children and families packed into the three local libraries. Flush with smiling happy faces, they merrily joined in the musical performances and listened intently during group reading; all the while, toting along their new bag and treats.

It was a tremendous gift to be involved with this initiative – from the brainstorming of the concept to the delivery of the goodie bags. Hopefully many little people will use the recyclable lunch bags for several years to come and think as fondly of the event as we will!

This sponsorship opportunity was made possible in part thanks to the work Central 1 does with the little critter sales and partnership with United Way.


A boost for non-profits available through Community Investment Fund


Investment Funds 2016 (FCU&I)
2016 marks the third annual Community Investment Fund initiative presented by First Credit Union and Insurance. This program provides one-time financial support to non-profit organizations who contribute to the long-term social, health, economic, and collective well-being of the communities we serve.

Being able to provide a financial boost to a non-profit project or program is an opportunity for First to support vulnerable members of the community we may not otherwise connect with. Each year we are humbled by the tremendous work being done by non-profits and their ability to elevate the lives of those who need it most.

Past recipients of the fund include: Bowen Island Snug Cove House  (affordable senior care), Comox Valley Family Services Association (helping youth with anxiety), Cumberland Community School Society (providing support for new mothers), Powell River Hospice Society (providing end of life care and compassion) and Texada Health Services Society (supporting those living with Cancer).

This year we are proud to announce $11,350 in funds are available. Below is a breakdown by region:
• Bowen Island $1,000
• Comox Valley $2,700
• Cumberland $1,400
• Powell River $4,400
• Texada $650

Non-profit organizations in the Bowen Island, Comox Valley, Cumberland, Powell River and Texada Island area can apply for the Community Investment Funds via the ‘community page’ of either the First Credit Union or First Insurance websites. The deadline to apply for the 2016 funds is Friday, March 18th, 2016. The successful applicants will be announced at the First Credit Union AGM in Powell River this May.

For information about the Westview Agencies Community Investment Fund, visit the website ‘community page’.

Thank you 7000 times over!

secret_santa_swirlDuring these busy and globally turbulent times, we wish to pause to give thanks to the many generous community members, volunteers and sponsors who have contributed to the First Credit Union & Insurance Secret Santa program over the past fourteen years.

The Secret Santa program was designed to support children and families in the community that would otherwise go without gifts during the holiday season. Since its inception in 2001, a startling 7,000 presents have been distributed. This year, it is expected that through the public’s generosity, over 500 children in the Comox Valley alone will be reached.

Many of the First staff and community partners have been with the program since the beginning, collectively donating approximately 1000 volunteer hours annually. Those involved speak about the opportunity to bring happiness and comfort to those struggling and less fortunate or those experiencing an unexpected crisis or challenge. “Some of the most heart warming and memorable Christmas wishes are those that were the most modest: not flashy toys or sophisticated electronics, instead, things like warm winter boots or new bedding”, says Pamela Jolin, longtime staff member and program coordinator.

For the 2015 season, trees will be located in all First Insurance offices, Westview Agencies office, Ascent Physiotherapy, Courtenay Family Chiropractic & Orthotics, Cumberland Dental, Dairy Queen, Driftwood Dental, Fitness Excellence, FYidoctors, Glacier Greens and First Credit Union in Cumberland and Powell River.

Community members who wish to purchase a gift for one of these special children can currently pick a tag off any tree, go shopping and then return the unwrapped gift to the same location or any of the First Credit Union & Insurance offices or Westview Agencies office by Monday, December 14th. For those unable to shop, cash donations are also gratefully accepted and volunteers will purchase a gift on behalf of the donor.

Registrations for the First Credit Union & Insurance Secret Santa program are being accepted now until Monday, December 1st, 2015. Forms are published in the Comox Valley Record or can be obtained at one of the First Credit Union or First Insurance branches in the Comox Valley.

For more information, residents can call First at 250-703-0858.


First Staff Pull Planes for the United Way and a Healthy Community

2015 GCWCC Buffalo PullOn a cold Friday morning in October, a team of United Way members joined over 100 staff and military of 19 Wing Comox to pull a Buffalo Search and Rescue plane 40 feet as fast as possible. I had no idea what to expect when I was asked to participate, but what I experienced was truly amazing.

It was a grueling task, even with the assistance of several base staff and military personnel. Regardless of the pain in our legs and lungs, it was an incredibly rewarding event to be involved in knowing that all the funds raised from our efforts would stay in the Comox Valley. Also, it was uplifting to witness the spirit and dedication by so many to this organization and community.

First Credit Union Branch Manager for the Comox Valley, Craig Keeping, has been a cabinet member with the United Way for over three years. He describes his commitment to the charitable organization a natural fit due to how our company values align with theirs and our shared commitment to investing in our communities that we serve.

To learn more about the United Way, visit them online:

Images by Cpl Spence NL
Images by Cpl Spence NL (Craig Keeping pictured far right, Avry Janes second right)

Beaufort Children’s Centre to receive a chore busting boost on Community Impact Day!


Beaufort Children’s Centre has an undisputed reputation for outstanding quality early childhood care in the Comox Valley. If you happen to be visiting North Island College campus, where they are located, listen for the laughter and feel the joy that radiates from the playground and you will understand why they are so loved.

Beaufort has been operating for 20 years ‘serving North Island College student, faculty and staff families in addition to Comox Valley community families. Parents, community members and North Island College representatives make up the Board of Directors and contribute to the direction of the centre’. Each year approximately 100 families enroll in Beaufort and benefit from the respectful, caring and inclusive relationships that are formed by staff at the centre.

Caring for so many children under five years of age comes with a long list of daily chores, making extras like playground scrubbing and outside toy maintenance hard to get to. On October 8th, staff members from First Credit Union & Insurance will be supporting the centre by sweeping, scrubbing and cleaning outdoor equipment as part of our Community Impact Day initiative.

If you would like to make a donation or get involved with Beaufort Children’s Centre or learn more about the amazing work they do, visit them online:

photo source:

First Credit Union & Insurance and Westview Agencies close early to enable staff to volunteer in the community.


On October 8th First Credit Union & Insurance and Westview Agencies will be closing at 2.p.m. to enable all 140 employees to make a positive difference by volunteering in the communities that they serve.

The purpose of our organization is to strengthen the well-being of our members-clients and make a meaningful community impact. To express our commitment to our community, on October 8th we’re closing all of our credit union and insurance branches early to enable our employees to volunteer in their community. This is an opportunity for us to lend a hand and show our gratitude to some of the remarkable non-profit organizations who work every day for the benefit of others; we’re calling this our Community Impact Day.”

This October, credit unions around the world will celebrate the 67th International Credit Union Day. This year’s theme, “People Helping People,” embraces the longstanding credit union philosophy and is the inspiration for First Credit Union’s Community Impact Day. Credit unions exist to serve their members, not to make a profit. Our ‘people-first’ philosophy impels credit unions and their employees to get involved in their community and support worthwhile causes. Every year we give back thousands of dollars to our communities through scholarships, donations and sponsorships – Community Impact Day is a way for us to give back by volunteering our time.

First Credit Union & Insurance and Westview Agencies are inviting members and clients to join them in branch on October 8th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for refreshments and to find out more about the projects their local branches will be undertaking in the afternoon.