Valley First

Valley First renews presenting sponsorship of “ChangeUP”

November 17, 2015

Penticton, B.C.—Okanagan Changemakers today announced Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, has renewed its sponsorship of the Kelowna-based social innovation competition, ChangeUP.

Dubbed the “Social Dragons’ Den”, the Dec. 3 ChangeUP event will see six organizations pitch their social projects to a live audience at the Kelowna Community Theatre; winners will be determined through real-time, audience voting. Unlike the traditional Dragons’ Den, the “dragons” will be the audience who will vote for their favourite social purpose organization.   

“Valley First is a proud supporter of non-profit and charitable organizations throughout the communities it serves”, says Valley First’s Drew Geldart. “We’re excited to be a part of ChangeUP and see a real opportunity to support future leaders in the community who are striving for positive social change.”

Geldart’s excitement is shared by Okanagan Changemakers’ Mary-Jane Slavin.

“As a small group of volunteers, Okanagan Changemakers relies on the support of like-minded organizations such as Valley First to help us create a broad community of Changemakers,” says Slavin. “Valley First’s extensive reach in the Okanagan and its commitment to community investment aligns perfectly with Changemakers’ mission to be catalysts for change. We are very grateful for their support.”

In 2014, ChangeUP attracted pitches ranging from Okanagan Car Share to DooGoods anti-bullying card game for kids.  The 2015 line-up is equally impressive with organizations such as Clubhouse Childcare and Metro Moving going head-to-head with four other equally impressive organizations to win cash and in-kind services.

About Okanagan Changemakers/ChangeUP
Okanagan Changemakers is a volunteer organization whose mission is to build a community of people who develop, foster and support innovative, sustainable solutions to social and environmental challenges. We believe that measurable progress can be made when the power of business is leveraged to drive positive change.

ChangeUP is the Changemakers’ second audience-voting pitch competition. On Thursday, Dec. 3, six organizations will pitch their social purpose project/organization at the Kelowna Community Theatre in hopes of winning cash and in-kind services. The evening will recognize the best social impact initiatives in the Okanagan Valley and participants will benefit from interacting with a diverse and engaged audience. This year, social entrepreneur Mickey McLeod, co-founder, president and CEO of Salt Spring Coffee will be the keynote speaker.

About Valley First

Valley First is a premier provider of banking, investment and insurance services for residents and businesses in the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys. As a division of First West Credit Union, B.C.'s third-largest credit union with 54 branches and 38 insurance offices throughout the province, Valley First brings innovative products, an extensive branch network and local decision making to the banking experience. For more information on Valley First, visit

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