The Kootenay Savings Credit Union is getting into the festive season, and has been giving out donations and grants to various regional organizations, including some here in the Upper Columbia Valley.

The credit union distributes the money through its Kootenay Savings Community Foundation and, last week, announced $23,000 in new grants given to Kootenay organizations as well as a total donation of $50,000 to be shared among local Kootenay Community Foundations. There were 16 groups in total that received the funding, and four of them are from the valley, including the Columbia Valley Arts Council; the Greenways Trail Alliance; Columbia Valley Search and Rescue; and the Columbia Valley Community Foundation.

Kootenay Savings community liaison Aron Burke said in a press release that the donations were “in keeping with the credit union’s proud tradition of investing in the well-being of those that live, work and play in the Kootenay region.”

The donations and grants to valley organizations from the Kootenay Saving Community Foundation total more than $16,000, with $1,000 going to the Columbia Valley Arts Council to help it purchase a point-of-sale and inventory management software system (replacing the current handwritten invoices); $5,816 going to the Columbia Valley Community Foundation for its various projects; $5,000 to Greenways to help build the Westside Legacy Trail; and $5,000 for Columbia Valley Search and Rescue.

The credit union established the Kootenay Savings Community Foundation in 2000 with the aim of  supporting non-profit organizations and educational, health and social projects. Since it started, it has given out almost  $4 million in various grants, endowments and bursaries.

Projects or organizations seeking funding from the Kootenay Savings Community Foundation should apply through its website at There are two application deadlines each year: March 31st and September 30th.

The Kootenay Savings Credit Union is a member-owned financial co-operative organization with branches throughout the Kootenay region, more than $1 billion in assets, more than 39,000 members and more than 200 employees.