When Concert Properties was created over 33 years ago, one of the three founding principles was to give back to the community. This principle has been foundational to the company, and we still believe that giving back is vital to who we are as a company. As we enter the holiday season, we are proud to reflect on the many ways we have given back throughout the year:
A $7.5 million gift to the British Columbia Institute of Technology
In July, we were extremely proud to provide a $7.5 million gift to BCIT to construct the Concert Properties Centre for Trades & Technology, which will provide a space for innovation in skilled trades and engineering, applied learning, research and industry collaboration, and build capacity for 700 additional students.
This centre and its programs are key to equipping diverse, hardworking Canadians with the skills to secure well-paying jobs in construction and will help alleviate trades training waitlists and contribute to a healthy talent pool in BC.
Giving $40,000 in support of Ukraine
During the month of March Concert Properties matched all employee donations made to the Red Cross’ Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal, which funds relief, recovery, resiliency and risk reduction activities in and beyond the region. Employees came together to show their support, raising over $20,000.
Residents at Tapestry at Victoria Harbour also came together to creatively support the settlement of displaced Ukrainians seeking temporary residency in Victoria. Together with the Inter-Cultural Association, residents created ‘Patchwork of the Heart’, a beautiful quilt featuring colours of the Ukrainian flag, which was then raffled, raising over $20,000.
Supporting food banks across Canada
With the current rise in food costs, and with many struggling financially, there has been a significant increase in food bank visits. It is more important than ever to support organizations that help to address these issues, which is why the property management team comes together with its rental communities twice a year to collect non-perishables and toiletries. This past spring Concert Properties supplemented this effort with a $3,500 donation to the Greater Toronto Apartment Association’s Spring Hope Food Drive.
Additionally, members of the investment team in Vancouver spent a day volunteering with The Greater Vancouver Food Bank, and the Toronto team volunteered with the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) Baby Give Back drive, packing diaper bags full of clothing, food, toys, medication and other newborn supplies for families in need.
Providing refugees with safe and affordable housing
Earlier this year we partnered with local non-profits Journey Home Community (JHC) and Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSBC) to launch the ground-breaking initiative Meanwhile Spaces, which provides safe and stable short-term housing for refugee claimants who are rebuilding their lives in British Columbia.
By utilizing residential buildings that are awaiting development, Meanwhile Spaces houses refugees in temporary homes at below-market rent. As an early adopter, we are the first local developer to lend support for this type of partnership and provide safe, secure housing to several refugees and refugee claimants. We also helped to secure media coverage of this initiative, which helped JHC sign an agreement with another developer.
Volunteering at the Union Gospel Mission Summer BBQ
In a time of increased food insecurity, the Union Gospel Mission serves nearly 3,000 meals in the Downtown Eastside during its annual summer BBQ. This year Concert Properties employees were delighted to embrace a much-loved tradition of volunteering at the event. Between serving food and staffing the children’s area, all enjoyed a heartwarming day of community building and giving back.
Supporting Youth Without Shelter
This year Concert Properties continued its nearly decade-long relationship with Youth Without Shelter (YWS). In addition to 33 emergency shelter beds, YWS offers long-term housing and stable support to youth in need in an environment with coaching and mentoring that helps them stay in school.
Concert Properties’ employees hosted the annual Youth Engagement Day, a fun-filled day of competitive team events and a BBQ lunch, alongside YWS staff. Several Concert Properties employees are also lending their time and expertise on an ongoing basis supporting the strategic growth of YWS.
Donating $15,000 to Food Stash Foundation
Vancouver-based charity organization Food Stash Foundation tackles food waste and mitigates its environmental impacts while providing for those in need.
A change in warehouse location earlier this year required the Foundation to install a new cold storage system at a cost of $130,000. The system was kindly provided on loan, but funds to pay off this essential equipment needed to be found by year end.
To do our part to help, Concert Properties donated $15,000 – and through outreach to media, we also helped generate an additional $8,000 in individual donations.
The return of the annual charity golf tournament
After a years-long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we were thrilled to bring back our in-person annual corporate charity golf tournament in Vancouver and Toronto.
Since 1995, this event has combined golf and fun – with each tournament theme ranging from ‘Casino Royale’ to ‘Western’ to this year’s ‘Capes on the Course’ – to raise funds for trades training programs across Canada.
To date these tournaments have raised over $4.3 million and we thank all who volunteered, supported and golfed – making both tournaments a huge success.