Chinook Financial Matches Funds Raised For Fire Relief

October 25, 2017

Chinook Financial, a division of Connect First Credit Union, is making it a priority to work with the communities affected by the recent wildfires in southern Alberta. As a local credit union with roots in local agriculture, our hearts are with all the Albertans impacted.

Chinook Financial has partnered with community groups in the Wheatland, Empress and Hilda regions to set up Crisis Intervention Funds that will offer aid to people who have lost their houses, livestock or farmland due to fire. The credit union will be matching proceeds raised through local branch fundraising efforts, up to a maximum of $5,000.

Donations will be accepted by at all local Chinook Financial branches, or by mailing in a cheque to the Brooks Branch or Strathmore Branch addressed to one of the following, depending on where an individual would like their relief efforts directed.

  • Wheatland Fire Relief Fund
  • Empress Fire Relief Fund
  • Hilda Fire Relief Fund

“There are some families that are literally devastated - they have lost their livelihood – this year’s calf… next year’s calf, and with the pastures gone there’s an inability to restock”, says Debbie Ross, the Chief Administrative Officer of Family Community Support Services in Empress. “It’s going to take years to rebuild, and a lot of this stuff is not covered by insurance. We need to support these farmers and ranchers in any way we can. There are well over a dozen families in our communities who have lost a lot.”

“We’ve had many producers out here that have lost cattle, there’s lots who have lost land, and the residue off their land which will lead to soil erosion that we haven’t seen since the 1960s or 1980s. There’s been buildings lost, and machine lost. Right now, it’s a mad rush to keep all this land from blowing away that has been exposed… with no more straw on the land, we’re starting to lose our top soil. This will have an effect for at a minimum the next five years. The cattle ranchers in Hilda have lost their livelihood. And for us farmers, we are at risk of seeing ours blow away over the next few months”, says Andy Kirshenma, President of Hilda Community Associations.

“Agriculture is the heartbeat of rural Alberta – and I love how Albertans always comes together to support each other in times of need. This is our community. It’s important that we at Chinook Financial do our part to support those impacted in our communities by the recent fires”, says Scot Hadden, President of Chinook Financial.

Members Affected By The Fires: We’re Here For You

If you are a member of Chinook Financial and you have been directly impacted by the recent southern Alberta fires, we’re here to help. We’ll work with you to establish a financial plan and necessary relief options to help you through this difficult time. Reach out when you can by contacting your branch or our Member Care Centre to kick start the conversation as soon as you’re able to at 1.844.685.6225.

About Connect First Credit Union

Connect First Credit Union offers its members a full range of financial products and services through trusted local brands and a community-focused approach to banking. Connect First Credit Union is Canada’s tenth largest credit union, with over $5 billion in assets under administration. It serves 100,000 members through 27 branches in 14 communities across southern Alberta, under the Chinook Financial and First Calgary Financial


Media Contacts:

Alison Archambault

Director, Brand & Stakeholder Engagement

Connect First Credit Union


Megan Douglas

Manager, Brand & Stakeholder Engagement

Connect First Credit Union