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Deep roots in agriculture

    A focus in farming

    By: Craig Lester

    Three things have remained at the heart of everythig BVCU since it was formed in 1941.

    People helping people, and community building and agriculture.

    These foundation pillars of the credit union took root and allowed it to grow into the supportive cooperative it is today, supporting the local community.


    The driving force behind the creation of the financial institution was a group of farmers from the Bulkley Valley.

    It was the spring of that year when a group of producers - struggling to get credit through the banking system - came together and formed a financial cooperative to help support the community.

    The first meeting consisted of 14 producers from across the Bulkley Valley.

    These like-minded people saw a need to help others.

    BVCU Chair Tom Havard says the formation of BVCU was a great example of people coming together to help others.

    “Some farmers would have a good year, and some would have a bad year, and some couldn’t borrow money and some could afford to lend.”

    The credit union allowed everyone to move to a better place, whether it was financial wise, community wise or health-wise, which goes to back to the heart of BVCU.

    People supporting people.

    Continuing to grow

    “That’s where our roots are, we still support agriculture.”

    The BVCU continues to help farmers, ranchers, agri-food processors and many others in the agri-food value chain with their financial needs. Whether it is getting their operation started, securing a loan for an expansion or helping with transition planning so the next generation can take over the operation.

    It also actively supports organizations such as the local 4-H clubs, Bulkley Valley Exhibition, and Bulkley Valley Groundbreakers.   

    Did You Know?

    The first official credit union in the world can be traced back to Germany in the mid-1800s.   

    In 1864, the mayor of Flammersfeld, Germany, Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen, was concerned about the farmers and residents of the community.

    They were suffering through the near-starvation conditions and losing their homes and livestock to people they had borrowed money from. 

    So, to aid them, he founded the first cooperative lending bank.

    The first Canadian credit union was started by Alphonse Desjardins in Levis, Quebec, in 1900.


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    Smithers Branch

    3894 1st Avenue
    PO Box 3729
    Smithers, BC
    V0J 2N0
    250 847-3255
    Hazeltons' Branch

    4646 10th Avenue
    PO Box 159
    New Hazelton, BC
    V0J 2J0
    250 842-2255

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    2365 Copeland Avenue
    PO Box 1480
    Houston, BC
    V0J 1Z0
    250 845-7117
    Lakes District Branch

    117-35 Lakeview Mall, Hwy 16
    PO Box 1029
    Burns Lake, BC
    V0J 1E0
    250 692-7761

    1139 Main Street
    PO Box 2380
    Smithers, BC
    V0J 2N0
    866 811-1110

    3894 1st Avenue
    PO Box 3729
    Smithers, BC
    V0J 2N0
    250 847-7936


    3350 10th Street
    PO Box 369
    Houston, BC
    V0J 1Z0
    866 811-1115

    2367 Copeland Avenue
    PO Box 1480
    Houston, BC
    V0J 1Z0
    250 845-7977

    3872 1st Avenue
    PO Box 3637
    Smithers BC
    V0J 2N0
    250 847-7933
    Member Services Contact Centre

    3894 1st Avenue
    Smithers BC
    V0J 2N0
    1 877 847-2828

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