Aligned Values: Why our Partnership with Meridian Credit Union is More Than Money

Aligned Values: It’s Real!

“Aligned Values” is one of those expressions that can sound academic and hard to define. That’s why we’re sharing with our Casa-Pueblito community and the wider world the real-life, real impact of the support that Meridian Credit Union, Roncesvalles location gives through our BAM art exhibition for emerging artists with Latin American heritage”.

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First, let’s clarify that our organization isn’t a client of Meridian. With our account and bank card from a different credit union, we simply use Meridian’s bank machine because in Toronto there are tons of bank machines available in this shared credit union network. So, in making this partnership we got to meet Meridian face-to-face. It’s been a great experience to discuss our goals, deadlines, concerns, needs and more with the team at their Roncesvalles Ave. branch and feel the refreshing, upbeat energy among clients and staff alike.

The #BAM2018 Exhibition this Sept 16 – 22 (click here for more!) is the community project Meridian chose to support because above and beyond the financial support to make this project happen, this is an opportunity for Meridian to make a positive difference for people in the creative industry. Meridian understands and cares how financial literacy makes the difference between making a living, and making a good living.

Many young artists, like those that will be showcasing in the BAM Exhibition, are on a path toward a self- employed, run-your-biz career. Financial literacy is what can make that career long and fulfilling with a great quality of life.

 Meridian Volunteers Michaela and Brittany (at left) helping at a Casa – Pueblito community event with our volunteer Tatiana: Always nice to spend time with.

Meridian Volunteers Michaela and Brittany (at left) helping at a Casa – Pueblito community event with our volunteer Tatiana: Always nice to spend time with.

Creatives can get real-world tools and advice that can propel them to a greater level of financial stability (read: less financial stress and more money) - now and in their future - with the three financial literacy workshops Meridian will host at their Roncesvalles branch.

How to set up E.I. for self-employed people? What materials/supplies can an artist write off in their taxes – and, how to do these taxes? And much more. Meridian’s Senior Small Business Advisor, and Tax Expert, and many other staff excited to have fun “talking shop” conversations, will be happy to give advice with an open and creative mindset for BAM artists that want to attend and others in the creative industry for remaining available spots.

Aligned Values: The co-operative values and beliefs upon which Meridian was founded and works toward five key goals are: improving financial literacy, investing in communities, engaging employees, contributing to a healthier environment and supporting a stronger cooperative sector. These are the kinds of values that we are happy to align our organization with. In their support to the BAM Exhibition the aligned values carry through:

• With compassion and care, listening to the needs of others to give a helping hand (not a “hand up”) to make the support meaningful

• Working together in solidarity, on-the-ground with their staff, to make their workshops useful and community-connected

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People, if anyone can make a drinks ‘n greet with a tax expert interesting and fun, it’s Meridian with their after- hours (6pm -8pm) office-party flair at these workshops. There will be piñatas. For Meridian staff these are some of the most interesting and creative chances they got to “talk shop”, without worrying about generating new business. In this case, they’re generating huge impact for Creatives and a wonderful community spirit.

Meridian staff can’t make it to the BAM Opening Reception on Sept 16. They’ve already committed their staff to support a community festival on the same day. The extent of their commitment to communities is truly impressive. However, they are also invited to join us at the September 20 BAM Performance & Party night and we will enjoy simply socializing without financial worries for the night!

A final note to say, Meridian’s two-year commitment to BAM is what really put the wind in our sails. As financial advisors, they understand how this long-term investment – believe in us now, and what we’re building for the next level – has huge, immediate impact for how we can plan BAM 2019 and engage more supporters, sooner. Thank you, Meridian!