Six social enterprises operating in Kamloops are set to present their stories and solutions to some of the toughest community, social, and environmental challenges at this year’s ChangeUP on October 2nd, 2019. Tickets are nearly sold out for the event. 

The pitch style event is a collaboration between Purppl, Interior Savings, Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, and the City of Kamloops at the new X-Change building. The partnership is an alignment of shared priorities to support sustainable social enterprise development in Kamloops. 

As a local credit union and cooperative organization, Interior Savings was built on the belief that business can be a force for good,” says Kathy Conway, CEO of Interior Savings. “We’re proud to support the growth of organizations right here in our community that are harnessing entrepreneurship to help build solutions to social and environmental challenges. We encourage everyone to attend ChangeUP to see first-hand the positive strides that are being made in this sector.” 

Here’s a quick look at the six social enterprises who will be sharing their stories at ChangeUP.

ASK Wellness

ASK Wellness provides a variety of services to help individuals on a journey to wellness. They support individuals in the community and provide them with opportunities and resources to change their current situation. It’s about reaching out to those who are homeless and battling addictions, helping them find housing and medical care, addressing their addictions, stabilizing mental health issues and ultimately, providing them with skills to re-enter the workforce. ASK Enterprises, a program within ASK Wellness, works on recovering mattresses from the landfill sites across the region and recycling all but one by-product of the manufacturing process. The program provides transitional employment opportunities for individuals who have experienced barriers to employment and engagement in community who otherwise would not likely return to the workforce.


Kamloops Makerspace

The Kamloops Makerspace is a non-profit dedicated to serving the creative community in the Thompson Nicola Region. Their goal is to establish and operate a space in Kamloops where hobbyists, inventors, artists, and innovative people from all walks of life can come together and share their enthusiasm and knowledge. The Kamloops Makerspace provides memberships to access a shared community workshop with resources at an affordable cost. They also run a number of workshops that are either free or heavily discounted for their member base. The Kamloops Makerspace is truly a collaborative space.


Farm Bound Organics

Not everyone in our province has access to quality organic food year round. Farm Bound can help by doing the work for their customers. They visit farms and develop partnerships to deliver only the best and most sustainably produced food, doing whatever it takes to get local and organic food efficiently. By supporting local farmers and producers, Farm Bound builds connections back to the roots. They specialize in amazing Okanagan produce, but offer other great food and goods produced throughout our province and beyond. They deliver fresh, sustainably produced food to your home or a pickup location in 15+ communities in BC. 

“The City of Kamloops has identified building social agency capacity and social enterprises as a priority in its Social Plan,” says Natalie Serl, Social & Community Development Supervisor at The City of Kamloops. “We have seen the impact Purppl has had on social enterprises in Kamloops through their mentorship program and we look forward to seeing all the ChangeUP applicants and finalists furthering their success and impact on our community.”

Central Referral Solutions

Central Referral Solutions (CRS) provides Primary Care Providers with one place to send their specialists referrals, removing the guesswork and ensuring patients are seen as quickly as possible, by the most appropriate surgeon. The core product provided by CRS is a web-based portal with an interface allowing Primary Care Providers to send trackable data to other care providers (think of a family doctor sending an orthopaedic referral to a surgeon). The portal is integrated with an algorithm which determines the appropriate specialist to send the referral to, and level-loads the referrals for specialists. It also includes the ability to receive immediate confirmations and double check input data to ensure no patient is lost in the system. The process is designed to be patient-centric and responsive to the needs of the referring nurse practitioner or physician.


Kamloops Music Collective

Launched in 1978, Kamloops Music Collective (KMC) was a social enterprise before social enterprise was even a concept. At launch, it was a summer camp where children learned how to play music. KMC now uses funds generated by the summer camp to create other impactful initiatives like Band Together in collaboration with School District 73 and their Whole Note program, which supports restricted youth in their pursuit of music education. KMC enables children to learn and find their tribe while providing emerging musicians the ability to hone their skills, learn to lead, and teach. Why? Music helps build a child’s confidence and helps to secure demand for arts programming within the school district. Dozens of KMC grads have gone on to take on these roles within Kamloops. This helps to create a strong local arts economy and ecosystem.


The Big Edition

The Lived Experience Community (LEC) is a collective of individuals in Kamloops with diverse Lived Experiences around issues of homelessness, addiction, abuse, disabilities and mental and physical health challenges. They have banded together to support themselves and their community of peers. In January the LEC launched The Big Edition, which is a street newspaper that shares a different voice to community events, news, and issues while providing much needed skills training and income for people with lived experience. It’s also an alternative to panhandling. The Big Edition is a local version of a global social enterprise model that’s working in about 100 cities in 34 countries and published in 24 languages. 

“As part of our mission to help our communities thrive, we have proudly been supporting the development and sustainment of the social enterprise sector in the Okanagan for many years,” says Tracy Clark, Marketing & Communications Business Partner for Valley First. “We are excited to now partner with organizations, with whom we closely align, to support this growing sector in the Thompson region. We look forward to being part of the  journey as ChangeUP’s successful social enterprises grow and flourish.”

ChangeUP is a celebration of social entrepreneurship, and all are welcome. We will be joined by Executive Director of the Gibson’s Public Market, Colin Stansfield, as our keynote for the evening. Don’t miss your chance to be inspired, make connections, and learn about the growing social enterprise ecosystem in Kamloops. Tickets cost $40 and a few are still available at

For any media inquiries, please contact Andrew Greer.

ChangeUP would not be possible without the following supporters:

Interested in solving hard problems?

Find people who can help and collaborate. Events to educate, inspire, and connect & insights which make you think.

Connect With Us