BC Unclaimed's 20th anniversary reception recap

December 12, 2023

On November 15, 2023, BC Unclaimed hosted a reception to celebrate our 20th anniversary. In our twenty-year tenure, this was the first event of this kind we’d ever hosted. The goal of the evening was to begin telling the stories of life-changing impact of returning unclaimed money back to rightful owners and the way managed dormant assets can be used to nourish and enrich the communities they originate from. The guest list was a diverse group of attendees brought together for the first time: holder organizations, such as the courts, legal and financial advisors, and the community organizations who benefit from unclaimed assets.

The centerpiece of the event was a panel discussion between the Honourable Niki Sharma, KC, Attorney General of BC, professor emeritus and international recognized happiness expert, John F. Helliwell from Vancouver School of Economics at the University of British Columbia, and Vancouver Foundation’s Vice President of Engagement and BC Unclaimed board member, Kate Hammer. The discussion was moderated by BC Unclaimed board chair, Anna Fung, KC, and sought to weave together the questions of what does it take to lead a happy life, what makes a society happy, and how that relates to BC Unclaimed’s work returning money to its rightful owners. The answer might surprise you! You can watch the panel here to find out.

The evening closed out with a speech made by BC Unclaimed’s Executive Director, Sherry MacLennan, discussing the organization’s goals for the future. She identified a three-prong approach, starting with the importance of appreciating and supporting the community of holders who make our work possible. The second prong is BC Unclaimed’s new push to conduct outreach and build support, internally and within the legal community, for low-income citizens seeking to claim their money. Finally, she brought up the powerful potential of collaborating, especially with other provinces who might want to use BC Unclaimed’s model to manage their own dormant assets. Together all three initiatives will help make BC and beyond a happier place.

A big thank you to our panelists and all who attended. It was a pleasure to discuss the positive impact our work has on society and share how unclaimed funds have been used to build healthier, vibrant and more resilient communities in BC.

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