The Power of Big Sisters

Summer 2016

We have compiled a list to keep you busy this summer! 

Help your Little Sister apply for these Scholarships.

After you are done that, check out this awesome list of Summer Camps

April 2016

Rare Wines and Cars for a Cause April 21st:  Local businesses get ready to serve up a glass of good will for Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland at the GrapeJuice fundraising event.

On Thursday April 21st some 200 business professionals will mingle amidst luxury automobiles and sample rare wines for a good cause. GrapeJuice, the ninth annual fundraising wine auction benefitting Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland is taking place at Aston Martin Vancouver & Bentley Vancouver, 1770 Burrard Street from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. (Read the news release here)

March 2016 - International Women's Day

International Women’s Day is an important day for us to celebrate the many achievements that have taken place to advance women’s equality, and to pledge to take action to move us closer to gender parity.  

In 2015/2016 there have been some pioneering advances:  In Canada the federal government announced gender parity in cabinet with 15 out of 31 cabinet ministers being women. BC had its first indigenous women elected to the provincial legislature. Throughout the world young women such as Malala Yousafzai made news with ground-breaking initiatives empowering women and bringing gender parity closer to reality.   

But there is still work to be done. In 2015 the World Economic Forum revealed that the gender gap is closing slower than ever, and estimated that it would take until 2133 to achieve global gender parity. In the Gender Gap Index report Canada ranked 30th out of 145 countries.

#PledgeforParity is this  International Women’s Day message, urging us all to take action to accelerate gender parity.

This is something that is incredibly meaningful to Big Sisters, as it is something that we have been working towards since our beginnings.

Since the late 1950`s, Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland has been making a positive impact in the lives of young women with mentoring programs that inspire and empower girls to reach their potential, both as individuals and citizens. Each time we pair a child with a mentor, we start something incredible:  a life-changing relationship built on friendship, trust and empowerment.

Serving as role models, our mentors teach by example the importance of giving and giving back, of staying in school, and of having respect for family, peers and community. Mentoring programs help instill trust and self-confidence needed to make healthy decisions; they encourage leadership skills and independent thinking.

Mentoring programs not only make a difference in an individual girl’s life, they have a significant impact on economies of the world.  This is called The Mentoring Effect.  The mentoring effect shows that mentoring a young girl has a social return on investment of 18 to 1, which means that every $1 that is spent mentoring a young girl returns $18 to society. Of girls who receive mentoring,

  • 17% are more likely to be employed

  • 13% have higher earnings

  • 47% hold higher leadership positions

  • 63% earn post-secondary education

  • 80% pursue healthy lifestyles

  • 92% feel confidant

In 2015 Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland matched 816 Little Sisters with Big Sisters in our three mentoring programs. We are proud of this achievement and its contribution towards the advancement of gender parity. It is our continual pledge, and we ask you today that you find ways to help accelerate gender parity, whether it’s making your workplace more gender-balanced, challenging biases, or donating to an organization like Big Sisters to help us deliver mentoring programs to girls in your community. It`s up to you. It`s up to all of us. 

Brenda Gershkovitch, Executive Director

Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland


September 2014

Big Brothers Big Sisters Named 2nd Most Sponsorable Property

Ipsos Reid and TrojanOne just released a market research study measuring which causes have the most impact with Canadians. They asked over 1,000 Canadians to rank what makes a cause important to them and found that key factors such as resonates emotionally, creates memorable experience, and demonstrates impact are critical in elevating one good cause over another. On a scale of 100 being average, Big Brothers Big Sisters received a scale of over 170 in the youth category—putting us second place. Read The Globe and Mail article!


May 2014

Big Heart Awards

Our 2014 Big Heart Awards were presented to Volunteer Mentor Stephanie Ryan, Honourary Advisory Board Member Joanne Brown, and Corporate Supporter Canadian Western Bank.

Two-Thirds of Canadian Parents Uncertain Their Kids Will Fulfill The Hopes They Have For Them 

More than 80 per cent of parents are unsure they fulfilled their own parents’ aspirations. This national survey ranks barriers to achieving aspirations, top 10 hopes parents have for their children, and some ‘unfinished business’ between parents and their kids. Read more...

February 2014

Strategic Plan 2014 - 2016 Released

Big Sisters has recently begun work on a three-year Strategic Plan related to the following 4 goals:

1.) Broadening our Reach; 2.) Enhancing Program Effectiveness; 3.) Growing our Sustainable Revenues; and 4.) Raising our Profile.


January 2014

Big Sisters Launches New Core Values
January 2014 saw the official launch of the Big Sisters' Core Values:

We Champion Potential.

Every Connection Counts.

Showing Up Matters.


November 2013

How would you spend an extra hour?

A new study finds that Canadians are so time-crunched that 62 per cent think life is passing them by. A Standard Life Value of an Hour Survey conducted for Big Brothers Big Sisters shows how busy Canadians actually are, and what they would do if they had an extra hour each week. Consider how your time preferences compare! Read more...

September 2013

Big Sisters Celebrates 100 Years of Mentorship

September 18th marked Big Brothers Big Sisters Day across Canada. This year's celebration was an extra special milestone, being that 2013 also marks the Big Brothers Big Sisters Centennial! To mark this special day, Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland celebrated at five local skytrain stations in the communities they serve.  Read more...

July 2013

Investing in Kids' Futures Pays Off in Hard Dollars

When it comes to hard dollar returns, few investments equal a donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters, according to a new study from The Boston Consulting Group. The study found that every dollar invested in Big Brothers Big Sisters generates $18 in social return on investment. Read more...

May 2013

Big Heart Awards

Our 2013 Big Heart Awards were presented to volunteer mentor Christine Bittel, volunteer Kay Gray, and corporate supporter Scotiabank.

New Honourary Advisory Board Members

We are pleased to welcome nine new members of our Honourary Advisory Board: Shelley Ferris, Kay Gray, Margot Jagger, Leslie Lee, Shannon Newman-Bennett, Michelle Rupp, Ron Stern, Carmen Theriault and Sheila Tucker. Our Honourary Advisory Board provides advice and assistance to the board and Executive Director to facilitate long-term success of Big Sisters.

Giving Circle and Loyalty Circles Launched

In order to better tailor our communications and giving requests to our valued patrons, we have created two new donor groups to replace the Big Sisters Patrons' Circle: the Giving Circle and the Loyalty Circle.

April 2013

Youth Summit 2013

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada hosted 100 youth (including 5 of our Little Sisters!) in Ottawa for the Social Innovators Youth Summit.

Big Sisters Opens Satellite Office

On April 3rd, 2013, Big Sister of BC Lower Mainland opened a small satellite office for their four-person Study Buddy Program team at 1585 W. 4th Avenue in Vancouver.

February 2013

Big Brothers Big Sisters Releases Survey on Bullying

78% of Canadians believe that not enough is being done to stop bullying in their communities, according to a national survey commissioned by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada and Invesco Canada Ltd. Read more...

Big Sisters Launches Sustainability Initiative

Sustainable cities. Sustainable living. Sustainable environments. Sustainable companies. And yes, even sustainable charities. According to Wikipedia, sustainability is basically the capacity to support, maintain or endure. So what does sustainability mean for Big Sisters?

January 2013

Mentoring Study Results Released

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) are releasing the first results of one of the largest mentoring studies ever conducted.

October 2012

Study Buddy Program featured in BC Parent

Our award-winning Study Buddy Mentoring Program was featured in BC Parent Magazine: http://bit.ly/V20DJzwww.bcparent.ca

August 2012

Big & Little Sister on "My Vancouver"

Big Sister Michele Reid and her Little Sister Ceili were interviewed for TELUS TV's "My Vancouver" - watch their heartwarming story at http://youtu.be/b9dd_BnTQ6A

July 2012

Plum Wins Award

At the 2012 Big Brothers Big Sisters Convention, Plum Clothing was presented with the Community Mentor Award for their 18 years of supporting Big Sisters! Read the press release here...

Study Buddy Story

Study Buddies Kerry and Gabby were featured in the Royal City Record newspaper. See the story here...

April 2012

New Campaign: "It Takes Less Time than You Think!"

Big Sisters launched a volunteer recruitment campaign developed, pro bono, by DDB Canada. This award winning campaign dispels the myth that being a Big Sister requires a lot of time. View the TV ads here...  

April 2012

Big & Little Sister Celebrate National Volunteer Week

North Shore News article features Big Sister Jennifer Trost and her Little Sister Abbey encouraging more women to volunteer during National Volunteer Week

January 2012

Big Sister's Journey Featured on "The Express"

New Big Sister applicant Angela documents her journey to become a Big Sister on Shaw TV's "The Express" - Part 1 and Part 2.