Minutes away from the Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver is a bright four-storey office surrounded by windows and glass doors, allowing for natural light to pour into workspaces. This is the sleek, cheerful home of BlueShore Financial.
For starters, there is a cafe on the main floor for pick-me-ups, and a dramatic curving staircase leading to the upper-level meeting and hosting areas—some fit with luxurious leather chairs and a fireplace. Because the great outdoors is important to those on the West Coast, BlueShore Financial even has an enclosed outdoor conference room, equipped with touch-screen monitors and laptop charging stations, allowing meetings to be held in the fresh air come rain or shine (meanwhile, indoor collaboration rooms have fittingly British Columbian names like Gambier).
If wanting to step away from their desks, staff are welcome to get active in the state-of-the-art gym or on the rooftop Zen Garden, where the BlueShore Financial Wellness Committee organizes yoga classes for all to enjoy. While taking in panoramic views of Grouse Mountain, the Lions Gate Bridge, and Stanley Park, employees can also gather together at the rooftop’s full kitchen and barbecue, turning lunch hour into social hour.
With accents of signature blue, plenty of soothing glass, and screens depicting green nature scenes, this is a head office that feels much more relaxed than many corporate institutions. Indeed, it’s almost spa-like—which is something the company encompasses in its branches, too.
At these aptly-named Financial Spas, fluorescent-lit offices fade away in exchange for an ambient, intimate glow. Chattering queues are drowned out by the sounds of cascading waterfalls. White walls transform into locally-sourced stone and wood finishings. And teller cubicles are replaced with warm greetings from friendly concierges. BlueShore Financial wants guests to feel comfort and serenity as they walk into any of the company’s outposts, be that in Vancouver, West Vancouver, Squamish, Whistler, or Pemberton.
The concept of community is an important part of the credit union’s identity, and it shines bright in these branches. BlueShore strives to make banking as seamless as possible, putting an end to daunting financial experiences by making each visit more special—like stepping into a luxury spa or five-star hotel. Spearheaded by CEO and president Chris Catliff, the Financial Spas were created to match the vision and growth of the BlueShore lifestyle; the company wants guests to feel a sense of calm when they come in to discuss financial issues.
Upon arriving at a Financial Spa, clients enter the welcome area and are met by the concierge. This intimate West Coast-inspired lounge allows people to take a moment to unwind, perhaps with a cup of coffee or tea, before stepping into their meeting with a senior service representative in the advisory area. Local art hangs on the walls and gorgeous floral arrangements sit perfectly on tables to add that extra bit of joy. Even children will like it here; BlueShore caters to its younger clients with a Kid’s Zone packed with activities and games.
Here in Vancouver, locals can find their nearest hub on West Broadway and soon in Kerrisdale as well. And while each location shares similar values and aesthetics, they also have their own hyperlocal touches. In Squamish, for example, the Financial Spa comes complete with a rock climbing wall as an ode to the Stawamus Chief, while Whistler’s pays homage to the area’s glorious mountains with a snowboard cheque-writing stand and mountain-bike table.
Long gone are the days of seeing banking as an intimidating task. Here, the future is a little brighter. BlueShore is not a traditional financial institute, and it has the head office—and Spas—to prove it.
Read more from our Office Space series.