CANEX celebrates 50 years

From left, CANEX Halifax Manager Glenn Banfield, CPO1 Wesley Whitlock and Cdr Derek Vallis cut the cake before serving it to guests at the CANEX 50th Anniversary celebration held at the Stadacona retail store on September 12.

CANEX celebrates 50 years of serving the CAF

By Ryan Melanson,
Trident Staff

The Canadian Forces Exchange System was established in 1968, and five decades later, CANEX is still going strong, operating 35 retail locations at bases and wings across the country.

Members of CFMWS and the CFB Halifax community recently came together to mark this 50-year milestone, gathering at the Stadacona CANEX on September 12 for coffee, cake, and to check out some of the store’s 50th Anniversary Sales.

Store manager Glenn Banfield, who oversees the CFB Halifax and 12 Wing Shearwater locations, highlighted the change over the last 10 years that sees CANEX reinvest a portion of sales profits back into base and wing funds. In Halifax, this has resulted in annual presentations of as much as $200,000, and more than $30 million has been reinvested across the country since the initiative began. These funds help support a variety of sport and recreational programs including

“We’ve changed our vision to be very much focused on the CAF and on giving back; we’re proud of that and we’re proud to have everyone as patrons,” Banfield said.

Banfield also presented a number of CANEX 50th Anniversary commemorative coins, which have been specially produced for the occasion, to members of his staff.

Cdr Derek Vallis was at the birthday celebration to thank staff and management for their continuing success on behalf of Base Commander Capt(N) David Mazur, and noted that CANEX has long provided good service to the base community, which is now amplified by the focus on giving back.

“For an organization to exist for 50 years serving those who serve isn’t easy. The work and the effort they’ve put in has been very impressive, and we just hope they keep going forward for another 50 years and we eventually get to talk about hundreds of millions of dollars given back,” he said.

In a national press release, CANEX said it plans to continue partnerships with businesses like Tim Hortons and Subway, and to continue emphasizing its brand as Canada’s Military Store at its retail locations and its online shop.

“CANEX’ 50-year history of providing retail and commercial services, in a highly competitive retail industry, is a testament to our responsiveness to our customers,” said Larry Mohr, Vice-President of Commercial Services for CFMWS.

“CANEX is committed to offering unique and branded merchandise with an exceptional customer experience, centered on being competitive, convenient, and relevant to our members, their families, and the extended CAF community.”