As President of the West End/Coal Harbour Community Centre and I am delighted to be writing again to the community to let you know what programs your community centre will be offering for our Winter Session.

It’s been a most difficult time for your Centre Volunteer Board. While our buildings were closed and our programs shut down from March until September, your Board was working flat out from our homes to support our own staff and ensure they received the various benefits on offer. We also supported the Park Board staff with various administrative requirements. In July we made a special presentation to the Park Board to allow us to offer Children’s Summer Camps and a couple of outdoor classes for seniors in August. It took some convincing, but we sold out all the spots available. This demonstrated that even in difficult times, our Community Centre is important to the West End/Coal Harbour Community.

We were very happy to re-open Denman Street fairly early in September and then Coal Harbour a little later. Coal Harbour needed a lot of extra work by the Park Board to recover from the impact on the facility from being used by the City as a barrier-free shelter for several months.

While the Fall has been bumpy, with a second partial close down in November, we have been assured the programs outlined here will be running for their full term. Our buildings and programs all have a safety plan. Our buildings have full signage, frequent cleanings of touch points, chairs, washrooms and any other aspect needed. Hand sanitizer products are in place throughout the building and masks are required for anyone older than 12. Everything possible is being done to ensure your safety while you restart your relationship with your community centre and programs.

As probably won’t surprise you, the impact of the past many months has had a very serious impact on our revenue. All of the closures and suspensions of programs happened with no advance warning. We had to refund participants for the cancelled courses but still had to pay the instructors and our staff, as they were given no notice. The West End/Coal Harbour Community Centre does have charitable status. If you are able to give us a charitable donation over the next several weeks it would help us immensely. Tax receipts will be provided for any donation of $20 or more. Call our office at 604-257-8344 to discuss.

We look forward to building up to a full suite of programs and activities over the coming months. This is the start and we very much hope to see you and your families and friends rejoining us in January and beyond.

Linda Johnston