Below is a profile on community centre member Paige Swartz. This is one segment of a special profile series on our community centre patrons.
For Paige Swartz, the Kerrisdale Community Centre is a family affair – and three generations of it, at that. Unlike many at the community centre, her father didn’t bring her to the community centre when she was a child, but as an adult when she moved into the area with her family. And, now she brings her two daughters here (and her husband sometimes joins her in fitness classes). She said: “I see the Kerrisdale Community Centre as being integral to this neighbourhood. It is a great place to meet people and make new friends.”
Paige is at the community centre about four times a week, taking aerobics classes – and she recently started the Adult Beginner & Intermediate Tennis Class. She laughingly said: “A small group of us got together and thought we were the only ones who wanted to learn how to play tennis properly, but there’s a whole class full! Who knew?” And that, she explained, is a big part of the community centre – finding people who want to learn something that you are interested in too. “When you move into a new community, especially as an adult, it’s not always easy to meet new people and to find friends. The Kerrisdale Community Centre is a great place to do exactly that.” In fact, Paige said she has found a few friends here and her aerobics class comes together for special events like a potluck party during the December holiday season. “It really is a friendly, welcoming place.”
Even now, six years after moving into the area, Paige says she feels a growing bond with the neighbourhood, in part because of the community centre. “I am always running into someone I have seen at the centre,” she explained. “It might not be someone I know well, but you wave and say hello, just as if you lived in a small town and not in a big city like Vancouver. It’s really great to have this kind of connection.”
The community centre has even influenced how Paige’s family eats. “My daughters have taken many programs here, but one that really stands out is a cooking class that one of my daughters took. And now, she cooks for us. Her go-to dish is pesto – and she does a really great job with it.”
She said: “For my children, for my husband and me and for my dad – the Kerrisdale Community Centre is a big part of all of our lives.”
What Paige Wants the Park Board to Know
“I wish that the people at the Park Board knew what the community centre means to the people of this neighbourhood. It matters to us! The way that it is being run works. There are lots of opportunities for families here. It is a good resource and one that we use all the time!”