Community Centre Associations tell Park Board:
“We might be close, but we’re not there yet!”
on Joint Operating Agreement
Vancouver, B.C. – Community centres around Vancouver are rallying support to attend a February 8, 2017 Special Park Board Meeting set to address the ongoing challenge for a Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) that works for each of Vancouver’s unique and diverse communities.
Community Centre Associations (CCAs) are, not-for-profit, volunteer-run organizations that oversee programming and provide funding to community centres (through grants and fundraising). A group of CCAs have spent nine months collaborating to help the Park Board understand what the new JOA must include for the recommendation to be made to their respective boards and communities to endorse the document.
Said Kate Perkins, President of Trout Lake CCA: “We have come a long way and are much closer than we were even six months ago. But let me be clear – we’re not there yet. Our legal counsel has advised us that, because of the language used in the current draft of the JOA, the document undermines our rights to act as independent entities. This will limit our ability to make decisions in the best interests of our communities, which is what we were elected to do – and why we exist.” She added: “We are close, but not close enough to consider signing. A majority of CCAs from across the city have provided Commissioners with the changes we need to see in order for us to endorse this agreement. It is now in the Commissioners’ hands – and our communities are watching closely.”
There is a groundswell of support coming from residents, groups and organizations in each of the neighbourhoods served by a community centre and CCA. Said Perkins: “We expect a strong showing of community support at the meeting. We are so close to getting to a JOA that everyone can agree on, but it still needs work. People from around the city are stepping forward to come to the meeting, to e-mail Commissioners and to demand that we get a JOA that works for the Park Board and each of our communities.” She added: “We encourage everyone who makes use of their community centre to come to the Park Board meeting or to write to Commissioners to tell them why you stand with your community centre.”
Vancouver Community Centre Associations have an admirable 60 to 70-year track record of responsible financial management, community engagement, volunteer commitment, investment in local facilities, and recreation leadership. For more information about this issue, please visit: www.mycommunitycentre.com.