The Kerrisdale Community Centre Society was formed in 1943 – that’s 75 years ago. In those early days, community centres were funded through a special tax levy on residents of the area. It wasn’t until the mid-1970s that community centres were built from general City revenue.
Over the past 30 years, CCAs across the city have raised millions of dollars to add to the City’s allocation to renovate, expand or replace community centres and other recreation facilities. Kerrisdale is no exception to this.
The Kerrisdale Community Centre Society is a substantial contributor to its community; an example of this is its popular subsidized Seniors’ Lunch Program. It runs six days a week, and an estimated 30,000 lunches are served each year. This program provides seniors in the area with access to a nutritionally balanced, hot meal each day at lunchtime. Many seniors might not make an effort to cook for themselves, or they may feel that making a nutritious meal is challenging. The seniors participating in this program often find that the program meal is so substantial, they only eat half and take the other half home for dinner.
The Seniors’ Lunch Program is about more than food and nutrition (as important as that is); it is also about providing people in the community with the opportunity to socialize and connect. For seniors on their own, knowing that they can go and have lunch with friends is something to look forward to in their day. And those who participate in this program make sure that any new people are welcomed and invited to join a table, where everyone makes new friends.
The Seniors’ Lunch Program can be offered as a subsidized program because Kerrisdale Community Centre Society can access special food and beverage licensing to run this popular and beneficial program.
The Seniors’ Lunch is only one of many programs, events and initiatives found at Kerrisdale. It is part of the reason that in 2017, Kerrisdale Community Centre won the title of Best Community Centre in Vancouver in the Vancouver Courier’s Readers’ Choice Awards. Between the fall of 2016 and the summer of 2017 sessions, there were 15,790 enrollments (not including aerobics and exercise room patrons) in 2,636 programs at the community centre. The Kerrisdale Community Centre Society has approximately 12,120 members – and that is a substantial membership. Some recent programs include Youth Leaders in Action, Summer Safari Day Camps and Youth Adventure Day Camp – all focused on helping young people to learn and grow (and have fun doing it).
The Seniors’ Lunch Program and the initiatives focused on children and youth are just a few examples that showcase how important CCAs are to their communities. CCAs are substantial contributors to their neighbourhoods. They want an agreement that recognizes this and one that establishes the foundation of a strong partnership with the Park Board. That’s why we have fought so hard for so long to get a Joint Operating Agreement that works.