Spring Presidents Message 2019

Kerrisdale is a very busy community centre. Between the Sept 1, 2017 and August 31, 2018 there were 11,650 enrollments in programs at the Centre. Some program and event highlights include the following:
  • 25,702 lunches served in the subsidized seniors’ lunch program.
  • 11,850 program participant registrations plus 7031 drop-ins.
  • 26,767 aerobics participants comprised of 752 aerobics pass holders plus 1277 drop-ins.
  • 28,767 fitness room uses by 2729 pass holders and 8393 drop-ins.
  • 486 registrations in children’s summer camps (97.2 % full).
  • 179 registrants in summer Youth Adventure Day Camps (94.2 % full)
  • 216 registrants in winter break, spring break, and Pro-D day camps (94.2-100% full).
  • 2018 was our third year sponsoring Heritage Fair (City-wide school science project fair).
  • 84 new programs started during the year.
  • Thanks to a gift from the estate of Mrs. Amy White a new sound system was installed in the Seniors’ Centre.

To build alliances within the local business community your President meets on a regular basis with the Kerrisdale Business Association (KBA). In addition to our strong relationship with the KBA, we are pleased to recognize the support we receive, in one way or another, from local businesses in our efforts to meet the recreational, social, and artistic needs of our community. Please support local businesses in any way you can.

As its sponsor, the Society has also built a strong relationship with the Kerrisdale Community Garden. This garden, located along the Arbutus Greenway at 60th Avenue, has matured into a thriving success.

The Society’s Building Maintenance Committee, along with our Community Recreation Supervisor and other Park Board representatives, has been working hard to improve the appearance of the east entry to the Centre. We now have a broader, paved entry walkway, a new and expanded bicycle parking area, a crushed rock garden pad, and improved access to the ramp. Tree trimming has resulted in much better lighting. Commitments from Mrs. Humaira Akhtar (Board member) and her husband, and from the estate of Mrs. Irene Ronnie will soon result in two new benches being installed in this park-like entry. A new picnic table is on order. We anticipate that this project will be completed in the spring.

As time permitted over the last two years the Society has been assessing needs of the Kerrisdale community for programming and services. Through surveys we have learned that most of our patrons come from the Kerrisdale community, with some from neighbouring communities, and that over half use only Kerrisdale to meet their recreation needs. Survey respondents mentioned a variety of features that bring them to Kerrisdale – clearly a broad selection of programs is important to meet the needs of all community members. Over 80% said they were satisfied with Centre programs and services and felt they were good value for the cost; the most common complaint was parking at the Centre.

In order to understand the broader recreation needs of the community that may impact our programming, we have also been examining census data to gain insights into changes in our community. Over the past 15 years the Kerrisdale community has changed in several significant ways. The population aged 65 and over increased from 14% in 2001 to 22% in 2016; in the same period the population aged 25 – 44 decreased from 24% of the total to 19%. The median age of the Kerrisdale population was 46.1 years in 2016 compared to 39.9 years for the City of Vancouver. The number of lone parent families increased between 2011 and 2016 as did the number of children in lone parent families. Kerrisdale’s population is quite stable — 60% did not move in the previous five years.

In 2001 the gap between the median income of Kerrisdale households and that of the City overall was $26K (inflation-adjusted); in 2016 it was $10K. While Kerrisdale has a higher proportion of residents earning in the top 10% of Canadians than the rest of Vancouver, it also has a higher proportion of those in the bottom 10%.

We expect that a summary needs assessment report will be presented to the Board of Directors in 2019. This report will provide insight to future recreational programming challenges at the Centre.

Several years ago, the City designated community centres as information hubs in the event of an earthquake or other environmental catastrophe. Other than installation of signs, little else happened. Following on the initiative of the Dunbar Community, our Society has sponsored the start up of Kerrisdale Earthquake Emergency Preparedness Group (KEEP). Our goal is that this will become an independent community initiative. The Society is facilitating several events for generating community awareness: Feb 19-Table top exercise; Mar. 19-Map the Neighbourhood; April 16-Rapid Damage Assessment; and May 21-Field Exercise.

All events will be held at the Kerrisdale Community Centre. Please see the Spring Program Brochure for time and location. We are most thankful to the guidance and resources we are receiving from Anne Pacey and other members of the Dunbar Earthquake Emergency Preparedness (DEEP) group.

Robert Lockhart,
KCCS President
January 2019

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