Presidents Message – Spring 2020
As we enter the second decade of the 21st century the Kerrisdale Community Centre Society (Society) enters its 78th year. First incorporated in 1943 to address challenges of finding recreational pursuits for local youth the Society worked with local businesses and residents, and with the City to construct the arena (1949), and the community centre (1955). While showing some wear, these facilities have held up well. We are now entering an era of renewal; not just renewal of Kerrisdale’s facilities but also of older community centres across the City. Recently completed reports by the Park Board (the VanPlay and VanSplash reports) have placed a high degree of urgency on the renewal of recreational and aquatic facilities. Over the next months, the Society and other associations in the community centre network will be working with the Park Board to develop criteria for the selection of facilities for renewal. If interested in the renewal of recreational or aquatic facilities in Kerrisdale please speak to a member of our Board of Directors. Your opportunity to influence this process is now. Better still become a Society Director and participate directly in the process.
The financial results for our first full year of operation after concluding a new operating agreement with the Park Board are in (year ending August 31, 2019). While the Society incurred significant additional operating costs as a result of this agreement (increased labour costs, new Active Net registration system costs, and a new Park Board operating fee) the year ended in the black. This achievement was largely due to the contributions of non-programming revenues such as investment income, room rental revenues, and other miscellaneous revenues (e.g., donations and grants). Net revenue from programming alone ($736,727) was less than non-programming operating expenses ($818,971). The audited financial statements for 2018-19 will be presented to the Society members for approval at the Annual General Meeting on 19 February 2020. They will subsequently be published on our website at www.kerrisdalecc.com. Recognizing that the Centre’s operational costs exceed revenues from programs and services offered, the Society conducts ongoing reviews of program pricing. Our goal is to ensure that programs and services can be provided on a sustainable basis while remaining competitive with other community centres. For example, recently small increases to the cost to access the exercise room have been authorized by the Board of Directors. The drop-in cost for all users will increase from $3.50 to $4.00; a monthly pass (adult) will increase from $35 to 38.50.
As most of you know, one of the activities at the centre of which we are most proud of is our seniors’ lunch program. With the low-priced lunch and a large subsidy from our Society (more than $50,000 each year), we provide healthful and hardy lunches to local seniors six days a week. While we benefit from the hard work of our Cook (Betty), and other staff this service would not be possible without the contributions of many, many volunteers; over the past year, more than 30 volunteers have helped with the daily lunch program, the coffee bar, and special lunches. Mr. James Musgrove, our 2019 recipient of the Society’s Volunteer of the Year Award has a long history of volunteering both before moving to Vancouver and now at the Kerrisdale Community Centre. He is an example of the volunteerism that helps to make the centre such a success. James volunteers many hours a week at the coffee bar, he helps with the Seniors’ Thursday book sale and has taken on leadership of the popular Mind Matters discussion group.
KERRISDALE EARTHQUAKE EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS (KEEP)
Recognizing the potential physical and emotional damage that can be caused by a major earthquake, and the City’s designation of community centres as disaster support hubs (DSH) for the past year the Society has sponsored a local community group working to build resilience for such an event. The Kerrisdale Earthquake and Emergency Preparedness (KEEP) group have had a great year of building awareness and cooperation with Vancouver Emergency Community Telecommunications Organization (VECTOR), Neighbourhood Watch, and our local business community. The Society continues to support this important community initiative.
Thank you for making the Kerrisdale Community Centre one of the best community centres in the City. This achievement is largely because we offer a wide-ranging selection of programs delivered by exceptional instructors and program leaders. Below are a couple of special spring events sponsored by the Society:
Sakura Festival: an all-day event on Sunday, April 19th featuring a guided discussion, light lunch, and outdoor “tree walk”. The very popular Opera Zone music program just celebrated its 4th anniversary. Join the large group of regular attendees on Sunday, March 4th and on Sunday, April 5th for performances of classical and cultural music. Finally, thank you for your ongoing support for the work done by centre staff, instructors, volunteer community members, Society Directors, and Society staff.
Robert Lockhart, President
Kerrisdale Community Centre Society