Letter from the Executive Director – 2017

Dear members,

The year’s end always brings with it a tremendous sense of accomplishment. It’s amazing how much has been achieved by our staff, volunteers, Board of Directors and by you, our valued members, in 2017. We have had a happy, busy year here at the South Granville Senior Centre. More seniors have been joining us and participating in our programs and services. The fact that we have approximately 1,500 senior visitors per year is proof that we are the heart of the Fairview community and a place for seniors to connect, make friends, and stay engaged.

We are very fortunate to have compassionate and hardworking people at our centre. Alex, Tania, and Maria Jose, your commitment and your passion for the work you do is truly appreciated by all. To our 230 volunteers, those ordinary people with extraordinary hearts who give so much of their time to the Centre: Thank you for always lending a hand. A heartfelt thank you to the Board of Directors for their guidance and support. To the wonderful 450 members who participate and support our programs and to the amazing program facilitators who contribute their skills to make these excellent programs possible, thank you for your involvement. Last but not least, a warm thank you goes to our donors, whose generosity helps us to keep the doors of the Centre open for everybody.

New challenges are awaiting us in 2018. At the end of 2015, the Centre learned that its current site is scheduled for redevelopment and that the Centre will need to relocate. Timelines and a new site have not yet been determined, but we are optimistic that we will be able to find a new space in the near future. Cornerstone Planning Group was contracted in 2016 to develop a High Level Functional Plan to describe our needs and it was submitted to the City of Vancouver. Over eight different focus groups were organized and members were asked to contribute their thoughts and ideas about a new location. The results of this study will be used as a basis for space requirements for the Centre during the design phase.

Funding is a major issue for our potential growth and expansion. The lack of stable, secure, long term grants from all three levels of government affects our ability to ensure continuity in our programs and to provide a long-term plan for our centre. The senior population is growing and government funding has dropped significantly over the past year as funders are changing and tightening their funding criteria. Many new grants favour one-time projects over providing long-term operational funding for continuing programs. We are addressing these issues by creating more partnerships and cooperating with other seniors’ organizations, businesses in the community, schools, civil organizations, and services providers. I would like to invite everybody to join us in our efforts to keep the Centre open in the years to come. Help us to keep it the vibrant and beautiful community that we have been able to maintain since its creation in 1972.

With love,

Clemencia