Qmunity held a consultation dialogue today on Building Community. The event was organized through the Simon Fraser University Centre for Dialogue at the SFU’s Segal Building on Granville.
There is about $10 million set aside for a new community centre but this conference was not about real estate it was truly about building community. The event was funded by Vancity and the Vancouver Foundation. This event was meant to get it right, to focus on what needs to be part of the new community centre in the future.
The age range of participants and gender identities made the room a true mix of everyday folk all interested in one thing, getting it right. Qmunity Executive Director Dara Parker started out the day bringing everyone up to date on possible locations and the fact remains no location has been found yet. Rumor had it that a location at Drake and Burrard was in the works and that is not the case said Parker, so the search continues. Parker acknowledged that Qmunity wants to be as close as possible to the heart of Davie Village.
Toronto’s 519 Executive Director Maura Lawless gave an informative and important 30 minute presentation explaining how 519 gets its funding and how other monies are raised which allow over 300 community groups use of the space. Lawless touched on many key points but made it clear that resource development was a priority in Toronto. It should also be noted as Lawless explained that the 519 community centre is funded by the City of Toronto as well as other fund raising. 519 was the first of it’s kind community centre to be funded and run independently from the city. The City of Vancouver does not have a program like the one in Toronto.
Identifying community needs such as the needs of seniors, youth, trans and fringe persons and thinking about how to do good outreach and in-reach were commom concerns from participants in the breakout groups. People far away may have difficulty accessing resources at Qmunity and that was also common concern. At the end of the day all the notes and paperwork created throughout the day from almost a dozen breakout groups was gathered up by SFU. The whole process was monitored by the SFU Centre for Dialogue. SFU will collate all data and present a public report in December or January. The SFU Centre for Dialogue ensured there was neutrality and transparency throughout the whole process. They also ensured the conference had gender neutral washrooms.
What’s next? It involves you, a community member getting involved by clicking here and doing this important survey. It will only take about 10 minutes.
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- Aboriginal/First Nations/Inuit/Métis/Two-Spirit Session
- Dis/Ability Session
- Families Session
- Newcomers, Immigrants, Undocumented Immigrants Session
- Queer, Trans*, or Intersex People of Colour (QTIPOC)
- Seniors Session
- Trans* Session
- Youth Session (June 25, 6-8pm, YouthCo, 568 Seymour St, Vancouver)