As you may be aware, the relationship between Vancouver’s Park Board and the various Community Centre Associations is back in the news. In Dunbar, the Community Centre is run as a partnership between the Dunbar Community Centre Association and the Vancouver Park Board. Guiding our relationship is a Joint Operating Agreement (JOA), signed in 1979. As with any aging legal agreement, this JOA is imperfect, but it works reasonably well at Dunbar, and under it’s auspices, the Association provides programs and services at the Centre.
After several unsuccessful attempts by city staff and community centre boards over the years to revise the JOA to one that better reflects current community centre operating environments, the City recently drafted a new agreement on their own. Some input from the Associations was solicited in this process, but the final version reflects primarily the City’s language. This new JOA was recently presented to the community centre Association boards, with a request for their agreement by March 1st. A summary of the agreement can be seen on the City of Vancouver website.
The City’s website highlights four features of this agreement; OneCard and Flexipass, low-income discounts, no membership fees and system-wide recreation programs. The first three of these have been in place at Dunbar for some time and much programming is already common across the city. Dunbar has honoured the OneCard and Flexipass for years, low income discounts for decades and has not charged users a membership fee for some time. While Dunbar already offers one of the broadest community centre selection of recreation programs in the city, we are happy to incorporate city-wide programs. There is already substantial overlap in program offering across all the centres providing recreational, health and educational services.
As required by the City, the Board of the Dunbar Community Centre Association is reviewing the proposed agreement. The Board is seeking advice on the impact of the proposed agreement on the Association and its ability to operate the Community Centre under the terms of the proposed agreement. The Board expects to have further information available in the New Year. Further communication with our membership will then follow.
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