This June marks my 27th year living on Bowen Island and I know the drive to build a community centre had historical precedent even then. For three years I chaired one of the dozens of committees that have existed over the years, spending hundreds of hours in meetings planning, designing and working the numbers. I don’t doubt that the results of the efforts of each of these committees over three decades have all in some way informed the brilliantly designed facility that has been chosen to receive support from the provincial and federal governments’ Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.
My passion for the dream is as a result of performing in countless community halls and centres across Canada and having such a tangible and powerful sense of the role the building plays in a community. No matter how simple or elaborate, it is a galvanizing force, providing a gathering place that includes the visual and performing arts, programs for young children, seniors, and families and a space to gather and celebrate the myriad of human milestones––a central place to engage in so many of the activities that make a community healthy, vibrant, creative and connected. In every town I have visited, the community halls and centres are loved and cared for by the members of the community with a deep sense of pride and stewardship.
I have longed for Bowen to be able to benefit from such a place and the time has finally come.
I urge everyone to ask whatever questions they may have to ensure a well-educated affirmative vote in the upcoming referendum.