Welcome to the 55 Activity Centre (formerly Squamish Seniors’ Centre) website!

For DISCLAIMER” see bottom of page.

MANY HAVE BEEN ASKING WHAT’S IN STORE FOR “THE 55”
You may be losing this facility if we are not successful in redirecting the path staff are now on.

If you are under 65 and are about to hit the ‘delete’ button, ask yourself this:
“Will the Seniors Centre be here when I need it in 10 or 20 years?”

Council’s recently voted to allow the staff MOU to proceed on the basis of broadly engaging with the Seniors of Squamish regarding programming at the 55, Westwinds and Brennan Park. Your Advisory Board considers this to be a first step towards the creation of a Seniors Strategy.

Editorial:
WILL THERE BE A SQUAMISH SENIORS CENTRE WHEN YOU RETIRE IN 10 OR 20 YEARS?

A staff report will come before Council on Sep 29, 2020  – LINK.

THAT the District of Squamish enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Squamish Senior Citizen Home Society to pursue a license agreement and development of a Seniors Wellness Hub at the Westwinds, located at 38275 Third Avenue (now under construction – anticipated opening late 2021).The Seniors Advisory Committee i.e. Board of the Squamish Seniors Centre Society, duly established as the Advisory Committee to Parks and Recreation staff by Mayor Ian Sutherland in his letter of Nov 28, 2008, first learned of this proposed policy in a PowerPoint presentation by staff at a Zoom meeting on Sep 9, 2020, notwithstanding that we had been asking to meet with the CAO to discuss Seniors issues since early 2020. We would like to point to a 1999 Canadian Supreme Court decision, that staff ought to be aware of: “consultation is meaningless if accommodation is excluded from the outset”.

The essence of this presentation was that they propose to recommend to Council on Sep 29 the adoption of their report to Council which will provide for the establishment of a

Seniors Hub at the Westwinds building and repurposing the 55 as a Neighbourhood community centre.

In a follow up meeting requested by us we emphasized the history of the 55, its creation and the deep involvement of Squamish Seniors with that space – “if you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going”. When mayor Greg Gardner cut

the ribbon at the 55 on Sep 16, 2009 in front of a gathering of Seniors he declared
this is your home”.

We emphasized that Seniors would like to remain in the 55, continuing operations as it always has, as the 55 Seniors Centre. We rate the Westwind facility, that was created without any input from the Advisory Committee, as inadequate to Seniors needs.

Some of our observations:

  • Inadequate residential type kitchen to serve our many social functions.
  • No BBQ facility and patio space for our social functions.
  • No art room with the required sinks and storage cabinets.
  • No sprung floor in the exercise room – essential if we are to avoid broken hips!
  • Lack of storage for the items needed for carpet bowling.

We responded to staff that the simultaneous maintenance of Seniors programming in three facilities (the 55, Seniors Hub, Brennan Park) as they now propose is not workable in the long run and likely not financially feasible, quickly resulting in failure.

We see this current situation as the result of a disconnect between recreation staff and the Advisory Committee. It appears that staff has lost sight of history and the attachment Seniors have to the 55.

The 55 was built as a Seniors Centre using land in trade and considerable funds, both set aside by Council in the 1990’s for the construction of a Seniors Centre. The Seniors contributed about $80,000 and countless volunteer hours providing design input into the 55 and in its operation.

Because the Seniors Activity Centre was deemed “underutilized” a revitalization effort spearheaded by staff resulted in Council’s policy adopted on July 11, 2017 – LINK:

  • Seniors (55+) only from 9 to 4.
  • Adults only (19+) at other times
  • And a name change to the ‘55 Activity Centre’

Unfortunately, staff continued to ignore our requests for programs such as Tai Chi, languages, photo club etc. only to introduce tots and preschoolers – but not as inter-generational programs, and culminating with a policy of turning the 55 into a Youth Hub after 3 pm against the strong objections of the Seniors Advisory Committee. Volunteer leaders were discouraged by a new policy requiring police background checks and lengthy application forms when in fact the Ottawa H.Q. of the RCMP advised in writing that this is a matter of local policy and not a Federal Government requirement. It seems to us that the 2017 revitalization effort was designed to fail in order to get us to the present juncture of taking over the 55 for use as a Neighbourhood Centre.

We wish to stay in the 55 Seniors facility continuing as we always have “under One Roof”, especially considering the 55’s history and the fact that there has not been a comprehensive dialogue with the seniors’ community prior to developing and signing this MOU or suggesting this model.

As a result, we respectfully suggest that a decision on the current staff policy proposal be deferred, funds not expended on continuing with a memorandum of understanding with the Westwinds management, and that instead a SENIORS STRATEGY be included in the current budget with its policy coming forward before Westwinds opens. This strategy terms of reference shall be determined by a meaningful dialogue between the District and The Seniors Advisory Committee.

As an alternative to deferring the development of the MOU, council may remove any specific language related to seniors’ services from the MOU and simply have language that permits the exploration of any DOS potential partnership in the new facility, thus leaving open other possibilities e.g. a child care centre and leaving the function of the 55 as originally intended.
Also include a SENIORS STRATEGY in the current budget.

To be displaced from a facility that was hard-won, for another space under someone else’s roof, is a step backwards.  It is also a negation of the decades of working and planning and fundraising that were undertaken to achieve the dream of one day having a seniors’ centre in the town of Squamish.

More so than ever, your voice is needed now to ensure that the Seniors Strategy will happen.
Please, write to Council council@squamish.ca,
the Squamish Chief jthuncher@squamishchief.com,
the Squamish Reporter gaganscribe@gmail.com
the BC Seniors Advocate info@seniorsadvocatebc.cahttps://www.seniorsadvocatebc.ca
Send us a copy of your letter: admin@squamishseniorscentre.com

TAI CHI IN THE PARK
RAIN OR SHINE
IT TAKES PLACE UNDER COVER IN THE BAND STAND

sold out and a substantial wait list has been created.
For details see attached, or go to this – LINK
Don’t forget to bring your own mask and sanitizer.
Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your first class’ start time to complete the assumption of risk form that will then be handed out – LINK

There will be additional sessions – indoor, if allowed by Coastal Health – starting in November.
The people on the current wait-list will have first dibs on the November places.

Details are on the Special Events Page – LINK

CAROL, OUR TREASURER, IS ACCEPTING A $2,000 GRANT CHEQUE FROM WOODFIBRE-LNG

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There are only 4 reasons to go out:
• Employment activities that cannot be postponed
• Urgently needed errands such as food
• Help for others or the general public
• Exercise outdoors alone or with housemates –
keep a minimum distance of 1m to all others

IS THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT DOING ENOUGH?
I don’t believe they are doing all they should.
For example they are not telling us how many cases of Covid-19 we have in Squamish.
We are only told the number for Vancouver Coastal Health, a huge region of the province.
We would like to know how many cases we have in Squamish and conduct ourselves accordingly to remain safe.
Seniors are the most vulnerable in this situation.

If you agree, share your thoughts with the ministers concerned – the email I sent is here.

Honorable Adrian Dix, Minister of Health
Telephone: 250 953-3547
Email: HLTH.Minister@gov.bc.ca

Mailing Address: PO BOX 9050, STN PROV GOVT.
Victoria BC
V8W9E2
CANADA

Honorable Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety & Solicitor General
Telephone: 250 356-2178
Email: PSSG.Minister@gov.bc.ca

Mailing Address: PO Box 9010 Stn Prov Gov
Victoria BC
V8W9E2

BC CENTRE OF DISEASE CONTROL – SELF ASSESSMENT
Mar 17, 2020 Are you experiencing #COVID19 symptoms like a cough, fever, sore throat or sneezing? Try this quick, new, online self-assessment tool to see if you need testing: https://t.co/WnsU28614I pic.twitter.com/SPT7FaQH6N
— BCCDC (@CDCofBC) March 17, 2020

BREAKING: Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has now declared #COVID19 in B.C. a public health emergency.

OUR SOCIAL CHAT LOCATION ON FACEBOOK

Keep in touch with your community @squamishseniors
I am not a Facebook aficionado, but some of you will certainly be equipped to continue this conversation.

Squamish Chief reports on March 14 that we will not be told the number of Covoid-19 cases in Squamish, only those in the Coastal Health Region.  – FULL ARTICLE
As a senior you are most at risk by this decision.
If you disagree write to:
SeniorsBC: Text to: 1 604 660-2421
or email servicebc@gov.bc.ca

Squamish Facilities closed – Feb 16  – 5 pm LINK

Corona Virus – Covid-19
Read this important summary by CBC News:

In BC gatherings of more than 50 people will be banned.

Some B.C. cities are closing all community centres, recreation facilities and libraries.

FULL DOCUMENT HERE

THE MEN-ON-THE-MOVE  CLASS BIDS GOODBY TO CHRISTINE CREER
With our best wishes, Christine is leaving for new opportunities in Powell River.

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MEETING BRIEFS LINK1 and LINK2
Read here what your Society Advisory Board has been up to.This document, a brief summary of recent meeting notes, was prepared by our very diligent Secretary, Sharon Tait.

STRONGSTART
We all love our grand kids but…If you have noticed a lot of very young children during morning hours at the 55 it is because the District decided to help out the School Board’s StrongStart program that became temporarily homeless. Read about it here:  LINK

The Society Board of Directors were not consulted. Contrary what you read in this December 23 news release some programs were in fact affected.

Learn about the concerns expressed by nine commenters  and add your voiceLINK.

We have been operating for a number of years under the following guiding principles: Under the revitalization agreement, and adopted as policy by past Council, daytime use during weekdays is reserved exclusively for use by Seniors. To change this policy and have children in the 55 during restricted hours requires consultation with the Seniors and should be voted on by District Council. Public policy in Canada has been ever since the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on it: “Consultation is meaningless if accommodation is excluded from the outset.”

THE FIT GENERATION – Whistler Premiere Documentary Film
Jan 31 at 6:30pm at the Maury Young Arts Centre, 4335 Blackcomb Way, Whistler

$10 for Seniors – Tickets here: LINK
Provide your own transportation.

The Fit Generation is an inspiring documentary about amazing people in their 70’s and 80’s in British Columbia who choose to live a healthy, active life despite all the challenges that come with aging. They face cancer, arthritis, heart attacks, bone fractures, knee replacements, fatigue and the loss of loved ones, but they won’t give up or stop having fun!

Two Whistler locals, Marcel Richoz and George Tjelios-Nicholas, star with four others in the film, showing us how to live life to the fullest – including dancing, biking, skiing and playing hockey. Join us in The Gallery after the film to meet the stars!

CHRISTMAS DINNER PHOTOS – LINK
All had a great time.
Thanks, Squamish Academy of Music, for providing the entertainment.
Credit for the photos go to Joy Boulier and Heather Sidsworth.

PharmaCare BC – LINK
Don’t wait for the Feds to bring in a national pharmacare program.
We already have one in BC – but you need to register.

HIKING IMPROVES YOUR HEALTH – INFORMATION
Come and join one of the various walking/hiking clubs that suits your ability.
Over-the-Hill Hikers – meets Tuesdays – contact Heather T: 604-815-8561, sidsworthh@telus.net.
Senior Walkers – meets Fridays at 10 am, see CALENDAR in Chief.
Tantalus Walking Club – meets Tuesdays at 10 am, see CALENDAR in Chief,                        T: 604-898-5594

We encountered “The Three Seniors” on the KVR bike trail near Penticton
Their website is full of good resources for seniors who want to do easy mountain biking using an E-bike. They left us in the dust on their E-bikes. https://emountainbikingforseniors.com

The sections of the KVR extending 15km E of Penticton and inside the Myra Canyon Provincial Park are vey scenic, in very good condition and can easily be done by any reasonably fit senior.

Support by the Squamish Community Foundation – LINK
I attended their annual awards event and received on behalf of our Society a cheque for $500 in support of subsidized visual arts programs that were recently held at the 55+. These are intended for all Squamish Seniors (55+). This is the third year we have received their support. This programme filled up early.

This local non-profit’s good work depends on donations from the community so please consider them when the time comes to make your list of donation recipients and bequests.

OUR 2019 PAINTING CLASS

Download this photo.

Regarding future ticket sales for our events when liquor will be available POSTER
We were notified that the DOS will no longer be selling tickets to our events that involve the serving of liquor, notwithstanding that we always had a valid liquor license and a $5 Million liability insurance coverage in favor of the District. From now on volunteers will be handling these ticket sales from the 55 and your participation will be needed.
If you are able to take part in selling tickets for future events after this St. Paddy’s Pub Night
please let Carol Laktin know – 604 892 3676 cjlaktin@shaw.ca.

Food Services
We have met with a potential operator and more news should be coming soon

Sign up for one or all of the District Email Newsletters  – LINK

The DONATIONS page is now live – LINK.  Ask your friends to consider a donation/bequest to our Society during this SEASON OF GIVING. We do provide a tax receipt and will use the funds to provide low cost programs for Seniors at our Centre. Perhaps also subsidize some of the more expensive bus outings so everyone can participate.

Be First to Know
Sign up for our Seniors Newsletter advising of special events, special recreation VAN outings and Seniors related issues in general.
Send an email to admin@squamishseniorscentre.com giving us your name and phone number.
If you no longer wish to receive our newsletter it is easy to unsubscribe.

The Summer Program  Guide is out– LINK
The 55+ Adult section starts on page 48

LOCAL ELECTIONS RESULTS LINK
Final determination of results provided by the DOS:

Elliott, Karen – Mayor
Councillors:
Race, Doug
Stoner, Jenna
Hurford, Armand
Andersen, Eric
French, John
Pettingill, Chris
Contact: council@squamish.ca

CAREGIVERS TAX SAVINGS
Take a look by clicking on this link – LINK

ARE YOU AWARE?
Click on this LINK

Volunteer Opportunity.
The Squamish Street Market will be providing a variety of food options and craft beverages to choose from for every volunteer. LINK

Dementia Friends Workshop.
If you missed this recent workshop put on by the Alzheimer Society you may be interested in the presentation material – LINK

Protect your Facebook.
You will have heard in the news about the potential collection of your private information by snooping apps running on Facebook. You can disable these apps as explained in the attached CBC NEWS article. I followed the instructions – they work and are not difficult. Put your grand-kids to work…   LINK 

When to Take CPP?
Read this item by the Globe’s Rob Carrick.

Better at Home programme.
You may want to know about the assistance offered by our Provincial Government in their “Better at Home” programme. It is meant to keep Seniors in their homes longer by providing low cost assistance with housekeeping chores including light yard work, grocery shopping etc.
The cost for these services is income dependent.
The details are in the brochure; via this link.

The MENS’ SHED
The Squamish Men’s Shed was established in 2016 with the primary purpose of  fostering well-being of senior men , and women who may  wish to join. Shed activities include discussions on health matters and work on community projects with a specific aim of reducing isolation . The shed has a well equipped carpentry shop located on the west side of unit 21 at 38021 Third avenue, behind Cedars Housing. Some of the projects completed by these senior men are the bench at the corner of Third and Pemberton, the Xmas toy box in the Cedars lounge and the Bat condo in the estuary. For more details and to join, contact ; info@squamishmensshed.ca

You can see a slide show of random Senior Centre photos taken approximately 2012 through 2015 by clicking on this link. The same slide show  is also played at times on the big TV in the social area.

For our upcoming events please go to the “Special Events” page.

Have you checked the new programmes offered.
For details go to the Activities page

The current Board of Directors who are also the Advisory Board to the 55 Activity Centre staff, were elected at the Seniors Centre Society AGM  in June.Were you at that meeting to have your say?

Name Position Phone/Email
Sharon Tait, Secretary 604 898 4470 stait53@telus.net;
Chair is by rotation:
Rick Boulier, Director 604 892 5325 joyrick@shaw.ca;
Carol Laktin, Director 604 892 3676 cjlaktin@shaw.ca;
Bob Redford, Director 604 898 1175 rredford@telus.net;
Arlene Ingraham. Director 604 898 1251 ajingraham@shaw.ca;
Tony Biggin-Pound, Director 604 898 9279 tb-p@telus.net;
Margaret Taylor, Director 604 898 9536
Nelson Winterburn, Director 604-898-9240 nwinterburn@telus.net
Honorary Directors
Bill Berg 604 898 3208 bill.berg@shaw.ca;
Herbert Vesely 604 815 0805 Herbert@vesely.ca

The purpose of this website is to offer seniors a convenient way to find up-to-date information on what’s happening at the 55 Activity Centre (previously known as the Squamish Seniors Centre) and in the Seniors’ community. This home page will be updated with reports to keep you in the know even when you can’t make it down to the centre.

Make sure to keep coming back for the monthly schedule of activities and events! Check out the calendar and schedules on the “ACTIVITIES” page.
Special events are listed on the “SPECIAL EVENTS” page.

Registration for programs can be done online or at either Brennan Park Rec Centre or the 55+ Activity Centre.  The  Calendar of Events is available at the Centre or check out the Activities page for a link.

DISCLAIMER: This site is operated by the Webmaster on behalf of the Squamish Seniors Centre Society. Any opinions expressed herein should not be considered to be  the opinions of the District of Squamish or its Recreation Department or the 55+ Activity Centre.

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