Changing times at GNAG
Thank you and congratulations to the outgoing 2020-21 GNAG Board, which set five main priorities:
- Maintain the organization’s financial stability
- Provide essential childcare
- Provide as many recreational programs and services as possible to help keep our community connected, healthy and entertained
- Keep our core staff in place
- Ensure the health and safety for all
Our core team made it our priority to make sure we delivered on the board’s priorities.
Planning and implementing seasonal courses during the pandemic have been like riding a roller coaster. Our incredible team was motivated to come up with ways to keep our community connected. We became experts in pottery, gardening, art, sports, theatre, cooking – you name it, we taught it.
Under the constant threat of another shutdown, we offered a multitude of mini sessions for in-person programs. From fall 2020 to spring 2021 we offered 1.5 seasons of in-person programs. Unfortunately, most had to be moved online or cancelled. Even our precious Mutchmor rink, which we worked so hard to get back, was cancelled. Low enrolment and constant cancelling can feel quite disheartening. The team was incredibly resilient and never gave up.
Though running at 20-per-cent capacity with an operational deficit of $50,000, we did survive! This could not have happened without the financial support of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) and the support of former MP Catherine McKenna for the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) fund. In addition, with the community’s support and the staff’s hard work, the Glebe Community Centre and the Studio have come alive again.
I am so grateful for the leadership of our GNAG Board of Directors. They have squirrelled away enough reserves to help us carry on through this tough year. Their belief in and support of the team were unwavering. When asked, “Did you ever consider stepping down because it was too much?” the answer was “It never crossed our minds. We are all in this together!”
The pandemic, however, continues to challenge us. While we have implemented a full-vaccination policy, strict health and safety protocols and reduced class sizes, clients are only gradually and cautiously returning to in-person activities. Despite our best efforts to protect everyone’s health and safety, it is understandable that many clients are not quite ready to return to the centre.
In addition, we are now facing the wind down of the CEWS and the CERS programs. We have relied heavily on both subsidies.
A Positive outlook
With vaccinations for children on the horizon, we know we will turn the corner. All we need is a little more time before we are fully back on our feet again.
Want to help? GNAG is hosting a few events that will help build community spirit while raising money to fund our operations. We are looking for businesses to sponsor one of our fall events. Your name will be announced and prominently displayed throughout the entire event and will be advertised on all our social media platforms. Proceeds will support child and youth programs. The events are:
- Haunted Pirates of GNAG Halloween event – Sunday, October 24
- Online Adult Trivia Night – Friday, November 19
- Fall Craft and Artisan Fair – November 20-21, 27
If you are interested in sponsoring any of these events, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sign up for a GNAG program. We have lots to offer and it is very safe. Donations are welcome. Visit GNAG.ca for more details.
GNAG Golden board members
Brad Sigouin, Geoff Kellow and Clare Pearson served on the GNAG Board of Directors for over 10 years, Brad as treasurer, Geoff as community liaison and Clare in charge of fundraising and special events. These outstanding directors generously donated their time, energy, wisdom, leadership and, of course, a sense of humour.
After years of tireless work, they are stepping down from the board. They were honoured with GNAG gold jackets for their solid gold work. On behalf of our staff, the board and this community, my heartfelt thanks to all of you!
A very big thank you and congratulations to the 2020-21 Board of Directors for believing in us and giving us the opportunity to continue to serve the community. I look forward to working with the new 2021-22 Board of Directors as we move forward to a bigger and brighter future.