Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, left, shakes hands with Christine Gleed, the chair of the board of the YMCA/YWCA Vancouver Island, upon signing a memorandum of understanding that formalizes the organizations’ joint commitment to planning services and programs. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

City of Victoria lays groundwork for relationship with YMCA-YWCA

Goal is to expand services as both embark on building new facilities

The City of Victoria has pledged to increase its quality of health and wellness services in a collaboration with the YMCA/YWCA of Vancouver Island.

The two institutions made their working relationship official last week with the signing of a memorandum of understanding, an agreement that recognizes a 50-year history of co-operation. As both the City and the Y embark on building new facilities, the goal in working together is to make sure both provide complimentary services without overlap, said Mayor Lisa Helps said.

“The Y has a request for proposals out right now to build a new facility somewhere in the downtown, and the City of Victoria is rebuilding our Crystal Pool on the existing site,” she explained, noting that between the Y and the city, one million visitors per year utilize their facilities.

“We want to make sure we rebuild them in a way that’s going to have more accessible recreation for more people,” Helps said. “But also to make sure we’re not just building the same thing in both places and really then missing an opportunity.”

Christine Gleed, board chair for the YMCA/YWCA said their organization has had a presence in downtown Victoria for over 140 years, 50 of those spent working directly with the City.

“People expect us to work together,” she said. “We’re not planning any amalgamation. It’s really about committing to running our own facilities in a collaborative way … it’s more about providing more than providing less.”

The Y has carved out an identity as a major provider of child care, and hopes to expand on that as well as housing programs, based on their non-profit model. Gleed points out that as the city grows, less families are living in homes, so demand for gathering spaces such as community kitchens are something the Y is looking at offering with a new space, similar to its location in Vancouver.

“We’re seeing an unprecedented era of co-operation in the region right now,” Helps said. “It’s exciting.”

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: Fare freeze, free travel for seniors on BC Ferries

A complete fare freeze will be put into place on major routes, and fares will be rolled back on smaller routes by 15 per cent

Victoria cannabis advocates call proposed trust fund an ‘overreach’

BCICA says North Saanich councillor’s ideas on cannabis ‘cherry picking’

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

BC BUDGET: Payroll tax replaces medical premiums

Health spending to increase $1.5 billion for drugs, primary care teams

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Canucks blow three goal lead, lose to Avalanche in overtime

Vancouver struggled on the penalty kill, as Colorado scored all five goals on the powerplay

Widow of avalanche victim sues Golden lodge operator

A woman from Alberta is suing guides, their mountain guide association and the lodge operator for negligence

BC BUDGET: NDP hope to nix court delays with $15 million cash influx

Union says funding could stop sheriffs from leaving for higher paid jobs

Cattlemen urge B.C. to prevent erosion caused during 2017 wildfire season

Other concerns are fencing restoration and repair, and a lack of feed for cattle.

Patrick Brown’s Tory leadership bid fate looms

Brown’s bid to for Tory leadership to be decided on Wednesday

Duncan cousins found guilty of aggravated sexual assault

Assault so violent, victim required surgery

Alberta shrugs off B.C. legal challenge on wine ban

The potential fine Alberta faces for violating free trade rules according to economic development minister

Most Read