Message from the Community Association
2020 was, of course, the Year of the Global Coronavirus Pandemic. It cast a huge shadow on the Sunset Community Centre and on all of us as individuals.
Back in June, when the Centre was still closed, and many programs were deemed unsafe to operate, the Sunset Board set two priorities for emerging from the worst of the pandemic period: restarting child care services and reopening the fitness facilities. With a lot of work on the part of Paramjeet Munday and the staff, the pre-school and after-school programs began in September and were soon back at full capacity. We were able to keep the child care staff on salary during the rest of the school year, despite the Centre’s shutdown, with welcome assistance from the federal government’s Canada Wage Subsidy program.
Despite much effort by our recreation supervisor, Joe Wong, and staff, meeting the new Covid-19 guidelines for our popular fitness facilities posed even greater difficulties. After eight months, and with new procedures in place, the fitness rooms finally reopened in late November.
The summer session programs at Sunset went ahead on a limited basis. The regular day camps were limited to 20 participants, smaller than the normal size of 60. On a trial schedule, other programs, including line dancing and youth programming were held outdoors, again to limit the risk of viral transmission. A much-reduced number of programs also commenced during the fall.
In October, the Sunset Board launched a new initiative. We entered into an agreement with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank to begin food distribution to needy families in the community, answering a need that arose when the only distribution hub in South Vancouver closed down in early 2020. Thanks to the hard work of Bhalwinder Waraich and Joe Wong, we began monthly distribution in December for about 50 households.
During fall 2020, the City of Vancouver submitted its application for construction of the long-awaited Sunset seniors’ centre with funding from all three levels of government. Looking ahead, we hope to hear the results of that decision soon and to begin participating in planning the new facility.
If the pandemic does not hit us with another blow in the New Year, the Winter 2021 season should begin to appear more normal. We look forward to seeing all of you.
President, Sunset Community Association