Blackburn Community Centre Gets a Facelift
Prince George, B.C. – It’s the focal point of the community and it’s sporting a shiny new look.
Renovations are now complete on the Blackburn Community Centre – an project made possible by a grant from Northern Development Initiative Trust, corporate sponsorships, and hundreds of volunteer hours.
“The entire project cost about $44,500 – $30,000 from NDIT, in-kind donations, a large cash donation from the Hoover family and several businesses came on board and became financial sponsors,” says Blackburn Community Association board president Jamie Kranrod. “So, now we’ve got new flooring, new paint, new lighting, new furniture. The place looks amazing.”
She says it’s the first time the Centre has been renovated since it opened twenty-six years ago, noting it serves as the “heart” of the community.
“We do all kinds of community events throughout the year such as family dinners, pancake breakfasts. And of course, it’s used as a rental facility as well so we host plenty of weddings, banquets, memorials. You name it, the hall is available for that.”
Kranrod says it’s quite the turnaround from where they were a year ago, when the Centre was experiencing “an operational crisis.”
“Like so many volunteer driven organizations the struggles were engaging with community members. Getting new volunteers to come in. It’s a big job,” she says.
“The other piece was partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters with child care programming. That was a huge piece towards sustainability of the community association because by partnering with them we were able to have them deliver those programs they already do so well and it allowed us to focus on the facility itself.”