CONSTANCE BAY – The messaging around West Carleton’s community associations was re-told last Sunday (June 6) as the Constance and Buckham’s Bay Community Association Inc. (CBBCA) shared the results of a challenging 2020 due entirely to COVID-19.
“We got off to a really good start,” CBBCA President Len Russell told attendees to the community association’s annual general meeting.
Then COVID-19 hit and, just one small example of the challenges to come, it took the organization 15 months to organize its annual meeting.
“Fifteen months exactly since our last one,” Russell said.
A larger example of the challenges the CBBCA faces was found in its financial report. By the end of the year, despite a drop in expenses of nearly $40,000, the CBBCA lost $11,916 in 2020.
Revenue from programs and user fees were down more than $54,000 over 2019 to $15,943 – an 81 per cent freefall. Total income for 2020 was $87,013 ($146,891 in 2019). At the end of the year, Russell says the CBBCA has $26,809 in the bank “that is essentially cash-on-hand to support operations in 2021.”
That’s mostly due to the $37,519 accumulated profit from previous years (before the $11,916 2020 loss).
“The wage subsidy was key to us being able to keep running,” Russell said. “Operating grants were also important. The short answer is we lost almost $12,000 due to COVID-19 and will suffer many of the same challenges this year.”
But, as Russell said, the year started off great for the CBBCA.
In February 2020, the CBCA hosted Love Yourself Week for the Heart and Stroke Foundation; a Wellness and Education Workshop and Fitness and Relaxation classes.
Between January and March 2020, the CBBCA launched its weekly Lounge Night four youth in Grades 7 to 9. It hosted a Home Alone-Stay Safe program and held its first Youth Active Mindfulness class.
From June to October the CBBCA was able to host outdoor Pickleball under COVID-19 protocols and in July and August outdoor fitness classes.
Between September and December 2020, the CBBCA were able to host programming such as fitness classes and Sparks’ Tae Kwon-do as well as operating the gym roughly 20 hours a week by appointment including teen hours.
The association was also able to repair, re-paint and refinish flood impacted floors and walls at the NorthWind Wireless Fibre Centre.
Russell said the Youth Lounge was “very well attended, better than expected.”
The online fitness classes were useful but “that gets old pretty quickly.”
Keeping the gym open (when regulations permitted) during the pandemic was also costly, but important.
“There was a lot of overhead due to COVID-19, but we think it as worth it,” Russell said.
2020 was a learning year for the CBBCA as the association found out what it could and couldn’t do during the pandemic.
“We think we’ll be able to continue to run, in some capacity, all the events we were able to run in 2020 moving forward,” Russell said.
Russell said he wants to focus getting youth in the gym and wants to focus on the now young Constance Bay community in general moving forward.
“My street is basically a daycare,” Russell said. “I haven’t seen anything like it in 25 years. We need leaders who can push that youth-focused agenda forward. We have a need to consult with our new community members, so our policies are correctly aligned.”
All 22 board positions were up for election, but almost all of the board and operations leaders were expected to stay on except for one key director who has decided to step down – Angela Bernhardt.
“I really want to thank the board that continues to stay on with us,” Russell said. “As everyone knows, Angela has been an essential part of our board since 2014 and before than an essential part of our community.”
“A huge thank you to the board for having me the last few years,” Berhardt released in a statement following the AGM. “My mandate when I got involved with the community association way back in 2013 was to assist with the design and construction of the addition – a project manager rep for the CBBCA with the city and the consultants/contractor. That was it. I didn’t know I would get to know and get to volunteer with so many wonderful, dedicated people. I’ve done less and less the last few years as we have more and more new people on the board. Now was certainly the right time to ‘retire.’ I look forward to the time when we can gather and serve the community together again. I’m happy to volunteer when I can for events.”
The CBBCA was pleased to welcome new board member Kate Cahill who will focus on youth programming.