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General News · 25th June 2008
The Manson’s Landing Community Hall and the SCCA have been the functional Heart of our Cortes Community for over 50 years and continue this tradition in fine style. Each year our programs and services offer exciting and innovative opportunities for all community members. But before I outline some of the highlights of the past year, I want to express my heartfelt thanks to this year’s terrific Board of Directors for their commitment, leadership and countless volunteer hours. I also want to thank all our staff for their dedication and hard work, particularly retiring Hall Manager, Amber Sprungman who worked miracles for the last 3 years. Welcome to our new Hall Manager, Walter Nugent – looks like the year ahead will be exciting for us all!

One of the major successes this past year was the amazing Summer Youth Recreation Program last July and August which offered over 24 different courses and events and is shaping up to be even better this year. The Playschool and other Children and Youth Programs, including Moms & Babes and Parents & Tots, continue to support families and children on Cortes. The regularly scheduled activities including Jazzercise, Walking Group, Tai Chi, Ki-Soo-Do, Seniors’ Carpet Bowling, Thrift Store and Cortes Cinema Club Film Nights are popular, as was the brilliant Performance Series put on to inspire us through the dark & stormy winter. The Friday Market provides the community with fabulous local products year round and the additional outdoor Market through the summer months is wonderfully festive. The SCCA also manages the Manson’s Landing Cemetery and the Skate Park. The main Hall is used regularly for dances, memorial services, dinners, fundraisers and other community events. And the Hall facility is in constant use seven days a week meeting the needs of our tenants, which include the Post Office, Library, North Island College, FOCI, CES, Pottery Guild, Cortes Radio Society, Cortes Café and the HUB. Many, many thanks to all the volunteers who, through your contributions of time, talent and energy make all these programs and activities possible.

However, as the activities continue to increase each year, the wear and tear on the Hall becomes ever more challenging. We replaced two of the three furnaces and did substantial upgrades on the water systems this past year and the needs and expenses continue to grow. To address this need for a long-term strategy for the maintenance and expansion of the Hall, a number of community volunteers (Frank Curtis, David Shipway and Mark Lombard) formed a Facility Planning Advisory Team to review the Hall’s needs and make recommendations. Based on a professional assessment by Sten Christiansen and the team’s own survey work, they developed a 3-year capital improvements proposal which they will present at the AGM. The Team also looked at the Cortes Library (VIRL) expansion issues, including the need for more space with better headroom, more shelving, a children’s area and better circulation facilities. To assist us with discussions of what the next steps need to be, VIRL’s Executive Director, Rosemary Bonanno, and Wayne Hartley, VIRL’s Human Resources Safety Specialist will also make a presentation at the AGM and be available to answer questions.

I want to remind everyone who uses Manson’s Hall that the SCCA receives no government funding but depends on memberships, donations, fundraising and volunteer help. Please make sure you are a current member of the SCCA (membership is only $10/person or $15/family) and consider making a donation (charitable tax receipts are available). I also encourage you to attend the upcoming AGM on Monday, May 26 to help shape the important decisions facing the SCCA. Once again, I offer my sincere thanks to all who contribute so much to this vibrant Heart of Cortes.

Mary Gordon,
SCCA President