General News · 30th March 2010
To the Southern Cortes Community Association Membership and Residents of Cortes Island
We are asking for your support, financial contributions and volunteer commitment to continue to operate Manson’s Hall.
Because of the loss of Gaming Branch funding, and with no approval for Strathcona Regional District tax based money, the Board of the SCCA must ask the general membership to assist in the restructuring of the operation of Manson’s Hall.
Manson’s Hall has been a vibrant community centre for the past 50 years, a registered non-profit and federally registered charitable society; the Southern Cortes Community Association (SCCA) is managed by a volunteer board.
As a meeting place for the islanders and where the majority of community activities take place, Manson’s Hall has slowly added community recreation, youth, health and education services over the years. The post office, a library, a pre-school, the North Island College office, the credit union, a doctor’s clinic, a radio station - whatever services were needed, Manson’s Hall was stretched and added to so it could accommodate the changes and growing needs of our community over the years.
With the B.C. Community Gaming funding grant money starting in 2002, programs and service increased year by year. The SCCA was able to keep Manson’s Hall rentals at an extremely low level to encourage the development of many local programs. Cortes non profit societies were given accommodation well below market value to make space accessible to the community.
It is necessary to reduce costs and boost income so that our Hall can remain open. Due to the loss of Gaming Branch funding, certain decisions have needed to be made already. This loss of funding means the Summer Youth Program will not run and subsidy for the Play School and Parents and Tots ends March 31.
Charges for all Main Hall and Pioneer rentals have been raised and short and long term lease costs will increase. Sadly, the loss of Community Gaming Branch funding means all off premise events which have been part of the SCCA mandate, Cortes Day, Halloween Fireworks and the adult programs at the Cortes Island School, may not be sponsored this coming year because of unfunded costs. Your donations will assist in keeping programs in place. The SCCA Board invites other Cortes Island societies to take on sponsorship of these popular events.
For the 2010 – 2011 year the Community Gaming Grant was refused because the SCCA had retained more than 50 per cent of the previous year’s operating expenses. The money retained was designated for two previously approved projects, playground equipment for the Play School and the replacement of the front doors. It is the policy of the SCCA to use Cortes Islanders contractors to provide services whenever possible. These projects had not been completed within the 12 month guidelines and although the money set aside for these projects was clearly marked, the Gaming Branch chose to ignore this.
Aging Hall Critical Building Repairs and Maintenance
The aging of the Manson’s Hall has become a serious issue. Repairs and maintenance have been dealt with on an ad hoc basis, almost always as an emergency, for example the purchase of a new furnace in 2007.
A report, “Schedule of Building Repairs” made by Cortes Consulting Limited (without charge) in 2008 identified 30 repairs/reconstruction/replacement problems which are critically required but at a total cost was estimated at $96,600.
Cortes Community Halls Tax Service Funding
The SCCA approached the Comox Strathcona Regional District Cortes Island Director in March and again in September of 2007, with a request to be funded by the Regional District by property tax assessment, as were, and are now, all other community halls in the CRD and the SRD districts. This request was made again in May of 2008 at the SCCA Annual General Meeting, as a motion from the membership, for the Regional Director to proceed with the process. The Whaletown Community Club (Gorge Hall) joined the SCCA in this request in 2009. The community halls on Cortes Island are unique in British Columbia in that they are not supported by regional district, municipal or city property tax based funds.
Activities & Program Offered at Manson’s Hall and Sponsored in the Community by SCCA
A list of ongoing activities, programs and services provided or sponsored to March 31, 2010
• Licensed Pre-School, Playcare and Club de Francais
• Parents and Tots
• Adult program at the Cortes Community School (Badminton, Volley Ball)
• Acting Class – Adults and Children
• Ki-Soo-Do – Adults and Children
• Teen Szene
• Cortes Café
• North Island College building
• Reel Youth
• Pottery Studio
• Friday Market
• Friends of Cortes Island Society building
• Radio Station
• Skateboard Park and Play Court
• Cortes Day
• Community Dinner
• Halloween Fireworks
• South Cortes Cemetery (owned by the SCCA and maintained by SCCA volunteers)
• Cortes Food Bank
• Seniors Programs (meetings, carpet bowling, annual dinner and storage)
• Theatre Group storage and designated green room space
• Thrift Store
• Knowledge Network is available on Cortes Island from the tower owned and maintained by SCCA
• Community Internet Service is available to Manson’s Hall as an exchange for
Twin Comm. using the Knowledge Network tower for their transmissions
• Classes, dances, exercise (Tai Chi, Kundlini Dance, Yoga)
• Post Office
• Vancouver Island Regional Library
• Notice Boards for Cortes Schools, societies and Strathcona Regional District
• Public Notice Boards out side Hall; Marquee for Hall & notice of Cortes events
• Play Ground for children approved by the Vancouver Island Health Authority
• Deck and Picnic area
• Outside entertainment area
• Main Hall and Pioneer Room available for meetings, events, concerts and private functions
The SCCA will host a membership and information table at Manson’s Hall beginning April 2, on Wednesdays and Fridays. Donations to the SCCA are eligible for a federal Charitable Tax Receipt and donations of a $100 or more will receive a individual membership in the SCCA.
Southern Cortes Community Association Annual General Meeting May 31
The SCCA Annual General Meeting is May 31 at 7 p.m. in Manson’s Hall and the SCCA Board of Directors invites the community to attend this meeting.
Comment by SCCA Board on 5th April 2010
Tai Chi was part of Manson' s Hall programming from April 2009 to February 15, 2010.