Priority programs and services to restart September 8 at community centres
Programs and services focusing on children, youth, seniors, and food security, are scheduled to restart September 8 at 24 community centres across Vancouver.
Program offerings such as Happy Hearts, yoga for seniors, osteofit, seniors' social, Minds in Motion External website, opens in new tab, seniors' lunch, food hamper, and youth social and leadership activities might be limited due to new COVID-19 protocols, room capacity, and safety precautions.
The Vancouver Park Board is responsible for operating community centres, maintenance, provision of core facility staffing, and all overhead costs, while Community Centre Associations (CCAs) determine and deliver programming.
Benefits of community centres
The benefits of community centres and their services are substantial. They provide publicly accessible space that promotes and supports community engagement, social connections and personal health, wellness, and physical activity.
Community centres also play an important role in supporting poverty reduction and building strong neighbourhoods, in addition to providing employment to instructors.
Physical distancing and safety plans
Physical distancing will be managed according to health guidance from the Ministry of Health and the Centre for Disease Control. Each program will have safety plans that outline the flow, capacity, and supports. Flow of people at each site will vary based on building design.
Programs will require registration with limited drop-ins. Sanitizing will be factored into scheduling, room bookings, and shared space. Park Board staff are developing signage and communications for new procedures to ensure protocols and responsibilities for patrons.
Staggered start and end times will be implemented to reduce the chance of overcrowding along with physical distancing measures. This will be facilitated through the registration process. Staff will direct users in common spaces and guide activity to maintain physical distancing, ensure groups do not form and that the building emergency safety plan is followed as needed.
More details regarding registration will be posted at vancouver.ca/covid19 when finalized.
Phased reopening and recovery approach
Historically, the Park Board's 24 community centres accommodate a wide variety of registered and drop-in programming, spontaneous use and bookings, permits and events that reflect the specific needs of area residents. Serving people of all ages and abilities, community centres are the backbone of Vancouver's public recreation system and usage is rising.
There is no timeline yet for the reopening of gyms and fitness centres, racquet courts, rinks, indoor pools, and pottery and woodworking studios at community centres.
The Park Board is taking a thoughtful and phased reopening and recovery approach in alignment with BC's Restart Plan External website, opens in new tab, and in consultation with various government and non-government agencies and partners.
Open parks and recreation facilities and services
Since May, the Park Board has reopened golf courses, VanDusen Botanical Garden, Bloedel Conservatory, tennis and pickleball courts, pitch and putts, skate parks, synthetic sports fields, basketball and volleyball courts, disc golf, roller hockey, multisport courts, playgrounds, spray parks, outdoor pools, day camps, and daycare services.
The Park Board continues to review the feasibility of reopening other facilities and services and will make adjustments to its operations based on the latest information provided by VCH, the Provincial Health Officer, and industry partners.
For more information about the status of services and facilities impacted by COVID-19, please visit: vancouver.ca/ParkBoardRestart.