President’s Update to the Ramsay Community Association

May 6th, 2020 by rca_admin Leave a reply »

May 06, 2020

President’s Update to Ramsay Community Association

Ramsay Community Association responded quickly and effectively at the onset of the state of local emergency during Covid-19 pandemic, closing our facilities, suspending recreation programs and meetings, all in keeping our staff and volunteers safe, to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances.

With the Province’s recent post-Covid-19 relaunch plan, we must carefully assess what this means for Ramsay’s approach to relaunch. Our processes in place for team members volunteer remotely, will continue until further notice. Our Hall and Recreation facilities remain closed. We are optimistic but must be cautious as how Ramsay’s recovery proceeds.

We continue to take a thoughtful approach toward our relaunch and community recovery: Ramsay Resilient, by controlling costs in the short term, and as we ramp up our programming as we move forward.

Currently, the Ramsay Community Association (RCA) leases two City owned facilities:

  1. Ramsay Community Hall and grounds, located at 1136 8th St. SE
  2. Ramsay Rink and Skate Shack, located at 2102 Ramsay St SE (tripartite lease with City and Calgary Board of Education)

The facilities provide a springboard for community programming, volunteer-run events, and also revenue generation opportunities for the RCA through Hall and Rink. Over the years, changing social interests and increased options offered outside the community have decreased the demand for facility space, leaving RCA with more capacity than we need, or that can afford to maintain.

While community use of the Outdoor Rink and nearby green space has remained steady year over year, the declining use of the Hall coupled with its increased cost to maintain, poses a large challenge.

The Board and Treasurer have reviewed our initial forecasts of scenarios and the financial shortfall (or gap) created this year as a result of impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, we have made the difficult decision to release our Hall Manager and have eliminated contracted services. Despite finding savings, long term we do not believe this will suffice. As such, we have also decided maintain maintain lease on the Rink and Skate Shack, and to suspend our lease of the Ramsay Community Hall and grounds, located at 1136 8th St. SE, with the City of Calgary in the coming weeks. Our Ramsay Community Association Hall will close.

This decision was not made lightly and involved those who have held the Hall near and dear to their heart for many years. Unfortunately, the uncertain future of the Hall was compounded by several factors coming together to create a ‘perfect storm’:

  • Covid-19, which resulted in suspension of all Hall and Rink rental revenue and fund-raising revenue activities for an indefinite period of time;
  • Loss of this year’s casino fundraiser which was projected to bring in approximately $60K;
  • Resolution of a potential partnership in a Hall-based revenue generation project deemed no longer feasible at this time.

Ongoing use of the Hall is uncertain at this point and will be determined by the City. The future Hall tenant will likely be another community serving group or not for profit.

Ramsay Community Association will continue to maintain a tripartite lease of the Rink and Skate Shack and will continue running the business and administrative work of the community association from that location, while moving a large percentage of work online.  Ramsayites continue to look to us to deliver the community programming they count on. We are refocussing efforts to community and recreational programming, such as those supporting youth and vulnerable populations.

At this point I would like to extend A BIG THANK YOU to all the volunteers over the years, for your contributions in making Ramsay the amazing community it is today.  We look forward to your ongoing commitment to this great community. Thank you as well to our Hall Manager, whose last day with us was April 30, 2020. The Hall holds some rich Ramsay history and we will find ways to honour that outside its four walls.

This is a monumental challenge, and there are many unknowns. But with challenges also come opportunities. This is an opportunity to think differently and be even bolder as a community.  Post-pandemic Ramsay will be different and stronger, both as individuals and as community. Ramsay has faced challenges before, and we do so again now. The board will continue to refine plans over the coming months and will update our membership on our progress and key decisions as they are made.

This is a big change for our little community.  Change is never easy, but it will be less challenging knowing we have the strength and support of our Ramsay Community members.  We will endure.

Ramsay is Strong. Ramsay is Steadfast. Ramsay is Resilient.

 

Ramsay Community Hall

Photo by Kevin Cunningham

Respectfully,

~Vince Bodnar

President

Ramsay Community Association

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