City of Powell River to apply for more funding for seniors program

Age-friendly program funding has underwritten seniors’ activities

City of Powell River Council has approved a grant application that will go toward supporting seniors activity in Powell River.

At the January 16 council meeting, council voted to support a grant application to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities’ 2020 age-friendly community program in the amount of $15,000, and that the city support the proposed activities and provide overall grant management.

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Councillor Jim Palm said the age-friendly program is a great step forward for seniors in the community. He said in 2016, the city originally applied for $20,000, which was received in the form of a grant from the age-friendly program. In 2017, the grant funding was used to fund an age-friendly plan for the Powell River region, as well as the seniors together program, which brought a number of seniors to Powell River Recreation Complex for a luncheon with various topics and speakers on the agenda.

“That was very well received by our seniors who attended it regularly,” said Palm. “It was usually sold out.”

In 2018, a seniors community council was established and it developed a strategic plan to use as a foundational document for the age-friendly project city council continues to pursue, said Palm.

In 2019, the city received another $15,000 from the age-friendly program, which the seniors community council used to develop three editions of the seniors resource guide. Palm said just before Christmas there was a gathering at the recreation complex that more than 100 seniors attended. He said a number of topics were addressed and a report will be coming to city council in the near future.

Councillor Maggie Hathaway said she wanted to commend director of parks, recreation and culture Ray Boogaards for the work he has done for seniors since he arrived in Powell River.

She said the monthly seniors luncheon is one of the most popular things and she doesn’t think it’s about the lunch.

“They are truly interested in the presenters he brings in,” said Hathaway. “It’s sold out and there’s a waiting list every single month. Kudos to the recreation complex and the staff there for doing a great job.”

Mayor Formosa said it was appropriate to arrange a letter of thanks to Boogaards on behalf of the mayor and council. He added that Powell River has a high number of seniors and it’s nice to provide as much service to them as possible.

Councillor George Doubt said it is a great program and a credit to the city and all of the people who work on it. He said he appreciates it, qualifying as a senior.

Councillor CaroleAnn Leishman said Powell River Youth Council has several members who are interested in potentially going to a seniors council meeting and looking at things they can collaborate on.

Palm said the community is fast approaching the scenario where one third of the community will be of senior age.

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