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Lift Community Services marks 40 years in qathet with fair

Willingdon Beach celebration to feature music, games and showcase of programs
Family Place coordinator Grace Chaster displays information about Lift Community Services’ upcoming 40th anniversary celebration.

Lift Community Services is marking its 40th anniversary with a community fair that promises to be both fun and informative. The fair will take place from 11 am to 2 pm on Saturday, June 15, at Willingdon Beach. Everyone is invited to join the celebration.

Founded by three visionary women, Lift started with the purpose of creating employment opportunities for local women. Over the years, it has expanded its scope to address a variety of community needs.

Lift’s interim executive director Kim Markel says the community-based nonprofit society runs more than 14 diverse programs, including employment services, newcomer support, family programs, housing services, literacy outreach and community health services.

“We know many people think of Lift as primarily a housing or harm reduction service provider; those have been our biggest areas of growth in the past six years, but we have a long history of programming in the community,” explains Kim. “Our employment services program has been around since the beginning of our organization in 1984, and our Family Place program celebrates 20 years this year.”

The 40th-anniversary fair is not just a community celebration, but also a showcase of Lift's extensive range of services.

“We run programs that cover a wide range of basic needs and serve a wide range of populations in the community: job seekers, immigrants, young families, people experiencing homelessness, people who are struggling with literacy, and more.”

The beachfront event will feature interactive booths for each program, complete with games, giveaways and ample community resource information. Attendees can enjoy live music by the Beach Crashers, a bouncy castle for children and hot dogs available by donation.

“Our fair is a free, family-friendly event that is open to the whole community,” says Kim.

She hopes the fair will increase community awareness and engagement.

“This event is a great opportunity for community members to meet our team, enjoy some food and music, and learn more about the supports available in our region.”

Lift's programs meet urgent basic needs, like food and shelter, while also providing resources.

“We provide immediate support and preventative services,” says Kim. “Access to food, housing, sustainable employment and early parenting support are all significant social determinants of health. Our programs are designed to meet people where they are at and to provide resources that help foster autonomy.”

Community members wishing to support Lift's ongoing efforts can sign up for the organization’s newsletter, which provides updates on events and volunteer opportunities. For more information or to become involved, go to, or email [email protected].

As Lift Community Services looks forward to another 40 years, the community is encouraged to attend the upcoming fair and support Lift’s mission of working with community members and partners to create equity and hope for all in the qathet region.