Community Greetings! I hope my community update continues to find you maintaining a lifestyle that sustains your well being through the continued challenges of this pandemic. On my Twitter account I have a motto that says “Life has flavour where there is learning and growing through failures as well as successes. We can’t stand still; we have to act!” This pandemic is testing our collective mettle but we must seize the opportunities it brings and persevere; not shrink from all that life brings. No one enjoys going through adversity but if we were honest with ourselves, that is the time when we grow the most (speaking as one who has experienced many failures!).
I had the privilege to judge SACA’s Canada Day Drive By Parade decorated vehicles along with Colin Yeo, our Community Development Director. The rain stopped, the sun came out and it was great to see the enthusiasm of those driving through the community, the decorated homes and the cheering families. Congratulations to the organizers Ike, Janice, Michelle and Sandy, who make up the Community Engagement Committee. This new Committee’s mandate is to promote no-cost/low-cost, low planning intensity events that promote fun, food and fellowship within Scenic Acres. The Drive By Parade was one of those events. Although community ‘food and fellowship’ activities at this time are limited, there will be a day when we will have that freedom again and will be able to execute some great events for engaging with one another.
Scenic Acres – Volunteering: In 2001, I discovered Scenic Acres bus routes were being revised in preparation for the opening of Dalhousie Station and the drawings I reviewed did not include bus service to north Scenic Acres. I made inquiries to the project team; found out that community associations only have input into route planning; discovered no one from Scenic Acres was involved; presented my case to the SACA Board and was appointed Transportation Director. Once this bus route project was completed, the work broadened to Crowfoot LRT design, advocacy and construction, further bus route planning, Crowchild and Stoney Trail advocacy and upgrades, street parking projects, pedestrian overpass design, lots and lots of articles, correspondence, open house hosting and community, City and construction engagement. The opportunities continued to open up and I served two tenures as Vice President involved with many community, association and City initiatives before becoming President.
The learning and experiencing converged for me both as SACA volunteer and Shell manager in finance operations and in project leadership roles and allowed me to contribute in both realms. I broadened my experience with regard to financial and governance applications and controls, staff management, people engagement, project management, advocacy, government relations and effective presentation, conflict resolution, board and director role development and business planning. Community service in Scenic Acres led to similar work in other volunteer organizations; in Fort McMurray and back to Scenic Acres with broadening personal development; through a corporate career and transition to retirement with continued life purpose.
My experience is not unique and could be your story too! The SACA Board experience gives you opportunity to develop skills and experience, apply learnings across multiple areas of influence with broadening into new opportunities. It is an applicable experience for young professionals developing their vocations and mature individuals to apply their experience.
SACA currently has a small board, six people and as a result, most of us are handling multiple roles. Specific Business Plan results can’t be achieved because we don’t have the resourcing to complete them. Initiative and creativity are ‘must’ attributes but they must be based in commitment and results; community betterment is a ‘must’ motive and personal agendas are not tolerated. A director term is two years; board meetings are monthly but depending on portfolios, a director would have other regular meetings. If the director’s role for whatever reason becomes too intensive for one individual, then work could be potentially deferred and/or shared with other volunteers within a committee.
SACA volunteering is not limited to Board involvement which requires the most commitment. We have great volunteers who regularly help at community events or assist through committee involvement. SACA has committees for LEAF, Community Development, Community/Social Engagement and other committees are struck as needed to support community plans (Canada 150 Committee for example that worked through 2016/2017).
I am more than willing to be a mentor and share my experiences and so are other board members to those who are committed to our community’s betterment. If you are interested email me at email@example.com.
SACA Update on Re-launch: As with most businesses and services, SACA is working through when we can re-open and how we would do it. The Board is meeting through Zoom and more intensive correspondence; there has been no summer break! As mentioned last month, there are lots of rules and regulations that must be followed that would include additional staffing, supplies costs and administration. Ruth is putting the final touches on the interior of the community centre while meticulously formulating operating procedures to comply with COVID-19 guidelines.
SACA has procured legal guidance and as a result, we understand the risks more clearly and will have in place revised waivers and rental agreements. We were successful with our application to receive City Covid Relief funding to partially cover ongoing fixed costs and have also applied for Provincial re-launch funding. We also continue to collaborate with other community associations and share plans.
SACA’s facilities currently remain closed but we are targeting to open the Community Centre in the Fall. The distancing rules will greatly reduce our building capacity, reducing participation in programs and limiting our ability to host our normal schedule of events. Operating costs will be higher as we comply with new regulations. At the same time, our long term renters are facing similar financial difficulties to continue operating their businesses so the future for at least the rest of 2020 remains uncertain.
After extensive consideration of procedures and a review of other facilities’ plans and operations, SACA has decided to keep our beach volleyball courts closed. The Calgary Beach Volleyball Association has recently made a similar decision, due to safety concerns related to COVID-19. Due to similar concerns and local demand being limited to individuals and families, it would not be economical to open. Facilities currently operating within the City have restricted hours and charge much higher fees related to their additional operating costs.
This would be a great time to renew your SACA membership via our website at www.scenicacresca.ca and by this response, you show your support. Please pass this newsletter on to other Scenic Acres residences who may be unaware it exists and/or encourage them to sign up on our website to receive it.
If you need help that SACA can provide, or can offer help please contact the office at 403-547-9589 or firstname.lastname@example.org; we are monitoring messages and will respond.
President, Scenic Acres Community Association
To download in PDF form this, or any past updates from Jim Palmer, SACA’s President, please click on the appropriate link below:
Covid-19 Special Message
Last updated June 29, 2020