QMUNITY is holding a meeting to discuss the idea of a new purpose-built facility.
Public Information Night
February 6, 2014 (Thurs)
6:30 to 7:30 pm
Gordon Neighbourhood House
1019 Broughton Street
Text from announcements online: Did you know that in December 2013, $7 million was allocated toward developing a new, purpose-built facility for QMUNITY? Want to learn more? And $7M for a new facility! Join us to learn more about our vision, funding, next steps, timelines and community engagement process for our new, purpose-built LGBTQ hub.
Related media coverage and reading follows:
Qmunity, an LGBTQ resource centre, has been seeking new space for years. At one point in the rezoning process at St. John’s Church (1401 Comox Street, 22-storey tower now under construction), Westbank and Henriquez Partners Architects offered them space to be split evenings versus daytimes with Gordon Neighbourhood House, but that offer was abruptly removed for unknown reasons, leaving Qmunity with no prospects for a while, and Gordon House ended up receiving nothing for its efforts to promote the rezoning. (Updated) Then at the half-billion-dollar Burrard Gateway rezoning, Qmunity was selected as the recipient of $7 million of community amenity contributions arising from the rezoning. Next, on December 20, 2013, a Regular Council meeting approved the West End Community Plan, which featured QMUNITY as needing new space.
Some say that discussions leading up to the October rezoning and December adoption of the West End Plan did not involve a large enough audience and did not incorporate enough consideration of the various models and scenarios. This is why the current dialogue is so important.
Many people hope that the consultation now underway turns into something of which not only the West End but the entire city of Vancouver can be proud in the future, as the community and city work together to seeks the best way to use public resources for the entire LGBTQ public.
Since this $7 million comes from public funds from development it is important that a public discussion occur. The City has certain processes for prioritizing community needs and the allocation of community amenity contributions from major rezonings. So far in the process, has the public, especially the LGBT public, been adequately consulted? Who has been included in discussions with the City of Vancouver so far? Were enough stakeholders involved? And how big is the vision and how extensive the client base? What are the capital and operating costs and who will pay for them? Is a comprehensive business plan being written?
XtraWest editor Robin Perelle in her December 5, 2013 column (see link below) cites what was said by “speaker after speaker” at an XtraWest-sponsored Town Hall meeting in 2009. Featured is a “wish list” from all corners of the LGBT public. Here are some of the items cited: performance space, recreational space, casual spaces in which to socialize, a café, a clinic, a garden, a seniors’ centre, a library, accessible archives and even a portrait gallery to celebrate our pioneers… a truly multipurpose place of celebration, a “bustling, fun-filled” space worth spending time in. See also the fascinating graphic in Robin’s article.
The 2009 Town Hall meeting was already five years ago and much has changed. Perhaps now is time for a new Town Hall meeting for the LGBT public to discuss the new $7 million seed-money now in play.
RECOMMENDED READING: The QMUNITY Consortium: Imagine the community centre we could build if we trust each other (Robin Perelle, XtraWest) 3-Dec-2013.
Excerpt: Qmunity, with its years of experience running valuable programs on a shoestring budget, is probably well suited to steward the new centre — as long as it collaborates with other groups to create a space that’s more than just a series of support groups for our most vulnerable community members. NOTE – This article is worth reading as reference to extensive past discussions, a concept map, and the history of discussions about ideas and visions for an LGBTQ space and is worth reading.
MORE RELATED stories in XtraWest
- Concerns raised about $7 million to Qmunity (Shauna Lewis, XtraWest) 20-Nov-2013
- Council approves new West End plan with Davie Village as gay hub 
- Vancouver’s West End draft plan promises to strengthen gay village 
- City staff recommend $7 million to new centre for Qmunity 
- Tight budget pushes Qmunity to plan programming changes 
- Comox St development raises affordable housing concerns