In March 2007, the District of West Vancouver Council directed the establishment of a Community Centre Governance Working Group to create a community governance model for the new West Vancouver Community Centre, and to ensure that the principles of community leadership, empowerment and ownership were incorporated into community services.
Following extensive research of provincial and national community partnerships between local government and community agencies jointly operating municipal community facilities, a model was chosen for the West Vancouver Community Centre endorsing the following:
A strong community Board of Directors with credibility and varied expertise.
Managers and facility operators committed to innovation and fiscal accountability.
Development of volunteer leadership and community participation.
Financial management models that leverage existing budgets and create new dollars and resources from a variety of sources.
Multiple partners and agencies participating in the Community Centre.
A sense of ownership both by participants and the community as a whole.
Today, the West Vancouver Community Centre successfully operates under an innovative community governance partnership, through a joint operating agreement between the District of West Vancouver and Enhance West Van, a registered charitable Society. The Society’s Board of Directors are residents of West Vancouver who are committed to:
Community ownership and significant volunteerism, building capacity in the community and providing an important opportunity for citizen engagement and development of community leadership.
Ability to fundraise and leverage additional dollars beyond what the District contributes.
Enhanced service delivery to the community by providing a comprehensive array of services.
Strong partnership arrangements among the various governmental non-profit and private agencies to work together and maximize each other's strengths and resources.
The benefits of this model to date are:
Engaging community members and fostering community ownership of public facilities.
Building volunteer and community capacity.
Leveraging financial resources (over and above those provided by the District) to enhance program and service delivery.