Ai Nakano moved to Vancouver from Japan 10 years ago, and the Point Grey resident has since grown deep roots in the community and at West Point Grey Community Centre. Now the Vice President of the West Point Grey Community Centre Association (WPGCCA), Ai tells us about her journey to becoming part of the Board of Directors and what she likes to do in her spare time.
What drew you to West Point Grey Community Centre?
It took a few years before I learned about Centre and their wonderful programs. I wanted to serve this neighbourhood and help promote the community centre to other residents who may not be familiar with it and the numerous programs we offer. I joined the Board in February 2016, and have been a frequent dance and fitness participant for about six years.
What made you decide to serve as the Board’s VP?
When I was approached to run for the VP position, I had already served on the Board as a Director for two years and Chair of the Programming Committee for one year. I saw the VP position as an opportunity to expand my involvement in the operations of the Centre and make a deeper contribution to it and the community at large. So far, my experience in this role has fulfilled this desire.
West Point Grey Community Association is now West Point Grey Community Centre Association. Why was it important to add “Centre” to the Association’s name?
The process to change the Association’s name was initiated in February 2018 after we signed the new operating agreement with the Park Board, which jointly operates the Centre with the Association. We wanted to align the Association’s name with the Centre’s to make it clearer to the community that we are the part of the Centre. This is also consistent with many other Community Centre Associations throughout Vancouver.
What do you find the most rewarding about being a Board member with WPGCCA?
Our Board is very active. Not only do we meet to discuss the operations and management of the Centre, we volunteer at many events throughout the year. I feel closely connected to community members in this role. It is very rewarding to see community members enjoying the events put on by the Centre and to receive their feedback.
What are some of the challenges you have faced as a Board member and VP?
There is not enough time! I constantly feel the pressure to have more Board involvement in managing the Centre. Our Board members are dedicated to volunteering their time to make sure our Centre is in good working order and meeting the needs of the community. However, many of us also have day jobs, along with other work, volunteer and life commitments. Finding the time to accomplish all of our goals can be a challenge.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to keep myself energetic and healthy by participating in activities that involve dance, fitness and music, such as the Centre’s Zumba classes. I also enjoy cooking and baking, which I find somewhat relaxing when I’m not in a rush!
The Association is recruiting Board members! Adults 18 years of age and older who have taken a Centre program or joined the Association within the past year are eligible to apply.
The deadline for applications is Wednesday, Jan 30, 2019 at 5pm.