Chilliwack YMCA looks to community for ‘pop-up’ ideas

Growth of Chilliwack fitness centre will mean a one-year closure

The Chilliwack YMCA may be closing for an entire year to drastically revamp their building, but that doesn’t mean programming has to come to a halt.

The building will close on June 30, 2017, and reopen on July 1, 2018. The renovations, as first reported in the Oct. 28 Chilliwack Progress, will include a complete tear down of the eastern half of the building, leading to a bright, windowed exterior, adjustable multipurpose spaces, universal change rooms, and much more.

Karen Price, director of the Chilliwack Family YMCA, says it’s a renovation that the community has been waiting for, for a very long time. The actual plans that were released last week have been in the works for at least six months, she says.

Instead of shutting out their members throughout that year, the YMCA will be looking for partners in the community to help them carry out programming.

“We will be exploring any options brought to us, or ones we think of that deserve consideration,” Price said this week. They want to keep as many programs running as possible throughout their one year of closure.

They’re calling it “pop-up” programming, and it’s going to take some creativity to pull it off, Price said.

And because they are just in the first stages of consulting with the public, she can’t say what those pop-ups will look like.

“We will be exploring things in the community spaces, and by May 2017, we will announce what programs we will be offering,” she said. “We definitely are looking at a plan, but we don’t yet know what that’s going to look like.”

They are hoping their members will stay loyal to them over the move, and are offering some incentives on top of the pop-up programming to help with that.

It includes a free membership over the closure, which offers free access to YMCAs all over Canada.

That will come as welcome news to members like Neil Haggan, who feels that members weren’t consulted on the upcoming changes.

“They’re going to shut down this whole thing down for one year,” he said. “The people that go there are mainly seniors, and we weren’t even consulted. It’s a done deal.”

Price says while they have drawn up plans, and a timeline for closure, they still don’t have a builder for the project. That will be handled by the YMCA’s corporate office, not locally.

And because that process hasn’t been complete yet, Price couldn’t say what the price tag will be for the hefty rebuild.

It’s the large and ever growing base of members that has prompted the rebuild, Price adds.

“We are currently at 4,200 members and we are operating out of spaces that are no longer big enough to be in,” she said.

The new facility won’t just look nicer. More importantly, it will allow more diverse programming simultaneously.

For example, Price explains, a family could go to the YMCA together, and the parents could each take in a strength and conditioning class and a yoga while their children are in leadership, and the childminding centre.

They could all then meet back up in the spacious, bright lobby, and head home together. Overall, the new facility will help the YMCA meet their objectives as an organization. Most of the feedback she’s getting is positive and optimistic.

“I think people are seeing that it’s a short term pain for long term gain,” she said. “The big comment is ‘look at all that light coming in.’ There are a lot of open areas with a lot of glass and light.”

In the end, it’s going to be a top-notch facility, all with brand new equipment, too.

“We’ve waited such a long time for this,” she said. “We’ve worked hard for this and the Chilliwack community deserves it.”

Anybody wanting up to date progress reports can sign up for an email list from the YMCA on their website.


Fundraising this weekend

The YMCA will be holding their annual YMCA Strong Kids Megathon, this Saturday, Nov. 5.

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and is open to all ages. Events will be taking place throughout the YMCA, including spin classes, cardio classes, family fitness, a photo booth, and more. There is a registration fee and participants are encouraged to sign up this week online and start finding pledges.

Their goal for Saturday’s event is $10,000.

For more information, visit and click on the Chilliwack tab.








Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack Agriculture Tour goes virtual during pandemic

Rather than bus tourists to local farms, tour stops will be posted on Facebook and Instagram

City of Chilliwack holding annual Hazardous Waste Day in early October

The one-day event is a chance to get rid of household things like pesticides and paint cans

Child sex offender relocated from Princeton after newspaper reveals his proximity to school

Offender convicted in 2019 of charges related to sex assault and child pornography

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Chilliwack Chiefs to play home-heavy preseason slate

The BCHL team will play 11 exhibition games, only three of them on the road

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Machine pistol among 14 firearms seized from Alaska man at B.C. border crossing

Corey Scott Kettering faces charges of smuggling and prohibited firearm possession

Most Read