THE OAKRIDGE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
There are pockets in every city where there is a true sense of community. A mix of generations and cultures. Where neighbours know each other. Where families raise children. Where there are neighbourhood schools, parks, grocery stores and eateries. And where a community centre is a hub of activity. Oakridge is one such community. And the Oakridge Community Centre is one of the community’s many treasures.
Since 1972, the Centre has been a venue that has brought families, kids, seniors and neighbours together. Through the Oakridge Community Association (OCA), the Centre continues to facilitate a myriad of activity—from fitness and sports to social and community events.
The mission of the Oakridge Community Association remains true to its roots—to provide a recreational and social setting for community activities and to provide civic representation and support for community issues.
The Oakridge Community Association Bylaws were repealed and replaced in 1994 with amendments made in 2007 and 2012. Board governance is reflective of these bylaws. A copy of the bylaws can be obtained at the Association office.
Civic Representation and Community support
The OCA has a close working relationship with Ward 11 Alderman Jeromy Farkas and City of Calgary liaison, Ms Cathi Groves. Ms. Groves plays an instrumental role with the Oakridge Community Association, assisting the Board and General Manager in navigating City Hall. Community development and sustainability are the top priorities of his work.
The Oakridge Community Association works with both Alderman Farkas and Ms. Groves on civic issues affecting the Oakridge community, such as the ring road and Bus Rapid Transit. Through these relationships, the Association is kept up to date and can respond accordingly. These liaisons also aid the Association in accessing grant monies and city-run programs, such as the seasonal skate park and Community Spring Clean Up.
Similarly, on a provincial level, the Oakridge Community Association fosters a working relationship with MLA, Whitney Issik.
The Civic Representative on the Oakridge Community Association Board,reviews zoning regulations and bylaw issues pertaining to the community as submitted by the City. This includes applications for business expansion, home-based businesses, secondary suites and home expansion. In the past, the Association played a vital role in a mediation process involving several Oakridge households, in resolving a planning and development issue. Recently, the OCA challenged zoning infractions of a local business, forcing safety practices to be put in place. The Association prides itself in making community-focused decisions, reflecting family community values.
The Oakridge Community Association is a not-for-profit organization. Revenues go directly back to the Association, and, in turn, provide a venue for programs and events. The Oakridge Community Association is headed by a volunteer board of directors, full-time and part-time staff and many event and program volunteers. Governance is provided by the Board, and day-to-day operations and facility administration, by the general manager. To operate, the Oakridge Community Association relies on revenues from facility rentals and membership fees. A variety of grants provide capital for facility maintenance and improvement.
The Board of Directors meet monthly with the exception of July and August, and in September, for the Annual General Meeting. All meetings are open to the public. In accordance with the Oakridge Community Association bylaws, to participate in meeting discussion, individuals must have current community membership or be invited to do so by the Association president.
The Community Centre sits on 5 acres of land owned by the City of Calgary.
Reflecting on the Association’s mission of providing recreational opportunities to the community, the Centre houses an indoor arena, an outdoor rink with boards and lights, a squash court, 6 outdoor tennis courts built in 2010 and a circuit training room—Quick Fit Gym. The upstairs hall space also facilitates a variety of fitness-related programing.
Also reflecting on the Association’s mission of providing a social setting for the community, the Centre features a commercial kitchen and hall space for meetings, events and activities.
The Association run, Before and After School Care and Holiday Adventures and the privately owned Tools for Kids Pre-School are all housed within the Centre.