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It ran programs in Maillardville for 24 years. Now, it's closing

The president of the Société Place Maillardville Society warned the loss of the Coquitlam group will mean fewer affordable and inclusive programs for neighbourhood residents.
Place Maillardville UNDER CONSTRUCTION
An image of construction underway at the new Place Maillardville Community Centre in Coquitlam, taken on March 9, 2022.

A Coquitlam nonprofit that’s offered learning and recreational programs for kids, families and seniors is permanently closing after nearly a quarter of a century.

Today, April 8, the Société Place Maillardville Society announced it will bid adieu to the neighbourhood it’s served for 24 years following municipal funding cuts in 2022 and the recent redevelopment of Place Maillardville as a city-run community centre.

Since the building makeover at 1200 Cartier Ave., the society has run its programs out of Maillard Middle School; however, that arrangement will end next month.

“We are so ever grateful to the staff and students of Maillard Middle School for taking us in and making us feel at home,” said executive director Gord Peterson in a news release.

“Our partnership with the school is over two decades long and we have seen many students participate in our programs who eventually went on to volunteer and work for our organization.”

The society’s board is made up of:

  • Iris Yong, president
  • Rebecca Reznick, vice president
  • Phil Cappellini, treasurer
  • Andrea Williams, secretary
  • Jennifer Woznesensky, director
  • Naomi Khan, director
  • Andrea May, director
  • Husain Vahanvaty, director

Yong warned the loss of the society will mean fewer affordable and inclusive programs for neighbourhood residents.

As a result, the society is working with local groups and city staff at the new Maillardville Community Centre to find ways to continue its programming.

Formed in 2001, the society had 18 funding partners and 50 community partnerships in 2022, according to its annual report, serving nearly 1,000 families. It also took in $747,212 during the pandemic year compared with $890,911 in 2021.

In March 2022, the city thanked the society for its “diligent stewardship” of the Maillardville rec hub as it transitioned from a neighbourhood house to a community centre.

At the time, society president Bill Boons told the Tri-City News the board was disappointed with the city decision to take over the facility operations.

In a statement issued Monday, April 8, Jennifer Keefe, Coquitlam's director of community recreation, culture and facilities, said the city recognizes "how upsetting the news about the Société Place Maillardville Society ceasing operations will be for some members of the community."

"The city wishes to convey its sincere appreciation and thanks to the society for their many years of dedicated service delivery to the Maillardville neighbourhood. The city will make efforts to address programming needs, including continuing to provide a range of no- and low-cost programs, and to ensure continuity of service to the community to the greatest extent possible."