The Centre for the Community Group and the Township of North Dumfries worked together on a Completed Needs Assessment. Armed with the 2008 Needs Assessment, the CCG and Township lobbied for funding from senior levels of government with limited success. In the wake of the economic collapse in 2008, the introduction of the Build Canada Fund stimulus program by the federal government, with a matching provincial and municipal funding formula, provided a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to realize CCG’s goal.
The Township submitted a proposal accordingly, including a commitment from the CCG to run a $1.5M community fundraising campaign to pay for the outdoor recreational facilities defined in the needs study, which were not covered by the Build Canada Fund. Fortunately, and with the support of our federal MP, the Township proposal was accepted and the CCG launched its ‘Live and Play’ campaign.
The emphasis of the campaign was to provide North Dumfries residents of all ages with a first class multi-use facility that will make North Dumfries an even more desirable community in which to Live and Play. Through the efforts of a dedicated team of volunteer fundraisers and many donors, the campaign’s financial goal of $1.5M was readily realized—a huge accomplishment in a Township with a population of less than 10,000 people.
The North Dumfries Community Complex (NDCC) was officially opened in September 2011 and provides the Township with a first class multi-use recreational facility. The CCG was pleased to complete the outdoor facilities and, with the good guidance of the Township and the volunteers of the ‘Fields Committee,’ the project came in under the $1.5M budget. The CCG provided the Township with the surplus remaining from the $1.5M commitment after the fields were completed, which was in excess of $240K.
After the Township Build Canada Fund proposal had been accepted, it became apparent that the option identified in the needs study to build a second, more modest ice pad had not been incorporated into the project. To implement that option during the construction of the approved facility was estimated to be an additional $3.5M, however there was no opportunity to increase the scope of the Build Canada funding and this would have to be achieved without support from the federal and provincial governments.
It was strongly felt by the CCG that a second pad was required to meet the growing needs of the community. Two local Chartered Accountants and a Financial Planner volunteered to do a financial analysis comparing the capital and operating costs of a ‘twin pad’ at the NDCC to an option of operating the old Queen Elizabeth Arena at the Ayr Community Centre (ACC) to handle the additional ice time requirements. The analysis showed that the implementation of the ‘twin pad’ option during the construction of the NDCC was the best financial option, and the CCG advocated and lobbied for this consideration; this was rejected by the Township Council at the time in a 3-2 vote. However, with limited life remaining in the old arena and a growing need for local ice time as identified in the needs assessment, the CCG remains strongly in favour of the ‘twin pad.’
Based upon the initial momentum of successfully raising $1.5M, the community fundraising campaign was extended and total pledges approached $2.2M. Many of the donors were supportive of the CCG’s efforts to promote the ‘twin pad’ option, so we have been mindful of their expectations going forward. Before considering the majority of the remaining funds raised, the CCG provided $139K in 2014 to the Township toward an energy efficiency upgrade to the old Queen Elizabeth Arena, as it was the only option available for a second pad to meet the immediate short term needs of the local community for ice time.
In 2016, The Centre for the Community Group of North Dumfries (CCG), a not-for-profit organization, was pleased to announce that an Independent Auditors Report has been completed by KPMG LLP on its financial statements for results from operations for the years ended May 2010 to May 2015.
Now that an independent third party audit has been completed, the CCG Board will direct its efforts and remaining $535K surplus toward addressing the priorities of the 2008 needs assessment, including a long term solution to a second ice pad and ongoing community support through the Annual Grant Program.