A New YMCA for Chilliwack


The Chilliwack YMCA serves more than 6,500 people each year—4,000 at the Hocking Avenue location alone. But the needs of the community are growing and the existing facility is outdated.

That’s why we are very excited to announce that Chilliwack is getting a new Y!  The expanded and significantly upgraded Y will be 25% bigger than the current facility and will help us continue our work in helping children and families reach their potential. By working with the City of Chilliwack, residents, businesses, community service providers and other stakeholders, we believe that we can leverage the power of community to provide more life-enhancing programs so that everyone can thrive.

The new Chilliwack YMCA will be 36,700 square feet. The eastern side of the building will be demolished and re-built anew while the rest of the Y will be dramatically improved. With this expansion, you will enjoy the same programs you know and love at the Y as well as new programs such as:

  • Physical literacy programs to help kids develop critical movement skills
  • More adult group fitness classes
  • Expanded pool hours
  • More swimming lessons
Here’s what will be new:
  • Gymnasium (4,250 sq. ft.)
  • Five multipurpose rooms (totalling 4,650 sq. ft.)
  • Conditioning floor (5,700 sq. ft.)
  • Social area to connect with your family and community (600 sq. ft.)
  • CycleFit studio (950 sq. ft.)
  • Family/Universal change room (1,800 sq. ft.)
  • Outdoor playground (1,000 sq. ft.)
Here’s what will be significantly renewed:
  • Expanded lobby and welcome area (1,500 sq. ft.)
  • Group fitness studio (1,950 sq. ft.)
  • Stretching and adaptive space (1,250 sq. ft.)
  • Childminding area (900 sq. ft.)
  • Pool (4,600 sq. ft.)

The new Y will open summer 2018!

In order to build the new Y, we need to temporarily close the facility starting July 1, 2017. We will remain open until that time. During the temporary closure, the Y will offer limited pop-up programming and events at other locations in Chilliwack at no cost to members. The first pop-up schedule will be available in May 2017.

Keep in mind:
  • No membership fees will be charged during the temporary closure.
  • Members who remain with the Y until June 30, 2017 will maintain their current membership rate for one year following the opening of the new Y.
  • Member fees will not change in 2017. The rates will remain the same as they are today.
  • We will publish the reopening 2018 fees by May 1, 2018.
  • During the temporary closure, members may use their membership to redeem program discounts for other Y programs, including YMCA Camp Elphinstone, day camps, etc. You may also access other YMCA facilities in the Lower Mainland and across Canada at no cost to you.
Want to be in the know?

To receive information about the new Chilliwack YMCA project, please sign up for our periodic e-mail updates:

Got a question or concern? Talk to any member of the Chilliwack Family YMCA team or Karen Price, Director of the Chilliwack YMCA. We would love to hear what really matters to you!

604.792.3371 ext. 2402

YMCA War Services Remembered

Remembrance Day gives us the opportunity to look back and reflect on Canadians’ incredible service during times of war. The YMCA is grateful for the many men and women that supported the YMCA War Services’ overseas efforts in both world wars; their devotion significantly improved the quality of life of Canadian troops.

The Canadian YMCA provided support to the Canadian Forces as early as 1866. During the First and Second World Wars, the YMCA operated by its motto “Service to the Troops."  Recreational, social and educational services were offered abroad to help Canadian soldiers cope and try to maintain a “Spirit, Mind and Body” balance under the extreme stress of the environment.

Near the trenches, YMCA auxiliary service points were set up to give soldier’s access to many necessities. Approximately 50 tea cars would navigate the front lines to distribute tea and biscuits. YMCA canteens were set up in dugouts to provide food, refreshments, stationary, and a peaceful space for soldiers to write letters home while isolated in the trenches. For those who could not write due to injury, YMCA officers were there to scribe and send letters to loved ones on soldiers’ behalf. 

YMCA HutsFurther away from the trench system, larger YMCA huts served as lecture halls where the troops could learn about history and literature. Along with Canadian universities, the YMCA established Khaki College in London, a school for Canadian troops seeking educational opportunities. All levels of training were offered ranging from lessons in reading and writing to classes in science and law. Khaki College helped over 50,000 Canadians prepare for their transition to civilian life after the war.

Dumbbells - Library and Archives Canada PA 5734Social activities were also organized by YMCA officers. Many huts housed concerts and performances organized by the YMCA’s Dramatic School. The numerous shows during WWI lead to the formation of the Dumbells Singing Troupe; a performance group which went on to have success on Broadway post-war. Soldiers were also given the opportunity to attend discussion and shared interest groups as well as counselling sessions. Wounded soldiers that were relocated to hospitals received visits from YMCA officials who boosted their morale and offered guidance.

YMCA During War 1928Among some of the more popular services were the athletic programs. The YMCA, along with the army and Salvation Army, coordinated sporting events that drew large crowds. Programs included baseball, track and field, boxing, tug-of-war competitions and horse shows. These sports and physical activities cultivated camaraderie and helped soldiers stay healthy and active during their service.

By 1943, nearly 70 million soldiers had participated in programs delivered by the Canadian YMCA War Services. We would like to thank all YMCA officers who instilled hope, built confidence and delivered the comforts of home to Canadian Forces overseas, and all those who fought for our country. 

This article first appeared on the YMCA of Greater Toronto blog. Photos sources form CMCC, Canadian War Museum and Library and Archives Canada

Winter Day Camp registration open now!

Schools will be closing for winter break before you know it, but YMCA camps will be in full swing! Join us for fun-filled days of arts and crafts, games, sports and an opportunity to make new friends. Each week includes an exciting out-trip, festive-themed programming and much more!
More than 10 locations available throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, and don’t forget: YMCA Members save 10% on camp fees!
Daily registration and before/after camp care is available. Limited spaces so register today to secure your dates!

Talking to your kids about their emotions

Knowing what to do with the emotions we feel in daily life can be tough. It can be a challenge for all of us, but a particularly unique one for kids. As parents, caregivers and friends, we can all help kids feel their emotions, identify them and manage them so they learn how to have a healthy emotional life––one that helps them reach their potential rather than hold them back from growing up strong and whole.

Here are a few tips to help you raise emotionally healthy kids:

1. Be a good role model: Kids learn from the adults they look up to. Work on modelling your own good emotional health by welcoming your emotions––not pushing them away––talking about how you feel with people you trust, processing your emotions, and then choosing actions that benefit you and the people around you as a result of healthy emotional management. When we hide our emotions, or keep them inside, we teach our kids that emotions aren't something we share or discuss. By naming them, talking about them and giving yourself the chance to process, you teach your kids that emotions are a positive part of a full life.

2. Name the emotion: Just like adults, kids are hit with emotions out of the blue. You don’t know when or how you might feel sometimes. So knowing what emotions are, the names they have and how they feel helps kids understand the emotional world. Starting a conversation with the question, “How do you feel?” can make it tough for kids to know what to say. Luckily, there are some useful books available to help: “The Way I Feel” by Janan Cain and “Glad Monster, Sad Monster” by Ed Emberley and Anne Miranda are a few of many available options.

3. Ask: Don’t be scared to ask ‘feeling’ questions. When kids return from school and they report the day’s events, don’t be scared to say, “how did that make you feel?” and “why do you think you felt that way?” Even if they report only positive things from the day, asking questions about how various events made them feel can help normalize emotions as a healthy part of life.

4. Learn when to step in and when to give space: Since kids are still developing, they often need help identifying emotions and knowing how to safely express them. When your child is feeling an emotion, stop what you are doing and sit down with them for a chat. Give them the chance to talk, cry, get angry or express whatever they may be feeling. Then help them walk through the emotion by describing how it feels, and discuss what they can do about it. It’s a great opportunity to demonstrate that all emotions are inherently good, but not all resulting actions can be helpful. Take a moment to discuss a healthy next step.

 Got a tip worth sharing with other parents trying to talk to their kids about emotions? Tweet us @GreaterVanYMCA

Coming soon to a facility near you: the YMCA Megathon!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month, you've probably heard: the YMCA Megathon arrives at all four facilities this Saturday, November 5. This mega fun event is all about taking on fitness challenges to raise money and ensure every vulnerable kid can access the Y.
To every member who has joined the YMCA Megathon: we thank you for your hard work and dedication to the cause and we can’t wait to see you on Saturday!
Due to this special event, many fitness classes will be cancelled on that day only. To find out exactly which classes will be impacted at your facility‚Äč, please refer to our website at gv.ymca.ca or ask for more information at your Member Services desk.

Still time to buy Power of Peace tickets!

Celebrate exceptional people in your community and get inspired at this year’s YMCA Power of Peace awards happening November 17th at the Norman Rothstein Theatre in Vancouver. This year’s event will feature keynote speaker, Michele Landsberg, one of Canada’s most tireless and effective social justice activists.  Discussing issues that others shy away from or ignore, including the plight of women in developing countries and race and gender equality here at home, Landsberg’s work has brought many important issues to light and influenced countless opinion leaders across the country.

The event will also feature MC Amy Beeman from Virgin Radio and special musical guest, Twin Bandit, known for their enchanting voices, acoustic sounds and unique style. Twin Bandit will be joining us fresh off their European tour and their energy will be a perfect fit for paying tribute to all of the amazing peacemakers in our midst.

Join us for what promises to be an entertaining and engaging evening!

Stantec shows they care

Recently, local Stantec employees celebrated their annual community day by once again giving back to the the YMCA of Greater Vancouver. This year, open-hearted volunteers helped organize a carnival and they made dinner for children and families at the Bob and Kay Ackles YMCA Nanook House. They also built planter boxes at the Woodwards YMCA Childcare Centre. Thank you so much to every Stantec employee who took time away from the office to deepen their roots in our community.
Left: A Stantec employee and a child from Woodwards YMCA Child Care garden together.