The Future of New Edinburgh House
On Tuesday, April 18th over fifty interested members of the New Edinburgh community came together to learn more about the future of Nectar and 255 MacKay.
We thank each and every one of you for joining in with the discussion, and have presented a summary of points made further down in this update.
We would also like to take this opportunity to invite those interested in becoming a part of the proposed Nectar Task Force to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We've had some exciting ideas presented to us thus far, and would love to hear your thoughts.
We prefaced our discussion with an introduction to the house before moving on to discuss what had happened since our letter to the community was first distributed. This included the board's conclusion that fully transitioning to MacKay United Church would not be a viable option, and so programming in Memorial Hall will now be handled by the church itself. We also brought up the cancellation of our after school program at the end of June this year, and our need to partner with another community organisation to ensure that Lumiere can continue this summer.
We then discussed the hurdles faced in carrying out our five year strategic plan, such as the considerable renovations required to meet city code, as well as unexpectedly large legal fees from the move from 200 Crichton. Our board mentioned the ways in which the centre has attempted to cut costs and raise funds over the years, but that now human resources are stretched thin.
At the end of the first part of the meeting, the board talked about the options before them, such as selling or leasing the house, but also being open to other suggestions from the community. The board is committed to preserving the assets in the house for the community, and discussed ways in which to do this whilst retaining the money from the City of Ottawa.
Questions and Issues Raised
- Does it have a historic designation?
- How much programming is offered at the house compared to Memorial Hall?
- Can interested parties lease part of the building?
- Could we set up a satellite operation?
The City of Ottawa
- An explanation of the grant from the City.
- Will the city help financially?
- Tobi Nussbaum explained operational funding and how it differs from the grant from the city.
- The difficulties in obtaining operational funding.
- The needs assessment survey and how the results may help.
- The results of the membership drive.
- Can local organisations and businesses get involved
- How can we keep programs running?
- Reaching a community consensus.
The Field House
- Does Nectar have plans for the Field House?
- Can it be considered for future programming, e.g. the Lindenlea and Manor Park models.
Business Plans and the Joint Task Force
- Answering questions about our policies and finances.
- Why has Nectar continued with its current business model?
- Discussion of Nectar's future business plan - is it simply 'sell and move to a City facility, or carry on at 255 MacKay' or are there other options?
- Call for the creation of a Joint Task Force to advise the Nectar Board in the next few months.
At this time, classes held at 255 MacKay will be able to continue through the summer and into September. Should the house be sold, we will look to ensure that it happens at a natural break in programming, such as between terms, so that instructors will be able to deliver their programs and event bookings up until this point can be honoured.
Over the summer, we will have a reduced staffing footprint, and there will be no Nectar-run programs from Fall 2017. Programs run by individual instructors will continue to operate out of the house at their discretion.