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Grande Pointe Opens New Community Centre

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Community Centre Grand Opening Crop1
Ron Schuler, Janine Boulanger, Eveline Touchette, Chris Ewen, and Ted Falk.

Residents of Grande Pointe in the RM of Ritchot celebrated the grand opening of their new community centre on Sunday, April 24.

Despite the wet weather, the Grande Pointe Homeowners Association (GPHA) hosted a successful event featuring wine and cheese, family activities, and crafting. The event also included a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Ted Falk, MP for Provencher; Ron Schuler, MLA for Springfield-Ritchot; Chris Ewen, mayor of Richot; and and Janine Boulanger, councillor for Grande Pointe.

The special guests all showed their support for the centre and congratulated Eveline Touchette from the GPHA on a job well done.

“The grand opening was a success,” said Touchette. “Even though the weather was not favourable, the turnout was great. Over 100 people showed up to come and celebrate with us. The community was very well represented. New families with children and founding community residents were able to exchange stories.”

The new building will serve as a space where families, recreation groups, and citizens of all special interests and ages can gather.

“It’s exciting, given what has been a difficult and long time of not getting together,” said Touchette. “And now it’s time to get excited about the possibilities that the new space represents for all the families and businesses in the area.”

Following the ceremony, guests were treated to lattes from Perk Coffee Bar and invited to visit with local sponsors about a host of possible events the community centre could welcome over the next few years. Some local businesses had free draws and set up promotional displays, including Gotta GO portable toilets, Fleuriste XO Flowers and Gifts from Île-des-Chênes, and A Touch of Glass from Niverville.

The GPHA has been incorporated since 2003 and active since 1997. The community centre builds upon one of their most noteworthy initiatives: the development of the Grande Pointe Park, which is visited year-round by residents and guests from across the region. Recent developments to the park include a soccer pitch, a walking trail system along the Seine River, and a garage and warm-up shack.

“The park has been in development for the last 20 years,” said Touchette. “It started with a shelter, baseball fields, a skating rink, a stage for outdoor entertainment, a garage to store our equipment, a skate shack, and restrooms to put on skates during the winter… and now a community centre. As the years went by, upkeeping all of the park was always done by volunteers with some help from the RM.”

The centre is the product of many years of fundraising by the GPHA. The group has hosted outdoor June events every year since 1997, including bingo bowling nights, bud spud steak nights, and more.

“Many, many grant applications were made for different projects,” Touchette added, noting that GPHA representatives have applied for funding from all levels of government. “We have been waiting for this for a long time. The community is growing so fast. I am so grateful for the members of the GPHA that have persevered, that have kept the vision going. We have worked so hard.”

The GPHA’s next event will be a community baseball tournament on June 3–4, featuring a live band on the outside stage in the park, as well as beer gardens and food onsite.

Facility Award

On March 22, the GPHA received a letter announcing that they had won the Recreation Manitoba Facilities Award for the work completed on the new community centre. The award recognizes a recreation facility, individual, or group in Manitoba that demonstrates outstanding or unique innovations in providing places to gather, play, and connect.

Recreation Manitoba is a provincial group that shares the passion and spirit of recreation and is dedicated to enhancing the health and wellness of all Manitobans through the development and support of recreation professionals, practitioners, and volunteers. Their annual awards program recognizes excellence in the field of recreation, parks, and leisure.

The Facilities Award presentation will take place at the Annual Recreation Provincial Conference on Friday, May 6. The GPHA has been invited to give a presentation about their community work and the projects they’ve completed.

For more information

More information about upcoming events and how to rent the Grande Pointe community centre can be found on the RM of Ritchot’s website.

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