Over the last number of years, YMCAs across Canada have been using a relatively new phrase for describing our Health, Fitness and Aquatic facilities as “Centres of Community.” As we think about renewing our YMCA facility in Barrie, we have begun trying to define what a Centre of Community might look like.
As an organization we have a lot of good ideas, but we realized this was our perspective, our lens. What we needed was a broader understanding of what people envision as a successful and healthy community.
So we came up with the idea of the “Community Big Think.”
The MyY Community Big Think
We invited a group of community leaders to a session in June where we began a group examination of the Barrie community. The first piece of work was for each table to mind map their ideas of what a healthy and vibrant Barrie might look like, which resulted in some very insightful visions of our community.
This began a morning of exchange that demonstrated to all just how powerful and visionary our community leaders are. Even with a diverse group, it was incredible how common themes and ideas kept emerging. We will now take the material produced and share it, first with those who attended at this leading together session, and then to the broader community.
From this and other sessions, we will begin to harness the good ideas into concrete, shared directions that will frame our vision of the YMCA as part of a “Centre of Community” in a healthier and more vibrant Barrie.