Kimberley youth centre facing closure

Lee’s Spark Youth Centre on hiatus as new board mulls future options

  • Jun. 3, 2013 10:00 a.m.


The Lee’s Spark Youth Centre has been in operation in Kimberley for 20 years, the longest running youth centre in the province. But these are tough times for the centre and it has been shut down since the winter.

In a last ditch effort to keep the Lee Haskell Society alive, former staff members have taken on the Board positions.

Former Executive Director Bev Middlebrook has stepped in as chair, with former staffers Chelsea Tierney as Vice President and Secretary, and Sherry Jenson as treasurer. George Rdalja will act as a director.

“The previous board wanted to step down and we just didn’t want to see a Society that’s been in existence for 20 years dissolved,” Middlebrook said.

The plan was to close the Howard Street building, sell it and its assets and put the money into scholarships.

And that still may happen if operating funds aren’t found, Middlebrook said, but they just want to make sure they have exhausted every possibility before they close down for good. And if closure is the only option, the current board has 20 years experience combined at the centre, and will be able to use that knowledge to get the best out of its assets.

The issue is operating funds, enough money to pay the bills each month.  The Centre does have over $20,000 in program funds sitting in the bank, but you can’t use that money for a Hydro bill.

“It is operating costs we are struggling with,” Middlebrook said. “Funders give money for programs, not for paying monthly bills.”

At present, the Centre is on hiatus, while the board tries to find ways to raise funds and perhaps evolve the Centre into something different, maybe more of a community centre.

“The City and community have invested a lot of money and time into the building,” Middlebrook said. “It’s in the best shape it’s every been in, it’s energy efficient.”

The new board has been brainstorming and they have some possibilities. There is potential to change the front part of the building into space for youth (25) businesses, perhaps new starts who can’t afford the rental price for Platzl space. The back space of the centre has a stage, a new commercial kitchen, two washrooms, a woodburning stove and it’s completely wheelchair accessible. That gives it plenty of potential for smaller weddings, anniversary parties and more.

“It’s time the Centre changed,” she said. “We are looking at new directions, maybe a community centre. but ther would still be a youth drop in in the evenings. We are just laying low right now, having conversations. To save money we have all the bills shut off, no phones, just lights until the fall. Then we’ll see.”

If you would like some input into what to do with the Centre, email Bev at

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Kimberley residents were treated to the first Farmers' Market of the season, and the feeling of a return to normalcy. Paul Rodgers photos.
WATCH: Kimberley’s first Farmers’ Market of the season

Kimberley residents enjoyed the first Farmers’ Market of the year on Thursday,… Continue reading

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read