Recreation programmer Kristen Patrice is the visionary behind the CRCC’s new program: the Community Living Room.                                 (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Recreation programmer Kristen Patrice is the visionary behind the CRCC’s new program: the Community Living Room. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Agassiz ‘Community Living Room’ to bring new events to CRCC

The new event series will give local experts a chance to share their knowledge for free

The Community Recreation and Cultural Centre is trying to bring some local expertise into its program offerings, with a new, free program for residents: the Community Living Room.

“In Agassiz, we’re a very small community, so it is challenging to have experts or certified instructors … to deliver recreational programs,” said Kristen Patrice, recreation programmer with the District of Kent. “And I do know that our community has always been so fantastic at leveraging our resources.”

Patrice first came up with the idea for the living room program back in the fall of last year. The whole idea behind the program, she said, is to let locals share their knowledge for free with others who might be interested.

“We know this stuff happens in people’s homes and in their living rooms, and it’s kind of self-organized,” she said. “The idea was to help out with that. To not have the ‘I can’t have that many people over in my living room,’ or ‘I have to clean my living room to have people over.’”

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Events take place in the CRCC’s multi-purpose room — which has no actual couch, despite the program’s living room appeal — and are free for both the event organizer and the participants.

“I wanted to try and open it up to be a very barrier-free option as a venue for a very grassroots-level recreational opportunity,” she said.

“If your skill is bread baking or canning … the idea is to provide, at least the space,” she continued. “They might not be the type to offer a registered recreational program, but that’s not to lessen their knowledge or the importance of them sharing that knowledge with the community.”

Fees are only allowed for participants if the event has supply costs associated with it.

So far, the CRCC has hosted three different Community Living Room talks: two on aromatherapy and one on medical tourism.

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The District of Kent is already starting to work on its winter leisure guide, and is hoping to get some more speakers lined up for future Community Living Room events.

“The goal will be to, kind of like a speakers series, list the upcoming opportunities, with individuals volunteering their talents and the district providing the community living room in kind,” she said.

“The goal would be to create one booking per month throughout the year, to reach out to the community, to not only see what the community can provide in workshops, but also what is the community looking for,” she added.

So far, there are no Community Living Room events lined up for the winter.

Anyone interested in participating can contact Patrice at the CRCC by calling 604-796-8891.

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