*This article was compiled before the restrictions surrounding COVID-19 were put into place and permission was given to The Employment Journey to publish as is.
by Stella Shepard
Over the last while, we have been providing articles promoting the many resources and supports offered by Community Business Development Corporation-East (CBDC). This article was written before the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, and we have made some adjustments to reflect operations of the centre and CBDC at this time.
The Fortune Community Centre (FCC) nestled on a corner of a tranquil secondary road in rural PEI has been the heartbeat of the community. Its mandate is to meet the social, emotional, cultural, recreational and physical needs of the community in Fortune and surrounding areas.
“It’s the only venue in the area that can facilitate three separate groups at once, and can provide space for 300 people,” says Shawn McClumpha, President of the FCC.
“The FCC has a positive impact on rural PEI and on those who use the facility. It’s the hub of the community. People in the area have a strong sense of pride in the rural place they call home.
“Since the FCC building had very little work done to it in the past 25 years, many renovations, equipment upgrades, and repairs were necessary,” says Shawn.
“In 2017, some major capital improvements such as a new roof, heat pumps, air conditioning, and new electrical wiring were completed, thanks to a loan from Community Business Development Corporation-East (CBDC), a Canada 150 grant, and a provincial rural development grant.
“In 2018, the Board of Directors of the FCC applied and was approved for a Community Revitalization grant, which was matched by an additional loan from CBDC. The loans from CBDC allowed the Fortune Community Centre to leverage the grant funding, providing a 50 percent subsidy on all of the work required.
“As a non-profit organization, additional financial support from CBDC was required to complete required structural, electrical, furnace, flood remediation, exterior work and upgrades to the interior that were so badly needed to ensure the long term viability of our community centre.”
Normally, FCC provides a community meeting space, a venue for weddings, anniversaries, fundraisers, seniors’ events, yoga, weekly coffee, community meals, bingo, Girl Guides, darts, cultural and business events. There is children’s playground and a large outdoor rink.
“Children have enjoyed the playground and the rink is used all winter for ice skating and hockey. At other times of the year, youth and teens use the rink to play pickle ball and basketball. The FCC provides nets and balls.”
The FCC is operated by a Board of Directors as a not-for-profit, community supported centre. “The volunteers are like family who work for the greater good of the community,” says Shawn.
COVID-19: Upon reviewing recommendations from PEI Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison, the Board of Directors of the Fortune Community Centre has suspended all future activities at the Centre until further notice.
The Board will use this time to ensure the facility has a thorough cleaning and disinfection of all surfaces.
For more information about the Fortune Community Centre, click here and visit Facebook.
Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC) assists in the creation of small businesses and in the expansion and modernization of existing businesses by providing financial and technical services to entrepreneurs.
“We provide business loans, counselling, advice, entrepreneurship development, and business training,” says Martina MacDonald, Executive Director of CBDC East, housed at the Rural Action Centre, on Main Street, Montague.
COVID-19: In light of COVID-19, and following the directions of the Chief Public Health Officer, Rural Action Centre where CBDC is housed is currently closed to the public for in-person service and training workshops.
Staff are still available to help you access the supports you need, especially during this time of uncertainty. There are many emergency relief programs available for businesses, employers, employees and the self-employed.
For more information call 1-855-297-9898 or email holly.[email protected].
For more information about CBDC housed out of the Rural Action Centre on Main Street, click here.