Slide YMCA of Niagara 2020-2021 Annual Report Building for a Stronger Future Steven Chuang President & CEO Over the past six months, I have sincerely enjoyed getting to know you and the Niagara community. It has been an honour to be entrusted with leading our YMCA of Niagara. I knew stepping into this role that, like many charities, our organization was facing some unique challenges; and I also knew that more than 160 years of community engagement and reinvention would serve us well as we emerged from this pandemic.
I have found a welcoming home in Niagara and found our seasoned staff team to be resilient and committed. We have recently made some of the most difficult decisions a YMCA can make; and in some cases, taken a step back to modify our regional footprint through the closure of some of our program sites.

These steps have only been taken so we can step more surely into the future as we continue to provide our wide array of programs and services across more than 97 locations. Our operations, programs and services are open; from Licensed Child Care and EarlyON, to Day Camp, Community Outreach Programs, Employment, and Immigrant Services, and our three fully operational, vibrant Health, Fitness and Aquatics locations. Each day, we are welcoming children, youth, and families from all parts of Niagara back to their YMCA.

At this time, we have embarked on a Strategic Planning Process, and we have engaged with staff, volunteers, and community stakeholders to hear their insights about the most critical community issues emerging. We are charting our course and identifying which of these challenges our YMCA is uniquely positioned to address. I look forward to sharing news about our next steps, our new Strategic Plan, and welcome the opportunity to find new ways to collaborate with partners and community members as we work together to create a healthier Niagara community for all.

Click here to view a personal greeting from Steven Chuang >>
Dear Friends,
Steven Chuang President & CEO Over the past six months, I have sincerely enjoyed getting to know you and the Niagara community. It has been an honour to be entrusted with leading our YMCA of Niagara. I knew stepping into this role that, like many charities, our organization was facing some unique challenges; and I also knew that more than 160 years of community engagement and reinvention would serve us well as we emerged from this pandemic.
I have found a welcoming home in Niagara and found our seasoned staff team to be resilient and committed. We have recently made some of the most difficult decisions a YMCA can make; and in some cases, taken a step back to modify our regional footprint through the closure of some of our program sites.

These steps have only been taken so we can step more surely into the future as we continue to provide our wide array of programs and services across more than 97 locations. Our operations, programs and services are open; from Licensed Child Care and EarlyON, to Day Camp, Community Outreach Programs, Employment, and Immigrant Services, and our three fully operational, vibrant Health, Fitness and Aquatics locations. Each day, we are welcoming children, youth, and families from all parts of Niagara back to their YMCA.

At this time, we have embarked on a Strategic Planning Process, and we have engaged with staff, volunteers, and community stakeholders to hear their insights about the most critical community issues emerging. We are charting our course and identifying which of these challenges our YMCA is uniquely positioned to address. I look forward to sharing news about our next steps, our new Strategic Plan, and welcome the opportunity to find new ways to collaborate with partners and community members as we work together to create a healthier Niagara community for all.

Click here to view a personal greeting from Steven Chuang >>
Dear Friends,

Slide Mike Watt Board Chair The Board of Directors is extremely grateful for the support, engagement and commitment of our staff, volunteers, members, participants, and community partners. We are happy to have recruited our permanent CEO, Steven Chuang, and we are focused on ensuring our YMCA is well positioned to take on the challenges in the next chapter of our organization’s story. Our YMCA is led by a committed team of community volunteers who each bring their unique expertise to reflect the communities we serve. We were glad to welcome two new members to our Board this past year and, in partnership with our staff team and stakeholders, we are excited to be charting a strategic path for our future. This future has included some big changes to the way we operate, particularly in Health and Fitness. These changes, and the closures in St. Catharines and Niagara Falls, were difficult choices but necessary for the viability of your YMCA.

As part of our future, we are embarking on a Strategic Planning Process, and we look forward to updating you shortly on our progress. We are working hard to find the best ways we can advance the health and well-being of the communities we serve.

The past 12 months have not been easy; full of transitions and challenges, and our entire Board of Directors has been diligent in finding the best ways to ensure the long-term viability of our organization is secure and that our YMCA will continue to have meaningful and lasting impact on the health and well-being of those in our community. The YMCA is about people; strengthening individuals, families, and the connections between them all to build healthier community. Our Board of Directors will continue to remain focused on finding pathways to enable our YMCA to achieve these goals.
To the Niagara Community,
Mike Watt Board Chair The Board of Directors is extremely grateful for the support, engagement and commitment of our staff, volunteers, members, participants, and community partners. We are happy to have recruited our permanent CEO, Steven Chuang, and we are focused on ensuring our YMCA is well positioned to take on the challenges in the next chapter of our organization’s story. Our YMCA is led by a committed team of community volunteers who each bring their unique expertise to reflect the communities we serve. We were glad to welcome two new members to our Board this past year and, in partnership with our staff team and stakeholders, we are excited to be charting a strategic path for our future. This future has included some big changes to the way we operate, particularly in Health and Fitness. These changes, and the closures in St. Catharines and Niagara Falls, were difficult choices but necessary for the viability of your YMCA.

As part of our future, we are embarking on a Strategic Planning Process, and we look forward to updating you shortly on our progress. We are working hard to find the best ways we can advance the health and well-being of the communities we serve.

The past 12 months have not been easy; full of transitions and challenges, and our entire Board of Directors has been diligent in finding the best ways to ensure the long-term viability of our organization is secure and that our YMCA will continue to have meaningful and lasting impact on the health and well-being of those in our community. The YMCA is about people; strengthening individuals, families, and the connections between them all to build healthier community. Our Board of Directors will continue to remain focused on finding pathways to enable our YMCA to achieve these goals.
To the Niagara Community,

YMCA Volunteer
& Staff Membership

Slide Health, Fitness & Aquatics Despite public health closures, 8,697 people attended HFA programs and services in 2021 Our virtual program schedule featured 43 classes each week, and over 3,000 participants Over $16,000 in financial assistance was given for our fitness programs in 2021 We had 61 families participate in our Backyard Swim Program We offered Group Fitness in 3 ways: virtually, outdoors, and eventually indoors 43 members participated in over 580 hours of personal training both online and in person 30 Years of Community Connie first joined the old Grantham YMCA in 1991, looking for a place to exercise. She remembers the old lobby and the facility, and little did she realize at the time that this connection to the YMCA would continue over the next three decades!

Connie has been a YMCA member transitioning from that old location to the Walker Family YMCA, and eventually to the Niagara West location when her family took up residence in Grimsby. Living only 1.2 km away, Connie says she has no excuses for not taking full advantage of the opportunity to participate and stay fit. She likes booking her workouts in advance because she sees these as appointments she must keep; a way to be accountable and make sure nothing gets in the way of her workout. She knows the YMCA has had a hard time in some communities with new competitors and the challenges of the pandemic. However, says she feels her community is very lucky to have a local YMCA all to themselves, with a great pool and fantastic, friendly staff. She hopes everyone appreciates this and takes full advantage of this asset.

Continue reading >>

Slide The Power
of Partnership!
Here at the YMCA of Niagara, we are proud of the positive relationship we share with the City of Port Colborne. Together, we supported the delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations at our Vale Health and Wellness Centre and we continue to work on the restart and expansion of programs and services inside the facility and across the community.
We celebrate the collaborative effort of staff from the
City and from our YMCA who work together, closely,
to operate the Port Colborne YMCA facility.

Our new YMCA fee model was informed by locals
through constituent feedback, which subsequently
led to us offering more affordable and flexible
membership categories with the provision of financial
assistance where needed.

We look forward to a busy spring spring and expanding programs in the community in the coming year.

Slide Licensed Child Care 357 Educators adapted to the changing needs while still providing a high-quality experience We provided child care to over 1,450 children (infant to 12 years). We were able to provide care to 56 children of Essential Workers during the state of emergency We have 47 Licensed Child Care locations across the Niagara Region A Note of Thanks Our Licensed Child Care Educators play a critical role in helping little ones prepare for their first day of school. Time spent with a talented and patient educator has benefits that extend beyond high-quality daily care, and can have a positive impact in many areas of daily routine and learning. That was the experience of Jasper’s parents, Jacqueline and Jeff Mulder, who took the time to write a short note of thanks to our child care team this summer: Hi Summer Care Team, - Jacqueline & Jeff Mulder I wanted to let you know we’re really happy we decided to do the summer care program.
We have noticed a very positive change in Jasper’s behaviour, especially in his interactions with Bruce. He’s been such a good big brother the last few weeks, showing patience, kindness, and being very helpful towards others.

We’re also noticing a big leap in vocabulary and learning. Every day, he uses a new word and takes us by surprise, or explains a concept that seems beyond his years. Bedtime has improved drastically with little-to-no drama, having dropped the afternoon nap. Thank you so much for all that you do!

I have very little apprehension about Jasper going to JK in September because I feel he is really well prepared after a summer at Grapeview.

Slide Watch an EarlyON activity video >>
Our YMCA provided 323 virtual parent education and children’s activity sessions during lockdown We shared 875 social media posts with links to our resources, and to other organizations that provide meaningful resources and support for parents of young families We made 911 outreaches to families by phone and email to provide educational resources, programming support and parenting advice To support participation in virtual programming, we distributed 300 activity bags containing books, games, activities, recipes and creative supplies for families to enjoy Connecting Even
When Apart
"My daughter absolutely LOVES attending the YMCA of Niagara EarlyON Circle Time sessions and activities on Zoom. She was previously attending in person and is now continuing the fun to her 'virtual centre'. I was worried that she would not be engaged through the screen, but the staff bring so much energy and fun that my daughter has a blast every class. These classes have been an excellent resource during our week; she is learning numbers, letters, colors, and life skills. She enjoys the stories and crafts, but most of all, she is still making new friends. These classes are an excellent resource in a time when my highest priority is my family’s safety. I would highly recommend them to anyone who has not tried them yet!" - Amber

Slide We reached 478 participants through virtual employment seminars and workshops Shona’s Story The Employment Services team supported 1,944 individuals alongside our organizational partners and local employers Our Immigrant Services team assisted over 2,800 individuals to build confidence, increase language abilities, and deepen community connections Employment &
Immigrant Services
The support I’ve been receiving has been invaluable.

Before accessing YMCA Employment Services, I was hesitant to reach out due to some preconceived notion that I would be rushed through the system. However, Laurene completely eliminated those thoughts from my mind from day one. What she offered me goes above and beyond anything I expected.

Not only did Laurene assist me in my employment search by sharing important resources, but she also understood the circumstances I was under and instilled confidence. Her flexibility and compassion gave me the encouragement I really needed. I was offered a truly personalized experience.

It is people like Laurene that make a lasting impact on people’s lives, the ones that empower people to overcome their difficulties and grow.

Continue reading >>

Slide We are thankful to the
115 Camp Staff for their tireless efforts, leading the campers for 9 consecutive weeks of Camp
Due to limited capacity, we offered our Youth Leadership Camp virtually with 17 participants investing in their leadership skills We had almost 3,000 registrations for YMCA Summer Day Camp We hosted 83 unique camps in 12 locations across the Niagara Region Day Camp
Summer
Day Camp
Returns
YMCA Day Camp was relaunched across Niagara during the summer of 2021. We were thrilled to be able to provide children and youth with opportunities for skill development and positive social outlets, families with a safe place for their children, and young adults with the opportunity to develop their leadership skills. After a hiatus in 2020, YMCA Summer Day Camps were reimagined to promote safety and positive learning experiences.

Thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation, we were able to work with industry experts to develop the Nature Quest program and curriculum. Nature Quest focuses on outdoor and environmental education, with the goal of fostering environmental allies. Nature Quest was offered at four outdoor sites throughout Niagara, allowing children and youth to move between the program levels as they increase their knowledge and skills during this two-week program.

The response from children, families and staff was very positive. We look forward to expanding the Nature Quest program to involve more children and youth in recreational and environmental learning experiences.

Slide Community Impact The Youth Gambling Awareness Program (YGAP) hosted 208 virtual activities serving 3,671 children and youth We had 533 Youth Outreach participants both virtually and in person We had 94 adults experiencing social isolation participate in skill-based virtual programming We distributed 162 Care Kits to children and youth to promote healthy eating and physical activity at home 281 children were referred to attend YMCA Adventure Club "My son attended Adventure Club at Firemens Park for two program sessions in August. After a tough couple of years dealing with all the changes because of the pandemic, he was scared to go, and I honestly thought I would get a call on the first day to pick him up. He ended up having the most fun he's had in a long time! He felt welcomed and accepted right away, and enjoyed every minute. He is already talking about going again next year." - Adventure Club Parent Watch a video about YMCA Adventure Club >> Community Story At a time when disconnection was at its peak—in the middle of winter and in the midst of the second stay-at-home order—the YMCA was able to bring adults who felt socially isolated together.

The YMCA Social Society provided a virtual program experience that was a combination of social activities and skill building for adults who were experiencing isolation. Over a three-month period in early 2021, we had 134 registrations from 94 Niagara residents.

“I would love to see more of this; without it, I have nothing positive to do as an outlet for my mental health and wellness. Plus, the fact that it’s free makes it accessible for anyone to attend.” - Participant
We are appreciative of the individuals and businesses from across Niagara that collaborated with the YMCA to make this program possible, many donating their time and talents. Chef Michael Olsen led a six-week cooking program that allowed participants to increase their confidence in the kitchen. Additional program options included pottery, macramé, book club, meditation, indigenous paint night, games night, and more. The Social Society had something for everyone!

YMCA Social Society was made possible thanks to funding from the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund.

Slide Philanthropy Thanks to the support of 652 donors we raised over $162,000 this past year Although 2020-2021 has been a challenging year for many, our community and funders came together and supported the YMCA through generous giving that ensured we were able to fulfill our mission to be as accessible as possible. Through their support, we were able to provide necessary programs to serve children and families when they needed us the most. Children and youth shared lasting experiences through Adventure Club, Day Camp, and Youth Outreach.

The pandemic has taught us that when a community comes together, we are stronger. As a result, our impact on those around us is felt deeper and our reach is amplified. We also extend our gratitude to our funders who trust the YMCA in our ability to meet community needs.

Thank you for making a difference and enabling us to achieve our mission.
To view a full list of our generous donors and funders, please click here >>

Financial Highlights

Year Ended August 31, 2021
The report includes selected financial information extracted from statements audited by KPMG. Complete financial statements are available upon request.

Statement of Financial Position

Notes:
1) The Child Care Fund was established by the Board of Directors for the purpose of reserving cash to enhance child care stability and quality assurance initiatives over the next two fiscal years. The current year’s balance is $1,000,000.

Statement of Operations

 
2) The amounts for the discontinued operations for Niagara Falls, Walker (St. Catharines), and Fort Erie (prior year only) are included in the amounts above.

Slide Thank You We close this year with a clear understanding that we truly are #STRONGERTOGETHER YMCA of Niagara
3-300 Bunting Road,
St. Catharines, ON L2M 7X3
ymcaofniagara.org
Charitable Registration #11930 7064 RR0001