Introducing the Bettie Allard YMCA. Only 1 year to go!

The YMCA of Greater Vancouver is incredibly grateful for the support of our What Really Matters Now Campaign to bring new centres of community to underserved areas. And we’re excited to be only one year from completion of construction for our new YMCA centre in Coquitlam! To recognize this tremendous milestone, A One Year Out event was held on September 18th at the Burquitlam construction site and streamed virtually for those who could not make it to the event in person– over 100 YMCA volunteers, donors and partners were celebrated and the name of this new centre was announced.

Stephen Butz
Stephen Butz, CEO, YMCA of Greater Vancouver

“A little over a year from now, this Y will have swim lessons for children, mental wellness groups for teens, fitness classes for seniors, English language classes and social groups for Canadian newcomers, and affordable childcare for all kinds of families,” said YMCA of Greater Vancouver President and CEO Stephen Butz.

The One Year Out and building naming event marked the start of the public phase of the YMCA’s What Really Matters Now Capital Campaign. With the campaign now at 85% of its $25 million goal, it’s time to ask for further help from the local community to get us across the finish line. “I am so moved by the support of donors here in the Tri-Cities,” said What Really Matters Coquitlam Chair Tracy Price. “I am joined by an incredible team of volunteers. We thank our current donors, and ask new ones to join us in the public phase of the capital campaign. Together we are building a centre of community that will serve Tri-Cities residents for generations to come.”

A Transformational Gift leads to the Bettie Allard YMCA

Portrait of Bettie Allard
Bettie Allard

Thanks to the generosity of YMCA supporter Peter A. Allard, the What Really Matters Campaign received a transformational gift that will be used to honour the life of Bettie Allard, the late mother of Peter Allard. Bettie was a passionate educator and community volunteer who taught at Rosser Elementary and Confederation Park Elementary in nearby Burnaby.

“The new Coquitlam YMCA Centre was a particularly appropriate choice to honour Bettie Allard’s legacy because like us, she was committed to youth, education and building healthy communities. Her forward-thinking approach to leading an active life and protecting the environment were ahead of her time,” said Stephen Butz. “Bettie was a passionate and effective advocate for the role of community in helping people reach their potential and thrive. As an educator, volunteer, active outdoorswoman, mother and grandmother she impacted so many lives. It is an honour to attach the name of Bettie Allard to this new YMCA centre. It will link the Y community, its children, families and seniors to each other and the broader community,” concluded Steve.

This will be an historic first for YMCA Canada. Bettie Allard, who passed away in 2004, will be the first woman to have a YMCA health and fitness facility solely named after her. We couldn’t be prouder to be making history with Bettie in this incredible way.

After the event concluded, attendees were invited to sign a commemorative banner, which will go into a time capsule to be placed in the building during construction. It was inspirational to see children, seniors, local dignitaries, YMCA leadership volunteers and donors joyfully signing – to show their gratitude to the Allard family and to leave their own mark on this exciting community project. The new Bettie Allard YMCA will enable many more people to access life-changing Y programs and services for generations to come.

Signature banner from Bettie Allard YMCA event