The Elmwood Community Resource Centre’s (ECRC) series of community conversations will soon heat up again.
The ECRC, located at 200 Levis St., held an inaugural conversation about the neighbourhood in January that featured MP Lawrence Toet (Elmwood-Transcona), MLA Matt Wiebe (Concordia), and Coun. Thomas Steen (Elmwood-East Kildonan).
The centre is now looking to build on that base of knowledge with four more conversations planned in the coming days.
On Mon., July 29 and Thurs., Aug. 8, the conversations will be held at Munroe Library (489 London St.), while one on Weds., July 31 will take place at Kent Road School (361 Kent Rd.), and one will be held outdoors at Keenleyside Park (428 Keenleyside St.) on Tues., Aug. 6. All will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
ECRC community outreach facilitator Matt Austman said the conversations will all cover similar ground, so residents need only attend one.
One of the major focuses will be the rebuilding of the East Elmwood Community Centre, which burned down in March 2011.
"There’s been a real lack of public space, essentially, where programs can go, and that’s really had an effect on the community," Austman said. "That’s what we got from the January conversation. This is essentially about filling in the gaps, getting more data, really trying to dig in and present something to all three levels of government, primarily the municipal and provincial government."
Austman said ECRC executive director Martin Landy will be at all four events, while Wiebe has expressed interest, and is anticipated to attend one at minimum.
After the conversations, the ECRC will distribute a survey in September. He expects to have a preliminary report at the end of September, and a final report completed "shortly after."
The quick turnaround is motivated by the desire to present a plan to elected officials in time to incorporate elements into the new centre.
"We hope that translates into a very multifaceted community centre, for one, but (also) a plan of sorts we can approach East Elmwood with," Austman said, noting he hopes the plan includes a way to drive business investment to the area to provide residents with needed services.