The GCWCC turns 50 years old


Advertise with us

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 12/11/2021 (573 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Winnipeg’s community centres and libraries are some of the most valued facilities in the city, and this year marks the 50th anniversary of the popular and unique community centre system.

“Fifty years ago, on Sept. 21, 1971, a group of volunteers came together to form the General Council of Winnipeg Community Centres. Their vision was to create an organization to provide a central council where community representatives could meet and discuss opportunities and challenges,” said Lora Meseman, executive director of the GCWCC.

Today, GCWCC is a vibrant organization whose primary role is to act as a central resource hub to support the 63 community Centres in Winnipeg by providing advocacy and supporting volunteers in areas such as board governance, policy development, financial accountability and program and project development.

Photo by Derek Dabee
Linda Marchinko, vice-president of Red River Community Centre, has been volunteering at the centre for 20 years.
Photo by Derek Dabee Linda Marchinko, vice-president of Red River Community Centre, has been volunteering at the centre for 20 years.

Winnipeg is renowned for its volunteers. Our 63 volunteer-based community centres are as diverse as the neighbourhoods they serve. These facilities provide a broad range of excellent sports and recreation opportunities, seniors’ activities, pickleball, cultural events and community services for all age groups.

The community centres model in Winnipeg is unique in Canada. While the community centre buildings and grounds are owned by the City of Winnipeg, each centre is governed and operated by a board of directors (volunteers) who are elected annually by their communities. They are supported by a huge team of coaches and facilitators.

Most of the activities at community centres are league sports or organized activities. However, many centres also offer free outdoor skating and free gym time.

As the projection period for Community Centre Plan 2025 draws to a close, the GCWCC will undertake a full-scale review to chart the course for the next 20 — a document called Plan 2045.

Northwest Winnipeg is served by 14 community centres, which always welcome volunteers.

For more info, please visit


Derek Dabee is a member of the board of trustees of Seven Oaks School Division and a community correspondent for The Maples. You can contact him at


Derek Dabee

Derek Dabee
The Maples community correspondent

Derek Dabee is a community correspondent for The Maples.

Report Error Submit a Tip


Advertise With Us

The Times