Changes are underway at the Golden Youth Centre, and the changes include the name of the facility itself. At its Christmas party, attendees discussed changing the name in order to find something that resonates more with youth. Following a vote, it was decided that the centre will soon officially change its name to The Rock: A Centre for Youth.
“It’s just something that has a little bit of symbolism behind it. It’s a solid place for youth to come and hang out, it’s supportive, it’s the foundation for building all sorts of skills…and (the youth) thought it sounded cool.” said Patrick O’Neill, the youth centre’s coordinator.
In addition to a new name, the youth centre has had a number of other changes to its programming and there are some potential developments on the horizon inside the facility itself.
“We just started doing some cool workshops as well, which is kind of neat. We just finished a photography workshop,” O’Neill said. “We’ve also got a crochet workshop coming up on Feb. 25.”
O’Neill, who has coached rock climbing in the past, is hoping to put in a bouldering wall that will give kids a chance to learn basic climbing techniques.
He also hopes to continue to grow the musical side of the facility as well.
“We’d love to see more young musicians utilizing the centre. We’ve got an amazing facility here, we can record, we can play live shows, we can do all sorts of stuff there,” he said.
O’Neill recognizes that it is a difficult leap for teenagers to come out to the centre for the first time, and stressed that it is a friendly place for newcomers.
“It’s a really supportive environment, everyone here is super friendly and it’s a safe and respectful spot…it’s very inclusive,” he said.
On a weekly basis, O’Neill runs a jam session on Monday nights while general drop in nights run from 3:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Friday.
On Thursday night the centre hosts the Band of Guys program, a boys only session that focuses on recording and playing music.
O’Neill is currently looking for youth volunteers and anyone who might be interested can contact him at 250-344-4940.
For more information about the youth centre, log on to facebook.com/Goldenyouthcentre.