Members of the White Rock Youth Collective presented to council on Monday.

Members of the White Rock Youth Collective presented to council on Monday.

Youth group’s funding request receives only encouragement

‘Unrealistic’ to expect White Rock to match financial contribution sought from Surrey, Peninsula group told

Youth working to create an inclusive and safe space for teens in White Rock returned to council this week to share more specifics of their plan and request funds to help make it happen.

But while city leaders praised the teens for their ideas, enthusiasm and organization, they were critical of a plan to ask White Rock and the City of Surrey to contribute equal funding to the effort.

“To expect the City of White Rock and the City of Surrey to contribute the same amount is a little bit unrealistic,” Coun. Helen Fathers told teen presenters, Tayla and Kira (last names withheld by request), who spoke alongside Alexandra Neighbourhood House youth and family worker Jessie Kergan and supervisor Maxine Larmour.

The teens are among a group of about 25 youth – dubbed the White Rock Youth Collective – who have been striving for the past 18 months to find space in uptown White Rock to call their own.

Ideally, it will be approximately 2,500 square feet, located somewhere between the Whaling Wall and 24 Avenue – but not too central, said Larmour – accessible by transit and would not have to be shared.

Monday, they shared statistics that show 20 per cent of White Rock residents are youth and 27 per cent are seniors; at the same time, the city’s seniors have access to three dedicated centres, while youth have none.

Proposed budget options included in the Sept. 29 council agenda suggest each of the cities contribute just over $92,000 to the project’s first year; a third $92,000 is hoped to come from grants.

Larmour told Peace Arch News the figures are not firm, and may vary depending on factors such as hours of operation and programming. They hope to be self-supporting by year six.

Kergan told council that securing start-up funding is critical to the success of the teens’ quest. She noted the group lost out on a space near the Whaling Wall a week ago because they didn’t have the funds at-hand.

“We have to have the money to be ready, otherwise other people sweep in,” she said.

So far, in-kind and volunteer donations total $47,600; and the group is waiting to hear on grant applications totalling $26,000. They are also hoping to win $100,000 in the online Aviva Community Fund competition. First-round voting is on now until Oct. 13.

The collective is scheduled to present their efforts, ideas and funding request to Surrey council on Oct. 15.

While White Rock Couns. Helen Fathers and Bill Lawrence both suggested Monday that finding shared space might be easier for the teens, Larmour said the youth have been clear it is not their goal.

Regarding the budget figures, Mayor Wayne Baldwin also described the equal ask as “unrealistic.”

“You may want to play with those numbers,” he said.

However, Coun. Louise Hutchinson said equal funding may well be appropriate, given the changing demographics in the White Rock/South Surrey area.

It is “a very Peninsula community and it could very well be a 50-50 community,” she said. “Our bulge is getting lower and lower when it comes to demographics.”

Council voted to refer the presentation to staff.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Delta character - and former White Rock resident - Pansy May Stuttard inspects a loaded revolver in the cover photo for Jim Dwight and Gary Cullen’s fascinating biography, Lord don’t want me Devil won’t take me. Contributed photo
West Coast’s ‘Pistol-packin’ Pansy’ lives on in colourful biography

Infamous Delta character ended her days in White Rock and South Surrey

A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary. March 2021. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Reports of student attendance ‘dwindling’ at Surrey schools: teachers’ association

STA president said he’s heard from staff that students might not attend in-person for 4th quarter

(Photo: MOSAIC/Facebook)
Organization receives $10K from B.C. government to tackle racism in Surrey, White Rock

Funding to go toward forum for International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

A police officer aims a radar gun at oncoming traffic during a school-zone speed trap traffic blitz outside Peace Arch Elementary in 2017. (File photo)
White Rock council heeds residents’ plea for better speed signage

Roper Avenue concerns note proximity of two elementary schools

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Local carpenter Tyler Bohn embarked on a quest to create the East Sooke Treehouse, after seeing people build similar structures on a Discovery Channel show. (East Sooke Treehouse Facebook photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. carpenter builds fort inspired by TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters’

The whimsical structure features a wooden walking path, a loft, kitchen – and is now listed on Airbnb

Most Read