The YMCA Launches an Appeal for Partnerships and Announces the Next Steps in Resuming Its Activities

(Montréal, March 10, 2021)   A year into the pandemic and with a pending government announcement regarding the resumption of sports and fitness activities in Montréal, we want to share our vision for the future with the community, including our plan to tackle our current challenges. It is in this context that we are launching an appeal for partnerships today.

It is first imperative that we thank our employees, members, and partners who went above and beyond this past year to support our communities in these difficult times. Through their contribution, we have been able to continue having a positive impact on the lives of youth, families, and vulnerable individuals. This was namely achieved by providing 25,000 hours of academic support, serving over 10,000 meals with the help of our numerous partners, and offering free virtual fitness courses, which have been viewed more than 63,000 times. Additionally, we conducted 10,000 interventions with people experiencing homelessness, and provided ongoing support to 800 vulnerable seniors. This proves that, despite the lockdown, the closure of our sports facilities, and the public health restrictions, we have adapted to pursue our mission.

Launching an appeal for partners to help us with the property management of our YMCA centres   

However, a year into the pandemic we must acknowledge that:

  • We have lost close to $20M in revenues in 2020. A similar loss is expected for 2021 and this pattern will continue until the end of 2022.
  • The pandemic is forcing us to review our service offer and how we deal with the management of our capital assets sooner than anticipated.
  • The cost and maintenance of our buildings are becoming impossible without a partner, a situation which has been accelerated and exacerbated by the pandemic.

It is for these reasons that we are launching a call for partnerships so we no longer have to support alone the maintenance costs of our properties, but can rather focus our efforts on refining our true expertise: positively impacting society, nurturing potential, and transforming lives.

“Managing our buildings has impeded the performance and growth of the YMCA’s social impact. These partnerships would allow us to maintain the YMCA’s presence in the sectors concerned and continue our mission of inspiring and encouraging all people to reach their full potential, thrive and contribute to their community,” explained Stéphane Vaillancourt, President and CEO of the YMCAs of Québec.

With this in mind, we would favour partnerships in the municipal, educational, and health sectors as well as private partnerships with socially- and community-minded partners.

Gradual reopening of our sports facilities

As Québec City is now in an orange zone, the Saint-Roch YMCA already announced it would be resuming individual fitness activities as of March 15. The conditioning room, gym, pool, and running track will once again be open to our members. A summer day camp is also planned in partnership with the City of Québec.

Furthermore, as soon as public health guidelines allow it, the Cartierville, du Parc, and Westmount YMCAs will resume indoor fitness activities, while our other centres will focus on outdoor and online activities, day camps, and our numerous community programs.

“The pandemic has demonstrated our programs’ positive social impact on communities, and we have the intention of continuing this work to support the public through every stage of the lifting of the lockdown measures,” concluded Stéphane Vaillancourt.

About the YMCAs of Québec

A charitable organization whose mission is to encourage and inspire all people to fulfill their potential, thrive and contribute to their community, the YMCAs of Québec offer programs more than 30 points of service and virtually across the province, as well as operating an International Language School, YMCA Residence and Camp YMCA Kanawana. Thanks to financial partnerships with different levels of government and the generosity of its volunteers and donors, each year, the YMCA helps more than 120,000 people to develop their skills. As the first YMCA in North America, the YMCAs of Québec have been present in Montréal since 1851.

Karine Chateauneuf
Senior Advisor, Communications