Community Development programs provide wellness, arts, culture, recreational, and educational opportunities for community members. Recreation and cultural experiences are an important part of what makes our communities vibrant, healthy and enjoyable places to be, and Bissell Centre is committed to ensuring that these opportunities are available for everyone, regardless of their circumstances.
Our program acts as a bridge to build closer relationships with community members who use our services to meet their basic needs. Opportunities are available year round onsite, primarily in our Community Space, and encompass a variety of activities including games, arts and crafts, physical activities, Indigenous programming and educational experiences.
Inner City Recreation and Wellness
A collaboration between Bissell Centre and Boyle Street Community Services, the Inner City Recreation and Wellness Program (ICRWP) addresses social, cultural, and health issues in Edmonton’s inner city by meeting the needs of community members who experience significant barriers to recreation.
The program offers a broad range of activities, including individual and team sports, visits to cultural events and facilities, and outdoor pursuits. Activities are open to all community members. Staff not only participate in and help to run various activities, they also build on established trust-relationships to draw participants from different program areas, including families, youth, drop-in and housing.
Recreation has significant benefits for individuals and families living in poverty. Recreation can help mitigate some of the effects of poverty such as loneliness, social isolation, low self-worth, depression, and physical and mental health issues. Our programs include Inner City Recreation, Community Development, and Summer Camps.
“This program helps me feel better and more positive”
– Recreation Participant
Evidence indicated that recreation and parks services really do make a difference. Recreation, parks, sports, fitness, active living, arts and cultural services:
- are essential to personal health and well-being
- provide the key to balanced human development
- provide a foundation for quality of life
- reduce self-destructive and antisocial behavior
- build strong families and healthy communities
- reduce health care, social service and police/justice costs