Spotlight On Abbotsford’s Spirit

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The Grand Opening of the Abbotsford Spirit of BC Committee office was held in May 2006. But how did it all begin?

In January 2004, an invitation to members of the community helped kick things up a notch for her committee, according to Spirit of BC Committee Chair Christine Wiebe. "We wanted to know if people felt Abbotsford should be involved in the opportunities that would likely come as a result of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Our committee hoped for 150 at that meeting and 225 attended. The electricity in the room was over the top! We knew we had to continue."

With funding from Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC), the Abbotsford committee hired a fulltime executive director. They also hired three assistants, for one year, thanks to an Employment Insurance program.

"Service Canada is always looking for opportunities through Job Creation Partnerships that will provide valuable work experience to unemployed clients while benefiting the broader local economy," said Brenda Wertman, Programs Officer with HRSDC. "We appreciate the opportunity to work with the Abbotsford Spirit of BC Committee and recognize the work they do in assisting our local area to maximize the opportunities that the Olympics and Paralympics will bring to our community."

In need of office space for their newly hired staff, the Spirit of BC committee formed a fundraising committee in December 2005. The group found six cash sponsors offering $10,000 over five years which provided office space heat and light, furniture, telephones and a security system. Wiebe is proud that Abbotsford has one of the first Spirit of BC committee offices and the first 2010 Commerce Centre satellite office. The committee is partnered with HRSDC, the University College of the Fraser Valley, the City of Abbotsford, the Abbotsford school district and local businesses.

Spirit of BC is a province-wide program that involves 95 Spirit of BC committees, representing over 200 communities across the province. These committees support local programs and help create opportunities in sport and recreation, arts, literacy, volunteerism, business and tourism. The program is supported by the Province of British Columbia. Visit for more information.