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Historic Wolfville Community Centre brought into 21st century

Community hall west of Ponoka gets grant for renos
(Photo submitted/Louise Hulsman)

The Wolfville Community Centre, a historic, 100-year-old hall west of Ponoka, recently got a face lift with new siding.

In October, 2020 the centre received a $9,000 Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP) grant to upgrade the hall.

Volunteers took down the old siding, added insulation and put on new siding, completing the work in April, 2022, said Morena Stamm, secretary for the Wolfville Community Centre.

“We blew in insulation in the original building as it had none, not even batting in the ceiling,” said Stamm.

“We hope these improvements will allow us to continue running community programs for another 100-plus years.”

Stamm has fond memories of the hall, as her mother was a member of the centre since the 90s and she grew up going to events.

“Many of the other members are kids I grew up with as well as neighbours. It’s really exciting for me to see how the hall has changed in the last 20 years, from when I went to Christmas concerts and we had to pump water outside before events and the outhouses were attached but cold with no running water, to today where we have actual toilets and sinks inside and we’ve painted the walls and hung curtains.”

She added the insulation has made a major difference because now they can hold meetings in the centre, whereas it used to use too much energy to heat and would take hours to warm up.

Located 15 minutes west of Ponoka on the Highway 53 and two miles south on Range Road 274 (Wolfville road), the hall has had many uses over the years.

First built in 1921, the building was originally a school house and was used as such until 1953 when it became the community centre. The centre has been managed by a group of community ladies since 1954.

“Despite the renovations, it still has that cozy feel from the old hall with its original chalkboard and school benches.”

The Wolfville Community Centre is holding a steak night on May 27 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The steak fry is one of three annual fundraising events they host to raise money to pay for the utilities and general maintenance for the hall (a pancake breakfast and ice cream social being the other two).

Stamm said this last year has been especially difficult on the group, with the rising electricity and natural gas costs.

As the hall is quite small, it doesn’t bring in enough rental revenue to cover yearly operating costs, even though volunteers maintain the lawn and clear snow in the winter, and Ponoka County covers some of their utility costs.

All of the centre’s excess funds are spent towards monthly community donations such as the Ponoka Food Bank and Stepping Stones in Ponoka. The group also supports community improvement projects and community events such as baby and wedding showers.

The dinner includes a nine oz steak, baked potato and Caesar salad and garlic bread, or hot dog for kids 12 and under.

Stamm said there are a limited number of tickets and they’re hoping to sell out before the event.

Check out the Wolfville Community Centre on Facebook for more information or contact Stamm at 403-704-0730 to purchase tickets.

Steaks will be provided by a local butcher. A social will follow the dinner.

“We hope people come and stay to chat with neighbours and enjoy a night out.”

READ MORE: Wolfville Community Centre celebrates 100-year-old building

Emily Jaycox

About the Author: Emily Jaycox

I’m Emily Jaycox, the editor of Ponoka News and the Bashaw Star. I’ve lived in Ponoka since 2015 and have over seven years of experience working as a journalist in central Alberta communities.
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