Years of hard work, stamina and emotion have gone into the creation and construction of Slocan City Suites, the new seniors’ housing that celebrates its grand opening on Thursday, Sept. 27 in the Village of Slocan.
“We’ll call it a ‘soft’ grand opening,” says Slocan Valley Seniors’ Housing Society president Rita Moir. “There are three quadraplexes and we’ll tour the most completed one.” The society wants to let the public get a glimpse before tenants move in and before the weather changes.
The grand opening starts out from the Slocan Legion at 5:30 p.m. with a Hike to Housing, a three-block hike in tribute to the three-day fundraising Hike or Bike for Housing two years ago when hundreds of community members hiked the rail trail. The Sept. 27 ceremonial hike starts out with greetings from Betty Windsor (who also kicked off the hike two years ago), bagpipes and a special carriage conveying Lydia Kania, the oldest hiker, who has raised about $16,000 for construction of both Passmore Lodge 20 years ago and now the Slocan City Suites.
The new project is funded by BC Housing and Columbia Basin Trust, with significant contributions from local fundraising efforts, the Village of Slocan, RDCK, Heritage Credit Union, Slocan Valley Economic Development Commission, Slocan Valley Community Legacy Society, CMHC, Bartel Skeete, the Slocan Legion and many individuals, businesses and organizations. The village leased the land to the housing society, professionals donated large amounts of time and expertise, and board members contributed thousands of volunteer hours.
“This is a huge project for our volunteer board,” said Moir, “and we could never have done it without the work of designer Eric Clough and co-ordinator Tamara Smith. And we specifically thank the Village of Slocan and staff for all their help throughout.”
NDB Construction, a local firm, is building the project using local labour.
All suites have been filled except for the unit specifically adapted for a disabled person. For more information about it, call 250-226-7115. With the Slocan City Suites and Passmore Lodge, the society is providing affordable housing in the Slocan Valley for seniors whose housing was no longer appropriate for their needs, and who want to stay connected with their community.
The Hike to Housing winds its way to the Slocan City Suites for brief greetings from dignitaries including Slocan mayor Jessica Lunn, MLA Katrine Conroy, former MLA and Trust representative Corky Evans, RDCK director Walter Popoff, Leah Main for the economic development commission, and BC Housing. Then the tour of one and two-bedroom suites begins, followed by a celebration at the Legion and the housing society’s AGM for those who wish to stay.
Bring your umbrella and wear sensible shoes.