The Kamloops Women’s Resource Centre was a project of the Kamloops Women’s Resource Group Society, both established in 1984, and offered a wide variety of services, programs, education and awareness activities for women. These included information and referrals to women-focused community resources, a lending library of literature and video resource materials for women, a safe space where women could drop in during the week, self help and support groups for women, education and awareness programs. This also included events covering issues of concern to women as well as advocacy and lobby activity for women. In addition, the centre consulted and worked with various community groups and programs to address and bring attention to the needs of women, and provided training opportunities for women’s education, and volunteer work experience for women attempting to enter or re-enter the paid labor force.
Unfortunately, due to federal and provincial government cutbacks in 2002, the centre lost all of its government funding. As this was the only funding the centre was receiving for operational costs, we were forced to close our doors in 2006, as were other women’s centres across B.C. The Kamloops Women’s Resource Group Society, which oversaw the centre, remained together and continued to work for women’s rights within the community.
In 2007, the Kamloops Women’s Resource Group Society secured enough funding to open the doors again. We opened at #2 – 375 4th Avenue in downtown Kamloops with a slight change in our mandate and focus. Because of limited funding, the society was only able to perform limited functions of a women’s centre. There was a continued focus on women’s herstory, holding events to raise awareness, working to improve women’s rights, and referring women to resources within the community. Some of the events from this time period include the 2008 and 2009 Vagina Monlogues (performed at Thompson Rivers University), International Women’s Day events, and other women focused events in our community.
Flash forward to the present. We have been at our current location (535 Tranquille Rd) since 2014. We are sharing the space with the YMCA’s Children Who Witness Abuse and Outreach programs. This space fits our needs much better. We are able to host group meetings and community programs in our facilities room, we have a larger office to host clients in, and we have the ability to network with the YMCA’s staff. Since we have moved to the new space, we have begun working more extensively on events and activities throughout the year. Most notably are the V-Day Kamloops events that happen at the end of February and beginning of March every year and the Speaker Series we put on in the summer. These events are great for bringing in community involvement and raising awareness for issues in our community. We also have had the opportunity to work with different agencies to partner on their events, such as the Women’s Leadership Council’s International Women’s Day event in 2016.
Throughout our herstory, we have committed to improving the lives of women in Kamloops, regardless of ethnicity, sexual preference, socioeconomic background, or history. Although we function on a limited budget, our commitment has never faltered. Our focus right now is building up our involvement in the community and working toward stable funding so that we are able to offer increased services and support groups for women. Thank you for stopping by! We hope to see you again. 🙂