The Rutland Seniors Centre in Kelowna has seen a huge dip in membership over the pandemic. (Photo courtesy of rutlandseniors.com)

The Rutland Seniors Centre in Kelowna has seen a huge dip in membership over the pandemic. (Photo courtesy of rutlandseniors.com)

COVID cuts membership in half at Rutland Seniors Centre in Kelowna

Annual membership only costs $10

Rutland Seniors Centre took a hard hit during the pandemic with membership numbers at about half of what they used to be.

Catherine Thompson, who is on the board of directors, says membership numbers dwindled slightly after a fire in 2018, but the pandemic dropped them even further to an estimated 500 people.

“Before all of the chaos that happened with the centre we were closer to about 1,000.”

Thompson says they are hopeful membership will pick back up, but it’s tough to know when working with a vulnerable population.

“There are still some people that are scared to come out into group settings because of COVID. Of course, people have aged, some people are no longer with us. We’re always looking for new members.”

An annual membership to the centre costs only $10 and events and activities have minimal fees of just a couple dollars.

Thompson says the centre is open to anyone over the age of 50.

Seniors in Rutland can enjoy sports like badminton or pickleball, get creative with crafts and quilting, or even join the Barbershop Chorus.

The singing group is open for both men and women with meetings on Monday evenings.

Seniors have the chance to get their party on, too, with Saturday night dances.

“We alternate back and forth between live music and a Spotify stream when we can’t get the live music booked. People come and pay. It’s about three hours and the music that plays varies from country/western to 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s.”

Anyone interested in purchasing a membership or volunteering at the centre should visit rutlandseniors.com.

READ MORE: Kelowna RCMP investigating car window shot out with pellet gun


@thebrittwebster
brittany.webster@blackpress.ca

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