The Ark began in 1989 and has been in operation for over 25 years. It operates under The Dawson Creek Youth Center Society and is a non-profit organization. We are a recreation facility that has proven to be a place that not only provides activities for youth, but also one that partners with parents and the community as a whole to develop a caring environment for youth. Our desire is to aid in developing youth with a sense of community, responsibility, and availability.
The Ark’s programs provide an atmosphere that promotes active living. We are committed to fair play and the development of each individual to meet their full potential. Our mandate is to create an exciting environment and to provide a positive, affordable alternative where all kids are given the opportunity to participate. All youth are encouraged to come and are valued as individuals. The target age range is between six and eighteen years. Currently an average of 200 kids come to The Ark from the community on any given week during the winter months of September through April. Our summer programs are bringing in 20 – 40 youth (ages 12-30). Presently we offer ball-hockey, skateboarding/scootering, drop in for youth and families, and kids cafe.
The Ark’s operating budget is approx $160,000 of which 25% of the revenue comes from drop-in and concession revenues and 60% comes from private donations from over 100 individuals and businesses. The remainder comes from service clubs, churches, associations, and fundraising activities. Our fundraising activities include an annual banquet, a business appeal, and sometimes our volunteers are contracted for various jobs at the fall fair.
We are a unique facility drawing youth from not only Dawson Creek and local surrounding community, but also youth from Chetwynd, Tumbler Ridge, Ft. St. John and as far away as Grande Prairie.
The Ark is accountable to the Dawson Creek Youth Center Society which is run by an elected board. We are a non-profit registered charity and therefore follow all the legal requirements and obligations as per the societies act. The Dawson Creek Youth Center Society and The Ark have been in operation since 1989.
The Ark has over 40 volunteer coaches, referees, youth workers, concession staff and board members. Volunteers put in over 400 hours per month during the Fall/Winter programs, and over 30 volunteer hours per month during the summer programs; an average of 300 volunteer hours per month resulting in over 3,700 volunteer hours for the year.
This last year over 7,500 people used The Ark; participating in programs and, or utilizing the facility through various rental opportunities. The Ark has received national attention of which people from across the country are requesting information on how to start an Ark, or similar facility in their community.