February 14th, 2020
Re: Notice of Victoria Integration Society (Recreation Integration Victoria) Services Ending Effective March 31st, 2020
Dear Community Members,
The last year has brought many challenges to the organization and its staff. The changes began with two of our major municipal partners withdrawing from the funding partnerships in the summer of 2019. This was followed shortly after by the departures of Doug Nutting, Executive Director of 32 years and Faye Cawsey, Administration and Special Projects, at the end of August. Their 60 years of combined experience was immeasurable and we have felt their loss significantly. The remaining municipalities that formed the RIV partnership gave their notice of funding withdrawal effective December 31st, 2019, accounting for more than 50% of RIV’s funding. As of January 1st, 2020, RIV was no longer sustainable.
Regrettably, we must inform you that RIV services will be ending effective March 31st, 2020.
RIV’s Board of Directors and staff have worked tirelessly to leverage existing partnerships and find solutions to ensure the continuation of its remaining services. Although the municipalities have individually assumed the administration of the Leisure Assistant’s Pass, ensuring this vital service is not lost to anyone, it quickly became clear that no one singular organization could assume the remainder of RIV’s services, and services must be re-housed individually.
Services affected include:
1. The Leisure Assistance Program (Volunteer Program);
2. The Adapted Outdoor Equipment Loan Program;
3. The Summer Inclusion Service for Children with Disabilities (including the “Yellow Booklet” – Summer Booklet for Children and Youth with Disabilities);
4. The Leisure Access Victoria App (LAVA);
5. Other Miscellaneous Information & Referral services;
6. The Financial Administration of: Teen Community Connections, DSA Victoria & OneAbility.
The Good News
RIV’s Board of Directors and Staff are currently working on transition plans for each service.
We are unable to announce news of these plans so as not to compromise ongoing discussions, however, we are pleased to inform you that Lifetime Networks will become the new administrative partner for Community Living Victoria’s Teen Community Connections program, a role previously taken on by RIV.
More News to Come
We will be providing details of solutions, as we are able to share them, on our website and on Facebook.
RIV’s office & staff will remain available to you beyond March 31st to answer questions and ensure a smooth transition for everyone.
RIV leaves behind a 30 year history and legacy of championing inclusion at all levels. It is important to recognize the hard work and dedication of all those who have come together over 30 years to participate in this common cause of inclusion.
Kirsty Jack & Amie Renaud (Co-Acting Directors), on behalf of the Board of Directors