Langley community halls topic of May 6 workshop

Volunteers who run community halls need support from a broader aspect of the community. Workshop will try and help.

Throughout the years, they have been mainstays of the community, hosting everything from dances and craft fairs, to meetings and marriages.

Halls are part of the fabric of the community, offering places to gather, learn, celebrate, mourn, worship, and keep fit. Next month, the Township of Langley’s heritage advisory committee is hosting a hall societies workshop that will help support the long-term survival of the community’s halls by collecting and documenting information on how local halls are run, funded, and maintained, how volunteers are engaged, and how resources are utilized.

The meeting will be held Tuesday, May 6, at Milner Church Hall, 6716 216 St., from 7 to  9 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

“Our halls exist at the heart of the distinct neighbourhoods that make up the Township of Langley,” said local historian Jane Watt, who will facilitate the meeting. “We know that halls are really good for our community.  They offer inexpensive local places where people can gather and interact.  But as the volunteers who run them age, many halls are struggling, not so much with bookings, but in keeping up with all the jobs that help them run well and stay maintained. We hope by collecting data and looking at succession planning we can help these valuable community assets thrive.”

Directors and users of Langley Township’s community halls understand the opportunities and challenges associated with maintaining these buildings and are encouraged to share their knowledge at the meeting. Participants are asked to bring stories and photos of their halls and the events they have hosted over the years to help create a sourcebook on the halls’ histories.

“Langley was built on co-operation, working together, looking out for each other,” Watt said. “That’s what we want to capture and enhance in our halls workshop and in the halls sourcebook that we will create as a ‘go to’ document for hall volunteers.”

To participate in the hall societies workshop, RSVP to the Township’s community development division at 604-533-6154 by April 30.

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