Chris Boughen served on the Heritage Advisory Committee for four years and co-chaired the Sourcebook Task Force.

Chris Boughen served on the Heritage Advisory Committee for four years and co-chaired the Sourcebook Task Force.

Volunteers get guidance from community halls sourcebook

They host weddings and seniors’ clubs, are a place for education and exercise, and provide venues for workshops and arts shows.

They host weddings and seniors’ clubs, are a place for education and exercise, and provide venues for workshops and arts shows. Community halls play an integral role within the Township of Langley, and now the volunteers who operate these facilities have their own guidebook to help them continue to thrive.

The Township of Langley’s Heritage Advisory Committee has created a Community Halls Sourcebook to help non-profit societies operate and maintain the community’s halls and run the societies that oversee them.

“Running a hall is no easy task,” said Township of Langley heritage planner Elaine Horricks. “It involves good stewardship of the hall society as well as of the hall itself. Taking care of both parts of the whole is an enormous undertaking, and one that provides a significant benefit to our community.”

The Township of Langley is home to more than 15 community halls, the majority of which are heritage buildings that have been a part of their neighbourhood’s history and growth since early settlement. Today, they continue to provide space where people can gather for meetings, celebrations, classes, and special events.

“Their value to our communities is evident in the sheer range of activities they support that enrich community life,” said Horricks, noting that community halls continue to provide their services thanks to non-profit societies made up of dedicated volunteers.

Last year, the Heritage Advisory Committee hosted a Halls Societies Workshop to bring those volunteers together to discuss their concerns, share information, and help prepare a source book to guide future hall volunteers. The book was to serve as a “go to” guide, outlining everything from legal responsibilities and financial management, to building maintenance and succession planning.

“It was a real learning process,” said Chris Boughen, who has served on the Heritage Advisory Committee for four years and co-chaired the Sourcebook Task Force. “There were a lot of different aspects I was not aware of. It took a lot of brainstorming.”

Now the Community Halls Sourcebook is complete, and the committee is hoping the information it contains will make it easier for societies to run the halls and get other people interested in helping out.

On Tuesday, May 5 the book will be will officially unveiled during a Community Hall Societies gathering and book launch, where complementary copies of the guide will be presented to those in attendance. The event will be held from 7 – 8:45 p.m. at the Willoughby Community Hall. Members of hall societies and other interested volunteers who would like to take part should RSVP to 604-533-6154 or alacki@tol.ca.

The gathering and book launch will also include a talk on insurance from Andrew Janzen, managing partner of Mardon Insurance Brokers in South Surrey. Janzen, a former long-time Langley resident who raised his family in Murrayville, has done extensive work with non-profits and societies. He will provide an overview of what those who run community halls need to know about insurance and answer audience questions.