Executive Director Update

December, 2017

The end of December is fast approaching and with it an end of another year.    The bells of  St Paul’s can be heard from my office window, ringing out festive songs.  There have been a few Norman Rockwell moments in the past few weeks with the snow, and more snow and then more snow, and the bells.   It certainly puts me in the mood for Christmas festivities.

It was great to see so many family and friends at our annual Christmas lunch.   The team at the Meeting Place did a great job and the food was as usual, fantastic.    A big thank you to the BPACL team who organized the event, made the decorations and created that fantastic fireplace photo booth.  All your hard work is greatly appreciated!

It has been a very busy and eventful year here at BPACL and more recently we have made a few improvements and changes:


Bruce Peninsula Association for Community Living has recently launched a Facebook Page.

By liking us on Facebook you will receive notifications and updates on news, events and activities with Bruce Peninsula Association for Community Living. It is a great way to keep informed on all the fun things that are happening in our community.

It’s as simple as logging into Facebook, type Bruce Peninsula Association for Community Living in the search bar. Select BPACL’s page and click the “Like” button.  Once you have liked us, you will receive updates notices as they are posted.   We are excited about this new addition to our communications strategy and hope that it will help people supported, families and friends and community members keep better informed about what is happening.   If you have a community event that you would like us to post for you, please send it to Melissa Robbins at mrobbins@bpacl.ca and she will post on your behalf.

BPACL Website:    We have updated our website!  We hope you will enjoy the refreshed look.    The website is much easier to navigate and find information about our services.   We will continue to make improvements to the website as we progress through 2018.   One of the most exciting features is the calendar of events under the “What’s Happening” section.  The calendar includes community participation activities as well as agency wide events and some community events.   There is information about our services as well as the links to news and events.    We will continue to update and make improvements to the website as we progress through 2018.

BPACL Email Addresses:  In an effort to improve communications agency wide, BPACL has transitioned to individual email addresses for each staff member.   As an agency we needed to be able to communicate directly with our staff and much of our training is tied to an email address so it really was a necessity.   During this process we eliminated general email boxes for each site.   There is no longer a general “Berford St” or “Gould St” or “Mary St” email address.   The following is a list of the email addresses for the Senior Support Worker for each location.   Please feel free to email them directly regarding any matter that you would have sent to the general house email address.  All our Senior Support Workers work Monday to Friday daytime hours and therefore are easily accessible.

Location Name Email
Residential – Mary 1 Tiffany Greig tgreig@bpacl.ca
Residential – Mary 2 Kim Cole kcole@bpacl.ca
Residential – Gould St. Freida Overholster foverholster@bpacl.ca
Residential – Berford St. Courtney Thompson c.thompson@bpacl.ca
Enhanced SIL Sheila Thomas sthomas@bpacl.ca
SIL Sarah Campbell

Michael Mansfield



Community Participation Danielle Berube dberube@bpacl.ca

If you have any questions, please feel free to send an email to any one of the management team and we will be happy to help you out.  The email addresses for the management team are as follows:   mbell@bpacl.ca  (Executive Director),  jfinger@bpacl.ca (Manager SIL) or lbalint@bpacl.ca  (Manager Residential and Employment Supports) , cronholm@bpacl.ca (Manager Community Participation and Community Development) .   And if you are ever in doubt, please email info@bpacl.ca and Melissa Robbins (mrobbins@bpacl.ca ) will be happy to forward your email to the appropriate person.


New Build – Construction is well underway at 339 Mary St, the location of our new building.

The new housing development project has been many many years in the making and it is hard to believe that we are in the actual building phase.  The exterior of the building is looking beautiful with the framing almost at completion.   The interior construction work will take place over the winter months and into the spring.   At present we have no clear idea of when the project will be completed but we anticipate early summer.   When completed the new building will consist of four self contained 2 Bedroom units with additional central common space.  This new design will provide individuals with the opportunity to be as independent as they wish within a residential model.

As we proceed with the construction we need to begin to think about next steps in making plans for the tenancy of the building.   From the inception, the purpose of the new building has been to replace our Gould St group home which is no longer meeting all the needs of many of the individuals who reside there.   Additionally a five person congregate living model makes it more difficult for supported people to live truly person centered lives.

A lot of planning and discussions need to happen before decisions are made with regards to the tenancy of the home.  We will be meeting with families individually to talk about future planning for their family member and address concerns.

Laura Balint, Manager Residential Services and Employment will be contacting each family early in the New Year to coordinate a meeting time to begin the planning discussions.   If you have any questions prior to Laura connecting with you please feel free to contact her at: lbalint@bpacl.ca or by calling her at 226.668.5610

Community Participation – Employment and Modernization Project

We continue to move forward with the transformation of our Community Participation Program.    The focus of the last few months has been on development of quality programming activities.   The team has done a great job at developing and implementing new activities.   As part of this process we have developed a calendar for everyone to access on our website.  The calendar sets out activities that people supported by Community Participation program can participate in.   Many of the new activities will require people to register for the activities that will run for a specified period of time.  We are hopeful that we can then begin to offer the activities on a fee per activity basis in the future for individuals in the community who have passport funding and would also like to participate in some of the activities being offered.    All these changes are part of the Employment and Modernization Project – From Connectivity to Inclusion.   We are still in the beginning stages of the transformation of the Community Participation program that we committed to through the Employment and Modernization Project, and we are very excited about the future.  Stay tuned for more information as we continue to expand activities options for supported people that are community based.   And check out the calendar on the website.



Ya Canna Through Your Grannie Off the Bus:

Cheryl Craig who is supported by our SIL program participated in a community theatre group Sheatre Theatre https://sheatre.com/ .   Cheryl, acting for the first time in her life, had a role in “Ya Canna Throw Your Grannie Off the Bus.”   The play is an educational piece on Elder Abuse.  BPACL partnered with the Propeller Club to bring the play to Wiarton.  We had over 50 people attend the play on the afternoon of Nov 14, 2017.    We were featured in the Echo prior to the play, again in last weeks Echo.  A great event that highlights true integration of our supported people in our community.   We were all very proud of Cheryl!

Santa Clause Parade:

BPACL’s Community Participation team did a fantastic job on their float that they created for the Santa Clause parade.  Once again we found ourselves on the front page of the Wiarton Echo.   Sadly we did not win any of the prizes, but we have something to aspire to for next year.

The team also partnered with a community member and face painting was provided in the afternoon at our Berford Street space.    A very festive fireplace, created again, by the Community Participation team, rounded out the event for photo opportunities.   Check out some of the photos on our facebook page.  It was a very festive day in the community!

When I reflect on the year I see how much we have grown and changed.    And when I look forward to 2018 I see all the changes yet to come.   Change is inevitable, despite how hard it is some time.   As we change and grow the intention is always to improve the supports and enhance the programs offered to supported individuals.   Each and every day I observe these changes and see we are supporting people better.    We will continue to strive to always support people better.

I wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Michele Bell

Executive Director



Executive Director Update – December, 2017

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