The Kelowna Newcomers Club (KNC) is a welcoming organization, fully run by volunteers who are new to the Central Okanagan (including Kelowna, Peachland, West Kelowna and Lake Country) and want to help other newcomers get settled and to make friends. The Club is a non-religious, non-political, activities-based social club for men and women aged over 19 years. Tricia Anderson is the current President of KNC, Canada’s largest Newcomers Club, with well over 500 members and she explains how the Club works. KNC is also one of Canada’s oldest newcomer clubs, started in 1968 and fashioned after the Calgary club.
“Our club is open to people who have moved to Kelowna and the surrounding area in the last three years. KNC is an entirely volunteer run organization offering a wide range of activities, informative meetings and special functions,” she says. “We have about 50 or 60 volunteers who make every activity happen. Without volunteers, KNC would not exist.”
With so many members, everyone is sure to find new friends while taking part a myriad of activities. For the outdoorsy people there is golf, gardening, snowshoeing, dragon boating and hiking/walking. For those social types there is bowling, canasta, bridge, book club and coffee meet-ups. And for the gourmets, there are lunches, dinners, wine tours and pub nights. Along with special events there are also the regular monthly meetings featuring interesting and diverse speakers. And if they currently don’t offer your favourite activity, you can always suggest it on the Social Forum and help to coordinate it for the Club. As a member you can take part in as many, or as few, ,activities as you like.
“Volunteering with KNC gives individuals a wonderful opportunity to meet other newcomers to the area, get involved in their new community and utilize their leadership and organizational skills and talents,” says Tricia. “We are currently looking for activity coordinators (either solo or with a buddy), Board Roles, from Treasurer, to Special Events, to VP Activities. There are lots of ways to get involved for a short project or a longer term. Someone with a background in member management software would be fantastic!”
To get involved, simply join the Club and contact a Board Member or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. The annual membership is only $30.
“People who ask questions tend to be recruited,” laughs Tricia. “I wanted to find out about cycling. and ended up being communications Director, then President. Our chief IT support person is an accountant and his children laughed out loud when he told them he was taking on IT. He is our number one resource in that area so they are eating their words.”
If you are interested and new to the area, the Club has just started its activities again and would love to hear from you. Check out more details at www. kelownanewcomers.ca.
Dorothee Birker is the communications and development coordinator for KCR Community Resources. If you are interested in sharing your volunteer or organizational news, please contact Dorothee at email@example.com.