“Our focus is on trying to improve the Village of Richmond,” said Richmond Village Association President Ryan Pinet as the Richmond Village Association held its Annual General Meeting via Zoom Wednesday night..
Pinet returns as the President of the association. Returning directors are Judy Wagdin, Jordan Newman, Roland Rotter and Sylvain Sauve. Glenn Fisher has also joined the board for his first term.
Although the board is in place, volunteers are still needed for the many activities the RVA runs throughout the year.
“2021 will be a relaunch year for us,” said Pinet. “We will be looking for extra hands at the volunteer level.”
Pinet gave a rundown of the different activities and programs the RVA operates throughout the year. One of them, the summer fun day, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The spring clean-up, community garage sale and the walking club were also affected by the pandemic. Also affected is a community bus for seniors operated by Rural Ottawa South Support Services (ROSSS).
The Richmond Santa Claus parade, however, was a huge success. Pinet said the RVA worked with the Richmond Agricultural Society to hold the event in a drive-by format at the Richmond Fairgrounds. Estimates are that close to 1,500 cars drove through the stationary parade.
For the youth of Richmond, the RVA operates a youth program that, before the pandemic, was meeting twice a month at the Richmond Community Centre. The program is run by paid facilitators, and the RVA receives funding from the City of Ottawa to operate the program.
“The Richmond Youth Centre is another initiative that is part of the RVA. This provides an opportunity for local youth to, twice a month, get together and develop some connections in the community with peers and have that supportive environment where youth can come together.”
The RVA also plays a role in advocacy for the community. The board’s vice-president, Jordan Newman, took the lead on most of the advocacy items.
“That involves things like being heavily involved with the Official Plan Review, as new developments are happening in Richmond,” Pinet said. “We are in contact with the city regularly on these issues.”
Pinet said that, by definition, all residents and businesses in the Village of Richmond are automically members of the RVA. There are no membership dues, as there are in many other community associations. Because of that, the RVA relies heavily on volunteers to organize and run events like the Santa Claus Parade. Those volunteers looking for a deeper level of involvement are needed for the RVA’s programming.
“An organization like ours needs a very diverse skill set,” Pinet said.
For more information on the Richmond Village Association, visit richmondvillage.ca.