After decades of fundraising, the new Edmonton Knottwood Community Center celebrates its grand opening – Edmonton

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Saturday marking 45 years of construction of a new community center in the Knottwood neighborhood of southeast Edmonton.

“I find it amazing. When I walked in, I felt energy,” said Brenda Kaufman of Knottwood. “I felt all the work and blessings that came into this building.”

“I’m excited, I’m playing crib with a lot of people in the neighborhood and we’re looking for a nice new place to play,” added another resident, Jamie Wichart.

The grand opening coincided with Community League Day, a time when leagues across the city celebrate what community is all about.

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But for the Knottwood Community League, this is a significant celebration. It began fundraising decades ago after outgrowing its previously occupied aging building.

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“There wasn’t much we could do in the small building, it was a daycare, and often it took precedence over other programs because we made money from it and it was a priority at the time,” Kaufman said. “But as our community league has evolved, so has our community and demographics, we have more seniors and single people.”

The new center includes a 2,500 square meter hall, a fireplace room, barrier-free washrooms and a large kitchen.

“We have a meeting place, we have a place seniors can enjoy, young children can gather in a safe and accessible way. It’s a welcome place to meet our neighbors and participate in programs like cooking and more,” said Thomas Shaw, President of the Knottwood Community League.

With Community League funds and support from the city and other levels of government, the project took 10 months to build.

“This is a community-led initiative,” said Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi. “They mobilized the community, they mobilized the resources, they mobilized the funding, and they brought the province and the federal government together.”

“I think a lot of leagues look at Knottwood with envy and I think we’re really going to look at the model and think about how we can get leagues together to talk about it. Aging infrastructure is a concern for us,” added Laura Cunningham-Shpeley, executive director of the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues.

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This is a cause the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues is working on.

“We’re working with the City of Edmonton to figure out how we can not only understand what the needs of the infrastructure process are, but how we can find other ways to find money and grants,” Cunningham-Shpeley said.

And while other communities try to improve their centers, Knottwood looks forward to finally making use of his new center.

“We needed something that was accessible to everyone, we needed something that was close together, a lot of people in the community either don’t have cars or they don’t have the money to drive downtown,” Kaufman said. “This will be a huge help in bringing all of these people together and staying connected and staying stronger in the future.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc. After decades of fundraising, the new Edmonton Knottwood Community Center celebrates its grand opening – Edmonton

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