Profile: The A-Zone, Moncton Boys and Girls Club

23 03 2010

Boys and Girls Club of Moncton is part of  Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada.  It has an outstanding arts programcalled: A-Zone.  The centre was founded in Moncton in 1957. Its mandate is “To provide a safe, supportive place where children and youth can experience new opportunities, overcome barriers, build positive relationships and develop confidence and skills for life.” (web). The general model is an arts program within an established community centre.

The catchment area is 9 communities including low income housing areas in Moncton, New Brunswick. The languages of service are primarily English and French. It serves/works with ages: 6-18. The daily number of children and youth that attend the entire A-Zone program is between 175-200 participants per day. There are 12 A-Zone programs that run each day. The hours of operation of the A-Zone program are 3-9 PM Monday through Saturday.  The arts disciplines offered are music, dance, drama, photography, movie making, creative writing, painting, and drawing.  The entire club has 3 full-time staff, 3-4 part-time staff,  138 approximate volunteers/year.  It has a permanent art studio within a building that the Boys and Girls Club owns.  It is a drop-in. It offers registered classes.   It is free.  It has many events and art shows.

The A-Zone is really good at outreach. Staff go out each night with their bus and pick up 100 kids from 9 surrounding communities. There is a problem with accessibility because most kids can’t walk to the club because there are highways in the way. The distance for a full bus run is 15km (round-trip), and the maximum distance of any community is 9km away.

They are known for their amazing variety of arts and music, as well as their transportation service for the children and youth; which makes this free arts program highly accessible. Its strengths are its welcoming environment for New Canadians, French, English and Indigenous who can all come together. Its goals this year are to recruit members of the retiring community to volunteer. Its challenges this year are staff/volunteer turnover and funding. It really needs a second bus so they can reach all 9 communities every night in order to conduct outreach.

Boys and Girls Club of Moncton has a board of directors, and a strong program committee.  Its annual budget range for the A-Zone is $26,000. The program costs $26/per child/yr.  It relies heavily on volunteers and donations-in-kind.  It is funded minimally by the gov’t with the exception of a substantial government grant recently donated to renovate their building.

Boys and Girls Club of Moncton is interested in partnering or doing outreach with other community arts projects/programs/organizations/resources. It is runs an established community arts program. It is interested in sistering/linking with another emerging/established ones to share information with.

Interview with Daniel LeBlanc, Executive Director on January 18, 2010.

Please see ArtBridges’ Google Map for contact information.


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