A new name… a new mission… a new direction. A time for change.
For the past 23 years, Team Vancouver established itself as the group that coordinates and outfits Lower Mainland queer athletes heading to the Gay Games and World Outgames. As the Games grew in popularity, so did our membership, peaking in 2006 at the Montreal Outgames. While we enjoyed tremendous success in hosting parties at international events and supplying stunning uniforms, the time had come when we needed to face our challenges in order to move forward and ensure the ongoing viability of the organization.
Over the years, our focus had revolved around the four year cycle of the Gay Games and Outgames. During non-Games year, our revenues dropped significantly along with interest in Team Vancouver. Even though we have existed since 1989, many people had not heard of Team Vancouver or understood its role. Though our membership fee was modest, many people questioned the value of joining.
Since joining the board in 2002 and serving as President from 2006-2011, these comments came up again and again. It became apparent that Team Vancouver needed to review its mandate. We needed a new Strategic Vision that can easily explain who we are, why we exist, and what we do. The board unanimously agreed that a consultant be hired to help us create a new Mission and Strategic Vision – one that would be relevant to our target audience; our members; our partners; our donors/sponsors and the queer community at large.
With the up-most dedication and commitment, the board devoted many hours understanding who we are, our strengths and weaknesses, and the needs of our community. In the end, we developed a whole new organization with a new name – Queer Active – and a new Mission Statement that will guide us in the years to come: “Empowering Queer Individuals through Sport and Fitness.”
The board has truly put their “blood, sweat and tears” into creating a new direction that is exciting and captivating. I encourage you to take the time to read our new Mission Statement and Shared Strategic Vision, and to share in our dream of helping queer youth ages 16-25 to get involved with the many queer sports groups in the Lower Mainland.
As part of our transition to Queer Active it is my honour to continue serving the Board, our new President and the queer community at large. I am looking forward to seeing us grow to become a more relevant, connected and “go-to” place for Lower Mainland queer youth. With your help I know we can accomplish many great things together and I encourage you to ‘Come Out & Play!’