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Boys and Girls Club rebrands to ‘BGC Williams Lake’ as part of national push for gender-inclusivity

The Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake and District has a new name: BGC Williams Lake.
BGC Williams Lake staff includes youth outreach worker Dylan McGuire (back from left), youth engagement worker with NOOPA Jo O’Connor, youth engagement worker Mycaela Ryckman, independent living co-ordinator Derek Godin (front from left), manager of club operations Krista Harvey and harm reduction co-ordinator Laurel White. The group is welcoming the organization’s, formerly Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake and District’s, new name, BGC Williams Lake. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

The Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake and District has a new name: BGC Williams Lake.

The move comes alongside a national rebranding of the Boys and Girls Club of Canada (now BGC Canada) launched this past April, which aims to become more inclusive by removing gender from its name.

Traci Anderson, executive director with BGC Kamloops, which has recently entered into a merger with BGC Williams Lake, said the 120-year-old organization opens its doors to all children and teens, and believes its name should reflect that.

“It’s to ensure we are being very inclusive, and non-binary when it comes to boy/girl (pronouns),” said Anderson, who will also be the acting executive director in Williams Lake through the unification process.

“We are a long-standing organization with a lot of history, so it was not an easy task but one that was very relevant and important to us.”

In Williams Lake, Krista Harvey has taken on the role of manager of club operations for BGC Williams Lake, and will be the lead person and point of contact in the community.

Both said the creation of an advisory board in each city, and people to bounce ideas off, has been a great asset so far.

“We are connecting quite regularly,” Anderson said. “We’ve been really happy about it and we’re all feeling really positive. The staff there in Williams Lake is amazing.”

READ MORE: Local volunteers fill hygiene kits for Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake and District

While BGC Williams Lake has amalgamated with BGC Kamloops, all programs and services offered in the lakecity will serve the needs of the local community in Williams Lake and the surrounding areas. In addition, whatever funds are raised in Williams Lake for the non-profit group will remain in Williams Lake.

“It’s not going to be a cookie cutter of the Kamloops club,” she said. “So, over the next year or so, people will start to see some changes to signage and the brand. But the Williams Lake club is really operating the way that it needs to operate to serve the needs of the Williams Lake community, first and foremost.

“We are really mindful the club there is still the Williams Lake club, and we are just working in the background to support.”

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Greg Sabatino

About the Author: Greg Sabatino

Greg Sabatino graduated from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops with a Bachelor of Journalism degree in 2008.
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