RA Staff Hardship Fund

We have set-up an RA Staff Hardship Fund campaign on GoFundMe in order to collect funds to directly help staff members in need. Thank you for your kind and generous support.

Click here to donate

 


 

RA LifeFIT At-Home Workouts

RA LifeFIT’s talented instructors have created at-home workout videos to share with our members to help us get through these uncertain times - Stronger Together!

At-Home Workouts

 

 

TEMPORARY CLOSURE

Please note that in response to Covid-19 the RA is temporarily closed and all programs, activities and services have been suspended. 

In light of the evolving situation and strict restrictions, we are no longer able to have a representative on site to answer your calls. If there is anything we can help you with during this period of closure, we would ask that you please send an email to info@racentre.com.

We will respond as quickly possible, but please note that we are operating with very minimal staff on a reduced schedule. 

We appreciate how difficult this evolving situation is and we thank you for your understanding and patience.

Please take care of yourselves, each other and be well.


MESSAGE TO RA MEMBERS

Friday, May 29, 2020 

To our Members, partners, volunteers and staff, thank you for continuing to keep the RA community safe, healthy and strong. Unprecedented times have called for unprecedented efforts and through your loyalty, dedication and support our not-for-profit Association will return Stronger Together. 

As the federal, provincial and municipal governments phase in re-opening plans in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are questions about when RA activities and services will return, and how they will look when they do.   

RA Senior Management and the Board of Directors are diligently working on a multifaceted re-opening plan that will be phased in when government and health authorities deem it safe to do so. It is important to note that we will need to be in compliance with the orders from the civil authorities upon opening. Although we share everyone’s desire to get back to our beloved RA, the health and safety of everyone involved will determine when we return. We ask for your patience as we continue to work towards bringing our RA community back together. Until then, continue to follow the guidelines set by public health authorities to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Only by working together will we be able to make a difference and safely return.  

As the City of Ottawa and Province announce their re-opening plans our community of RA members will be affected in different ways and at different times. 

RA LifeFIT managed corporate fitness sites – QC and ON 
The RA will follow the direction of our clients and partners under the orders from the civil authorities as to when and how to re-open.  We look forward to offering the quality fitness and wellness services our corporate members have come to expect once our clients and partners indicate it is safe to welcome their employees back on-site. 

RA Centre on Riverside Drive – ON 
The Ontario government has  further extended most of the emergency orders to June 9  to protect public health and safety from COVID-19 as the province eases some restrictions as part of the first stage of reopening Ontario.  A Framework for Reopening our Province lays out Ontario’s approach to restarting the economy. It includes guiding principles and public health recommendations the government will use to gradually and safely reopen businesses, services and public spaces. Click here to read

On May 15 the Ontario Provincial Government announced the beginning of the first stage of reopening focused on workplaces that are well-positioned to follow public health advice to maintain physical distancing, implement workplace safety guidance and limit gatherings. 

The following items of interest were included in the Phase 1 announcement: 

  • Several activities  were  authorized to re-open under outdoor recreational amenities, individual outdoor recreational sports and individual sports. All activities are limited to those that can be played with physical distance of at least two metres from any other person (i.e., no team or contact sports) with limited access to facilities (i.e., no locker rooms, no change rooms, no showers and no clubhouses, washrooms and emergency aid only).

Many members were excited to hear this news – as were we. The RA is currently assessing the risks and benefits of re-opening some parts of the facility. It is paramount that as we move to re-open, we do so with the appropriate procedures in place to safely accommodate and protect members and staff. A local facility recently opened only to be forced to close 24 hours later. We will learn from their experience and ensure that as we open areas, we will do so safely and prepared to respond to evolving requirements from civil authorities.

  • The cancellation of all overnight camps with the promise of an announcement on day camps in the near future.  

We understand that parents and children are anxious to hear about RA Summer Day Camp programming.  We sympathize but please know that we will need to consider a multitude of factors including the health and safety of everyone involved before proceeding. Stay tuned. 

As social beings, it’s hard not to be excited about re-opening and many are eager to see members and staff and make sure they are doing well. As an  organization,  care needs to be put into any re-open plans to ensure the safety of our visitors and members. We need to ensure we can safely move people through the building and  that we can adapt the activities  and implement protocols that adhere to emergency orders and guidelines set out by public health authorities. As you can appreciate the highly social  environment that is the fabric of the RA community, our large facility, popular programs and services do not lend well to these types of restrictions. Senior staff are working on this to chart the way forward to  ramp up to serviceability.  Look for an update next week on what we see as the first stage of our return to operations.

Upon re-opening, the RA will be different, that much we do know but our community of members, partners, volunteers and staff will remain the heart of the Association. 

Thank you for your support during this difficult time. We look forward to seeing you soon!

 

 

CEO UPDATE

Thursday, May 28, 2020
 
Dear RA Community,
 
I hope that this correspondence finds you, your family and loved ones well at this time.  At the risk of stating the obvious, these are precarious times for our community including the RA. At the time of writing, the organization has been shuttered for over 10 weeks. Thank you all for your ongoing patience and support during this time. The  RA Board of Directors, our senior team and I are focused on the planning to bring the operations back in a prudent, slow and methodical manner. We anticipate that this recovery will take a considerable length of time.
 
It is for that reason, I write to you today.  The RA was in the concluding phase of a nomination period for the RA Board of Directors when the decision was made to cease our operations due to the pandemic. It is our plan to delay the election until such time as our operations have been successfully resumed and our organization has made its way through what is anticipated to be a very difficult financial recovery.  A new nomination period will commence once we have reached that stage, allowing RA members to consider serving on the Board prior to the new election.  In order to maintain continuity of decision-making and corporate knowledge through this challenging time the Board of Directors, just last evening (Wednesday, May 27, 2020) voted unanimously in support of extending their mandates in order to assist us through the crisis.  At this point, we would anticipate holding an election for the Board of Directors at some time in the first six months of 2021.
 
Barring an extended continuation of the emergency we will hold an Annual General Meeting in the Fall of 2020 (without election) and will follow up with another AGM in the Spring of 2021.  
 
Like most not-for-profit organizations, a scenario like this pandemic and operational shut down was never contemplated or provided for in our current by-laws.  In the spirit of transparency with our members, we felt compelled to communicate this necessary decision immediately.  
 
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this decision, please contact me at trhodenizer@racentre.com. I will, of course, continue to post CEO updates as we manage through this challenging period.
 
Stay safe and well.  We look forward to seeing you again! 

 

MESSAGE TO RA MEMBERS

April 29, 2020
 

Dear RA Family, 

We are committed to doing everything possible to secure the future of the RA in these unprecedented times and we are all grateful for the continued patience, trust and on-going support many of you have expressed.

We are happy to release a new message from our Chief Executive Officer Tosha Rhodenizer. We have been temporarily closed for 45 days. Please take a moment to share with your contacts and all levels of government.  Click here to watch

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this evolving and challenging situation. We look forward to when we can safely reopen our doors and welcome our RA community back – Stronger Together.

Please take care of yourselves, each other and be well. 

CEO Message - April 29, 2020

CEO COVID-19 Update April 29, 2020

RA Chief Executive Officer Tosha Rhodenizer gives an update on the RA and the RA family – 45 days into our temporary closure. Click here to watch.

 



MESSAGE TO RA MEMBERS

April 9, 2020
 
Dear RA Community,
 
I hope this email finds you and your loved ones safe and well in these turbulent times. Our combined efforts of maintaining physical distance while complying with other Public Health Agency of Canada recommendations will hopefully minimize the impact of this pandemic in our community.
 
Once again, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to those of you who contributed to the RA Staff Hardship fund.  These desperately needed funds have helped bridge our staff to the government support that has been offered. You have made a real difference for a number of our families.  Thank you also for all of the messages of support and encouragement that you continue to send to myself and our team.  I am pleased to report that early renewals of a number of our clubs and activities continue and speak loudly of the character of our membership. 
 
As we approach the long weekend we are concluding our fourth week of shutdown.  This is by far the most challenging time in the history of this organization.  Our focus at this time is to maintain the safety and security of the building and campus while planning for the ramp-up of our operations.  In the spirit of commencing operations, I am very pleased to announce that the badminton and archery roof will be replaced over the next two (2) months.  We have successfully secured debt financing to proceed with that needed work.  We continue to closely watch all financial support initiatives in the hopes that our Not-For-Profit continues to proudly serve each of you well into the future.
 
I hope that you all enjoy this upcoming weekend and can do so in the presence of your loved ones either virtually or in person (where allowed of course). 

We would love to know how you are doing!  Feel free to share how you are staying healthy and active as well as your physical distancing ideas and stories on social media. Please be sure to tag us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram so we can share. 
 
Stay safe and well.  We look forward to seeing you again! 

 


Important update on the RA's Board of Directors Call for Candidates, Election and Annual General Meeting

Due to increased concerns and the ever changing environment due to the Coronavirus COVID-19, the Recreation Association of the Public Service of Canada (the RA) has announced that the RA Board of Directors Call for Candidates period has been extended (date to be determined) and the subsequent Election period has been postponed (date to be determined).
 
Since our initial communication on this on March 2, 2020, the situation of COVID-19 has been rapidly evolving. The number of infections has increased substantially worldwide, leading to further restrictions regarding the hosting of events and gatherings by public health authorities. In order to decrease transmission of COVID-19, Ottawa Public Health is recommending that all residents of Ottawa practice social distancing which includes the cancellation of meetings and group gatherings.
 
In light of this recommendation, the RA’s Annual General Meeting, which was scheduled for April 30, 2020, has been postponed (new date to be determined).
 
We would like to thank all of our members and supporters for your cooperation and understanding during this time. Despite this difficult situation, we appreciate your support and are working hard to ensure the future of our not-for-profit association.

 


MESSAGE TO RA MEMBERS

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Dear RA Members,

As you are aware, the RA made the difficult decision to suspend operations as of the end of business Sunday, March 15, 2020. These are extraordinary circumstances and our organization continues to work through the various implications to our staff, volunteers, members and community.

We know that the next number of weeks will raise many questions and place significant strain on many individuals, businesses and organizations – and the RA is no exception.

As expected, the RA is receiving several questions and inquiries about our programs, services and operations. We are diligently working through these messages, but please note we are currently operating with very minimal staff on a reduced schedule. Your patience and understanding are appreciated.

Once we return to regular operations, the RA will be reviewing and reconciling accounts for the interruption in service.  We will communicate more on this at that time.  

The RA Leadership team is taking all required actions to ensure the health and safety of our staff, members and RA community and to help ensure the future of our not-for-profit Association. This has resulted in significant actions, including major reductions to our workforce through temporary lay-offs. Please know that not one of these decisions has been easy. 

For this reason, we respectfully ask that if possible in the spirit of the RA value “Stronger Together” you consider leaving your account “as is” with no adjustment, renew your membership or register now for summer programs in a united effort to mitigate the serious financial strain that these unprecedented times have placed on our not-for-profit Association. 

We also know that many of our staff members will struggle to make ends meet during this temporary lay-off.  We have set-up an RA Staff Hardship Fund campaign on GoFundMe in order to collect funds to directly help staff members in need. Through the generosity of our RA community, we will be able to “Give Back” and help ensure that members of our team are able to focus on what is really important, staying healthy, by reducing their worry on the necessities of their households.

This past week has been incredibly difficult for our entire RA community – members, staff and volunteers. We are truly blessed to be part of such a caring and compassionate community and we appreciate every message and show of support that we have and continue to receive. Please know that we are working diligently to ensure that we will have our beloved RA to return to once we emerge from this crisis "Stronger Together".

We hope you are remaining safe, supported and healthy. We look forward to seeing you again! 


 

CEO Message - March 26, 2020

RA CEO Message - March 26, 2020

RA CEO Tosha Rhodenizer gives an update on the RA and the RA family – one week later – and highlights the urgent need for the three levels of government to step-up and help not-for-profits and charities. Click here to watch

 


RA Staff Hardship Fun

RA Staff Hardship Fund - GoFundMe campaign

We have set-up an RA Staff Hardship Fund campaign on GoFundMe in order to collect funds to directly help staff members in need.

 


CEO Message - March 19, 2020

CEO Message - March 19, 2020

If you have not already taken the time to watch, we encourage you to view the March 19 message from RA CEO Tosha Rhodenizer. Click to view.

 


 

TEMPORARY CLOSURE - What does this mean? 

The RA is proud to offer a broad range of programs and services. As a community partner our priority is always the health and safety of our members, clients, volunteers and staff including many who may be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. 

With new cases indicating transmission through community contact and after careful consideration and review of recommendations from community health leaders, the RA made the difficult decision to suspend operations as of the end of business Sunday, March 15, 2020. 


The following is a list of impacted programs and services: 

  • Clubs – all club programming and activities within the RA Centre has been suspended.
  • Racquet Courts - no access at any time.
  • March Break Camps – following the advice of public health authorities we cancelled all of our March Break Camps. A full credit will be put on your account.
  • Arena Operations – all rentals and ice activities will be suspended. Those with ice rentals will be contacted by staff members to re-schedule ice times upon the resumption of operations. 
  • Sport Leagues – until further notice league operations have been suspended. Further updates will be provided upon resumption of play. 
  • Fitness Centre and Classes – operations at the Riverside Campus (RA Centre) are being suspended. All of our corporate LifeFIT sites are currently closed until such time as our clients and partners indicate otherwise.
  • Food and Beverage Services – The Fieldhouse and CaféRA are closed. Scheduled events and conferences will be contacted to look at alternative dates following our resumption of operations. 

As expected, the RA is receiving several questions and inquiries about our programs, services and operations. We are diligently working through these messages, but please note we are currently operating with very minimal staff on a reduced schedule. Your patience and understanding are appreciated.

Once we return to regular operations, the RA will be reviewing and reconciling accounts for the interruption in service.  We will communicate more on this at that time.  

We continue to pay close attention to their updates, advice and direction. As a responsible member of the community we are working to support the efforts of health officials to stop the spread of COVID-19. 


Ottawa Public Health continues to stress that the best way to prevent infection is:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just washed your hands with soap
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hand
  • If possible, stay home if you are sick
  • All travellers should follow the Ottawa Public Health guidance.
  • If you have even mild symptoms, stay home and call the public health authority in the province or territory you are in to inform them. They will provide advice on what you should do.
  • Avoid visiting people in hospitals or long-term care centres if you are sick 
  • It is still recommended to get your flu shot if you haven’t already as the flu virus is still circulating in the community.
  • Consider social distancing (ideally 2 metres).

For information on how to protect yourself, symptoms, and current travel advice, please refer to the following sites:

 

 

Thank you in advance for your cooperation. We can all work together to help keep our RA community safe and healthy.