By: Korie Marshall

Staff, members of the public and current and former board members gathered in Valemount on Tuesday Dec. 2nd to celebrate 30 years of providing continuing education in the Robson Valley.

What has become the Valemount Learning Centre started out as part of the Canoe Robson Educational Development Association – and it is still remembered by many as CREDA.

At an open house at the Learning Centre, Executive Director Riette Kenkel told the story of a recent call to the Centre. A newer resident of Valemount asked for CREDA, and the person at the front desk put the caller through to Darcy Wickstrom, who is in charge of the continuing education program, among other duties.

“Darcy speaking,” says Wickstrom.

“Oh, hi Darcy, I was looking for Creda,” said the caller.

“I am CREDA,” responded Wickstrom.

“But you are Darcy…” the person said, thinking the person’s name was Creda.

Wendy Dyson, treasurer of the current Valemount Learning Centre Board, explained how CREDA was started after the College of New Caledonia shut down their local campus.

“It was felt that CNC had a responsibility to continue providing continuing education to the community,” said Dyson at the gathering. CREDA was formed in 1984 in association with CNC, though it wasn’t until 1997 that the Valemount Learning Centre was finally opened in the Community Services building on Gorse Street. It moved to 5th Avenue, the former home of the Government Services office, in 2011.

Though CREDA is no longer an official organization, the continuing education program is still referred to internally as CREDA. But the Learning Centre now offers many more programs, including employment services on contract from the province, and has recently taken over providing youth programming through Columbia Basin Trust’s Community Directed Youth Fund.

Daren Sparks was recently hired to coordinate the youth program, and Jen Applebaum, President of the VLC board took the opportunity of the open house to present a $1000 cheque from the Board to the newest program.

Four of the original CREDA Board members were able to attend the open house – Joan Nordli, Maureen Brownlee, Marilyn Wheeler and Pete Amyoony.