ABOUT US

Welcome to The Square

OUR STORY

St. James Community Square serves as a hub of community engagement where participants take part in vibrant and diverse cultural, social, educational, and recreational programs.

St-James-Community-Square-Outside

St James Community Square (The Square) is a Kitsilano landmark, and has been home to many community groups for over 90 years.

St. James Community Square is much loved by the Vancouver community that fought for its continuance when our building was put up for sale. Fortunately, the City of Vancouver purchased the property and provided us the St. James not for profit society with a long-term lease arrangement. Our facility hosts over 500,000 user visits per year. Facilities include the Mel Lehan Hall, a Gym, Daycare, and Pre-school, a variety of multi-purpose rooms and dedicated office space.

In partnership with the Rogue Folk Club and other cultural organizers, we offer a variety of performances, with artists coming from all over the world. The Mel Lehan Performance Hall, a century old former church sanctuary has been updated along with the rest of the St. James complex and includes a new stage and a  popular oak-sprung dance floor. Our Hall is used for concerts, bands, orchestras, symphonies, theatre productions, rehearsals, dancing, yoga, art exhibitions, fairs, book and CD launches, weddings, memorial services, community meetings, workshops, parties and celebrations, and film making.

We aim to reach a broad community, offering multipurpose rooms to community organizers, performers, businesses, and social groups as space to come together. Anything is possible at St. James, where we are flexible to users needs. We are currently creating outdoor terraced spaces or community gatherings and activities.

St James and the programs offered have evolved over time to match changing community needs; our priority continues to be to offer comparatively affordable rates for a range of flexible, well-maintained rental spaces. . Welcome to the Square.

Values that guide The Square mission

OUR VALUES

OPPORTUNITY

St. James Community Square is well positioned to play a vital role in the community. Our space is a shared resource in which experiences, values, and opportunities merge. We serve as a hub of opportunity where social interaction and social inclusion are valued, and community ties are strengthened.

COMMUNITY COHESION

St. James Community Square is committed to helping create a strong and thriving community in which individuals from all cultures, backgrounds, and beliefs are able to develop mutual understanding and respect.

COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP

St James Community Square values partnerships and collaborations that serve to strengthen, support, and transform the partners, resulting in improved community programs, more efficient use of resources, and well-aligned partner and community goals.

ACCESSIBILITY

We are committed to removing any barriers to access to our facilities and programs, and constantly strive to meet universal needs. Our goal is to have our cultural, social, educational, and recreational programs easily accessible, so that they can be enjoyed by all.

RESPONSIVE TO COMMUNITY NEED

We are quickly responsive and flexible to the needs of both ongoing and new building users We move beyond traditional functions of community spaces, limited only by the imagination of prospective tenants. We embrace the variety of evolving programs that take place within St. James Community Square. We can accommodate a wide range of diverse activities with various space and time options.

St. James Community Square Board of Directors

Elaine Murray

Chair

Elaine came to the governance Board of St James Community Square in 2010, after retiring from the Government of B.C.  During her career she was committed to community development, and funded many services for both community living, as well as  child and family service programs.  She currently chairs two Boards of  Directors, and is a member of an advocacy organization called Board Voice of BC.  

Joe Gilling

Vice-Chair

After Joe‘s career as an Energy Economist with the World Bank, the family moved to SW England where, for 12 years, they were active in the social and cultural life of their village. Among many other things, Joe was a founding member of the Tavy Tars sea shanty group and remains an avid sailor. In 2010 the family moved home to Vancouver where they again became involved in the community. Joe is an active member of the St James Community Square Society, serving as current Vice Chair 

Mel Lehan

Past Chair

Mel is a long time community, environmenal and social justice activist.  He led the campaign to save St. James Church in Vancouver from being demolished, and then Chaired the organization as it created St. James Community Square, a thriving non-profit community space.  He also started the long running Kitsilano Farrmer’s Market.  Mel is very proud to have been on the St. James Community Square Board from that dramatic 1994 beginning, right up to the present.

Jean Gordon

Secretary

Jean comes to St. James with a background in Arts journalism, strategic communication and community-based planning.

Lise Bendroit

Treasurer

Lise is a long-time financial professional & advocate for the non-profit sector. She remains excited for the evolving future of St James Community Square.

Justin Ho

Director

Justin has lived around the corner from The Square for over 15 years and has enjoyed many events over the years here. He has a 20 plus year history working collaboratively in community and non-profit organization, with a focus on collaboration, partnerships and membership engagement.

Steve Edge

Director

Steve Edge co-founded The Rogue Folk Club in Vancouver in 1987, presenting annually over 50 concerts of folk, roots, and world music at mid-sized venues such as the Wise Hall (1988-2003) and the St. James Community Square Hall (2004-2020). He began presenting a weekly radio show, The Saturday Edge On Folk, on CiTR fm 101.9 in June 1985. The show continues to air for 4 hours every Saturday morning. In 2016 Steve won the Unsung Hero Award at the Canadian Folk Music Awards, and was inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame

Dave Hood

Director

To reach a Board member, please call 604-739-9373. If you have interest in serving on the Board of Directors of St. James Community Square, please contact the Board Chair.

Long Term Residents at The Square