20 May, 2009
The Ghana-Canada Association of British Columbia: One of the Most Active Community Organizations in the Lower Mainland
By Charles Quist-Adade, PhD
two years from now, in 2011 to be precise, the Ghana-Canada Association
of British Columbia (GCABC), will mark its silver jubilee. Formed
in 1986 the GCABC set itself a mission is to serve as a support
group for the social and economic development of Ghanaians and Ghanaian-Canadians
and others who identify with Ghana who reside in British Columbia.
And it has a lot to celebrate. Characterized as one of the most
active community organizations in the Lower Mainland, the association
has risen from a modest beginning to a vibrant and dynamic association
with an impressive list of achievements.
The association with a membership of approximately 400 has the
following objectives: to promote and protect the interests of Ghanaian-Canadians
in British Columbia, to educate ourselves, the youth and the Canadian
public about the history, heritage and current affairs of both Ghana-Canada,
to provide a forum for activities and events that will promote cultural
awareness as well as culture exchange between peoples of African
descent., to undertakeand /or sponsor programmes and activities
that allow British Columbians to learn about Ghana and her rich
culture and traditions, and to liaise and collaborate with organizations
with similar interests.
For the past 23 years, the past executives of the GCABC together
with its supportive members have faithfully worked hard to accomplish
many of these objectives. The current executive committee, which
was elected in December 2007, is no exception. Speaking at a gala
event marking the 52nd second independence anniversary of the Republic
of Ghana in March this year, president of the GCABC outlined several
activities and accomplishments of the current executives. Below
are excerpts from his speech.
“We have created a scholarship fund for our youth. Currently we
have raised more than $3,000. Our short term goal is to reach $5,000
by the July next year and give out the first scholarships during
our Ghana Fest celebrations in August 2009. We organized one of
the most successful cultural events in recent years—Ghana Fest08—
in August this year. It well attended it became the talk of the
town the whole of the summer!
We revised our constitution. Please, join me in thanking the constitution
drafting committee members for their superb job and sacrifice. Please,
stand up to be acknowledged if you are here: Mrs. Theresa Ohene
Asante, Messrs Kwenu Turkson, Godfrey Lovelace-Dodoo, Mr. Kwadwo
Frempong, and Mrs. Gifty Frimpong. We are grateful to you, respected
We also organized a very successful family picnic in the summer.
The picnic was not only well attended, it was real fun as members
engaged in a series of games and even participated in ludu, spar,
ampe and dancing competitions! We are particularly beholden to Dr.
Clement Apaak for providing music to entertain us. Chief, we are
grateful to you!
We jointly organized with Kwantlen Polytechnic University this
year’s African Heritage/Black History Month Confab in February.
We sponsored the African Youth Symposium organized by Mr. Bernard
Piprah and his colleagues. We continued with tradition, by organizing
the 51st Independence Anniversary of our Motherland.
Thanks to a colleague of mine at Kwantlen, we got our website “sexed”
up and made more user-friendly. Dr. Xing Liu gave our website as
a project to his computer science students to work on during the
spring semester. And by Jove! They did a great job! Dr. Liu, we
are grateful to you. At the appropriate time we will honour your
students, particularly Mrs. Farhana Asif, who has volunteered to
be our “webmistress.”
We rallied the community to participate in several events organized
by individual members and gave presents to paid-up members on the
occasions of their anniversaries. We also assisted in organizing,
sadly enough, the funeral services of the late Mr. Mike Antwi here
in Surrey and in Ghana. The Association purchased a wreath and wrote
an eulogy which were presented at the funeral services in Ghana.
Thanks to our organizing secretary and treasurer we were able to
increase the number of paid-up members substantially. And thanks
to your patronage of our events, we were able to improve the financial
health of the GCABC. We have collaborated with the KBNF on several
projects including a very successful benefit table tennis tournament
held at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Our association donated
cash and in-kind services to this fundraiser event. Many of the
executives and association members helped with the organization
of the tournament.
Briefly, here are our future plans:
In 2009 we plan to register a charity wing of the association to
raise funds specifically for our youth scholarship project. We intend
to adopt a village school in Ghana. We also plan to apply for federal
and provincial grants to set up a Ghanaian languages program for
our youth. We hope to work with other African/ Black organizations
in lower mainland especially the newly formed United African Communities
of BC to build African Cultural Centre, a centre we call our own!
Last, but certainly not the least, we will launch what we call
“Our Contribution to our Children’s Future Appeal” to solicit financial
contributions from our members to our Youth Scholarship Fund. Letters
will be addressed to you in the New Year. Be part of history! Stand
up and be counted! We hope we count on your enthusiastic support.”
The rest of the executive committee members are:
Mr. Joseph Frimpong, Vice President
Ms. Patience Okantey, Secretary
and Acting Organizing Secretary
Mrs. Mary Stacey, Assistant Secretary
Mrs. Judith Lartey, Treasurer
Ms. Akosua Asumadu, Youth Coordinator
Mr. Kweku Gaisie, Public Relations Officer
Mrs. Gifty Frimpong, Women's Coordinator
Mrs. Augusta Odoom, Assistant Treasurer