By Jim Timlick
A new year and a new chapter for Epic Opportunities.
On Jan. 28, Epic Opportunities and its administrative team officially moved into the organization’s new head office location at 200-1600 Ness Ave. in Madison Square. The move concluded a process that began nearly four years ago when Epic Opportunities management undertook a search for a new headquarters that would meet the future needs of the non-profit and the people it serves.
Executive Director Ruby Reimer says one of the priorities when it came to choosing a new head office space was finding a location that would provide better public visibility and help enhance awareness of the important work Epic Opportunities does in supporting people with intellectual disabilities to live and work independently in the community.
“It is important to note that although a new head office location represents a ‘brick and mortar’ reality it is so much more than that to Epic Opportunities,” she says.
“We want families, friends and businesses to know we exist so that awareness of our important work can grow. Likewise, we want to be approachable to families and individuals who need to seek out our services.”
Reimer says having a more visible presence in the community will also help the organization in recruiting new employees in what has become an increasingly competitive employment market. It also has the potential to increase awareness among donors and supporters whom the organization relies on for their generous backing, she adds.
Another advantage of the Madison Square location is that it is easily accessible by public transportation, making it easy for Epic Opportunities staff and people served by the organization to get to and from the site.
In addition, the new site offers the potential to lease additional space to allow for future growth. That’s an important consideration, Reimer says, because projections for the community living sector indicate a significant increase in demand for future services. Another exciting feature of the new space is that there is room for on-site training, meaning Epic Opportunities will no longer have to book space off-site for employee training sessions and larger team meetings.
While the move from Epic Opportunities’ former head office location on Dublin Avenue wasn’t without a few minor challenges, the transition to the new Ness Avenue site was nearly seamless. Reimer says a huge amount of the credit for that goes to the employees who embraced the task despite the fact that temperatures hovered close to -40 C with the windchill during the move.
“On the most frigid of winter days our staff really took up the challenge and accomplished what seemed like an impossible task with a Winnipeg bravado,” she says, adding Office Manager Varina Sidley played a key role in helping plan and coordinate the move.
Epic Opportunities and its staff are now looking forward to connecting with all of the organization’s stakeholders in the weeks ahead. Plans are currently in the works to host an open house at the 200-1600 Ness Ave. location and details will be shared in the coming weeks.
Epic Opportunities’ head office is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The new head office general phone number is (204) 560-2804 and correspondence can be sent to: Epic Opportunities, 200-1600 Ness Ave., Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3J 3W7.