June 13, 2017; Liverpool, NS: Following a successful pilot year, the Council of the Region of Queens Municipality approved a one-year lease renewal with Queens Association for Supported Living (QASL) for shared space at the Liverpool Visitor Information Centre (VIC) with the passing of a motion at the June 13th Regular Council meeting. QASL will continue to operate the Penny Lane Express Shop at the VIC, as well as their staff and clients assisting in the provision of information to visitors.
“The partnership between the Municipality and QASL has been beneficial in many ways,” said David Dagley, Mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality. “The partnership promotes diversity and inclusion, and while we maintain our traditional staffing levels at the Liverpool VIC, clients of Penny Lane Enterprises gain valuable work experience providing assistance in the delivery of information to visitors. We are pleased that during the shoulder season when the building would traditionally close, not only will the Penny Lane shop be open, but the VIC materials will be present, allowing information to be available to visitors year round.”
QASL is made up of a team of employees and volunteers who work with individuals with disabilities in Queens County to make a difference in their lives; Penny Lane Enterprises is an adult training centre coordinated by QASL. Offering program options and work opportunities to individuals with diverse abilities, clients of Penny Lane Enterprises receive life and job skills training, and work in the community. The partnership with the Region of Queens Municipality provides clients of Penny Lane Enterprises with work place skills and experience, and the public learn more about social enterprise, in a diverse, inclusive community. The Municipality will continue to staff the VIC with a full time manager and two staff, as has been done in the past, from June through October, and QASL will operate a gift shop, and assist with providing VIC services.
The terms of the lease include QASL operating the facility as a shop on a year round basis, with visitor information available all year. The Municipality will provide the maintenance, utilities and grounds keeping of the property, as well as a wage subsidy to support the hiring of one part time client position for QASL in recognition of their work at the VIC. QASL will maintain a year round shop and visitor services presence during the months that the VIC has traditionally been closed (from mid October up to and including May), 4% of products sales will be payable to the Municipality, and the clients and staff of Penny Lane Enterprises will work to plan and implement some community events at the VIC in cooperation with Municipal staff.
“QASL believes in inclusive opportunities for people of all abilities in Queens County. We are proud of our partnership with the Region and the work we do at the VIC in providing our clients diverse training and employment in the retail and tourism sector. We will continue to be a strong advocate for an increased understanding and acceptance of people with disabilities as we move forward. ” said Treena Dexter - QASL Executive Director.
The Liverpool VIC is located on the Liverpool waterfront, at 23 Henry Hensey Drive, and is open daily from 10 a.m. until 6 pm, May 29 – October 6, and Monday through Friday, 10 am – 4 pm for the balance of the year.