The Central Nova Resource Centre was envisioned as part of a class assignment in April 1998 by a group of women (Bonnie Joldersma, Jackie Ferdinand, and Verna Gibson) who were enrolled in the Community Economic Development Certificate Program at Nova Scotia Community College (Truro Campus.) As part of the assignment a basic plan/needs assessment was developed and conducted regarding establishing a Women’s Centre in the Colchester area. The results indicated an overwhelming response in favor.
In September 1998, a grant was received from the Community Health Promotion Fund to conduct a more “comprehensive” needs assessment; which showed a definite need for Women’s Centre in Colchester County. In May 1999, an executive with the Board of Directors was formed and in June 1999, we became incorporated as the “Central Nova Women’s Resource Centre”. In August 1999, start-up grants were received from Human Resources Development Canada and the Colchester Regional Development Agency. The Centre also joined in partnership with the Nova Scotia Community College – Truro Campus, to house the Women’s Centre on Campus. In November 1999, a Coordinator was hired and the Centre began operation.
We officially “opened our doors” in January 2000 from a one room office located at the Nova Scotia Community College (Truro Campus) – bottom floor of the Library. In November 2002, increases in client outreach required a physical move to a more accessible store-front location, and we began the first of a few moves that would allow us to provide on-site programming.
In December 2004, due to tremendous client participation, and on-going requests for increased programming, the Central Nova Women’s Resource Centre relocated to a larger storefront location downtown on Prince St, where we stayed for almost 10 years.
In 2005 CNWRC acquired charitable status and we became a registered charity. Our core funding was received from the Development of Community Services, and along with various other sources of contributions, we have been able to see the realization of the Centre’s vision of “women helping women.”
From 2005-2015, the Centre has worked to meet the needs of women in Colchester County. Each year we have offered new programs including journaling, employment skills and leisure exploration. Our core programming focusing on coping skills remains unchanged, with updates to programs based on societal changes. In 2015 our core funding was moved from the Department of Community Services to the Nova Scotia Advisory Council On the Status of Women. This change has aligned us with a Government Department whose own focus is meeting the diverse needs of women.
In 2017, we purchased our forever home and are excited about continuing to work in partnership and collaboration with many community stakeholders who share our vision of an equal society that enhances the quality of life for all women by providing resources and services. The future of Central Nova Women’s Resource Centre is bright, and we are excited as we move forward towards true equality.
On October 15, 2018 a special Resolutions meeting was held to formally change the name of CNWRC to The Lotus Centre; A Resource for Women.
The Lotus centre was conceived because over the years Central Nova had become a prefix for many new agencies and service groups who served the central area of Nova Scotia, many times folks walked into the centre looking for the provincial women’s prison. A rebrand was needed. The story of the Lotus flower held strong meaning intertwined with the vision of the centres work.
Why the Lotus centre….The lotus flower grows in muddy water and rises above the surface to bloom with remarkable beauty. At night the flower closes and sinks underwater, at dawn it rises and opens again unscathed from the debris of the night. The lotus bud is compared to a folded heart or soul, which has the ability to blossom or awaken to divine truth. The flower symbolizes one’s journey from darkness towards the light of knowledge, and wisdom in order to achieve spiritual enlightenment. The Lotus represents the act of rising above all. Its unique quality is said to symbolize the human who rises from the darkness of the world into a new way of thinking and living
This is believed to represent the aspiration to rise above and move towards light. The lotus, therefore, symbolizes the journey from darkness (as depicted by the muddy pond) to the light of knowledge or wisdom.
This is the same journey we hope for all those who enter our doors.