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Portage BC News - Holidays

Celebrating the Holidays at Portage Keremeos at "The Crossing"

The main hall at Portage Keremeos was decked out for the season throughout the month of December and residents participated in a number of Holiday activities.  On December 3rd, all residents went to the local “Christmas Light Up Parade” and then over to the Keremeos Town Hall for hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy, and hot chocolate, and to check out the craft fair.  Back at the centre that night, the community had a bonfire and the cook made a big batch of chili.  As community sang Christmas carols by the fire with their chili and hot chocolate, they received a surprise visit from one of the parade floats – a local church brought their wagon and Belgian horses to the centre to give all the residents a wagon ride around the property.  The Nutcracker ballet in Kelowna was another highlight of the season for the residents that attended, and the Holiday party for all staff members and residents was greatly enjoyed by all.

Visits to local high school help Portage Keremeos residents with social reintegration

During the month of November, Portage Keremeos residents went on several outings to the local high school as social reintegration exercises.  They attended two assemblies with the other students.

Workplace visits stimulate resident's future career aspirations

The boys’ community greatly appreciated a visit to Normar Industries in November, a large service truck body manufacturing plant in Penticton.  The plant manager spent the afternoon with them, taking them on a tour of the operation and giving them an idea about what employers are looking for in young potential employees, such as them.

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Recycling program to raise money for activities
Given the remoteness of the site, Portage Keremeos does not have the luxury of weekly recycling collection.  Taking matters into their own hands, a recycling program has been coordinated whereby residents and a staff member take a 45 minute drive out to Penticton to recycle all of the centre’s plastic bottles, juice boxes, and pop cans.  It has been a good learning experience for the residents to take responsibility for properly sorting and cleaning their recyclables and they are proud that they are helping to divert materials from the landfill.  Since the project began, the centre has been collecting the refund money and saving it for a Socio-Cultural and Recreational Programming project.  They are now getting close to $1,000.

Portage residents mark Remembrance Day
On November 11th residents and staff members at Portage Keremeos took a time out of the regular schedules to recognise the sacrifices that Canada’s soldiers have made and to thank all Canadian veterans for their service. Residents were visited by a member of the Canadian military who spoke about the realities of war and how difficult it is on all those involved, focusing particularly on the role that women played in WWI and WWII.  They made poppies for the occasion and the entire community observed two minutes of silence. 

Portage BC News - Tree planting

"Nature was lifeless to me in my addiction.  But all the nature walks and outdoor activities we do at Portage have really opened my eyes and inspired me to get involved in things that I really wanted to do deep down, but never had the opportunity or the will do to before.  I planted my very first tree here at Portage, on the grounds where I got my life back.  That tree will be here growing long after I graduate for many people to see."
- Nik

RCMP constable helps residents learn that police are allies

The goal of an RCMP constable’s visit to Portage Keremeos in November was to try to dispel the negative image that many residents have of police officers.  When the uniformed constable first walked in, some of the residents were visibly put on edge.  However, through an intimate discussion, whereby the constable shared her personal story of a troubled past and how she overcame obstacles to achieve her goals and dreams, the residents began to open up to her, asking her questions and sharing their own experiences.   She stayed for lunch and had some one-on-one chats with the residents. 

Portage Canada
Accreditation Canada grants unconditional accreditation to Portage!

                                            News_Accreditation2.jpgPortage has obtained unconditional accreditation thanks to the substantial collaborative efforts of its Governors and its organisational team members over the past four years. Accreditation recognises Portage for the quality of the services it provides, the abilities of its employees, and the expertise of the organisation. Recognition by Accreditation Canada demonstrates Portage’s commitment to the ongoing improvement process surrounding the quality of its services.

Portage Canada
The Holidays at Portage

Portage News - HolidaysIn the weeks leading up to Christmas, the Portage centres across Canada geared up for the Holiday Season, decorating the facilities and holding special activities and events for the residents.

Portage Canada
The 2010 Portage Employee Recognition Ceremonies

Portage News - Employee RecognitionThe employees at Portage – both clinical and administrative - are at the very heart of the organisation’s mission, contributing immensely every day to the rehabilitation process of our residents. Portage is very proud of the quality of its personnel at the Portage centres across Canada, many of whom have been with the organisation for a long time.  

Given that it is the first year of the program, all staff members with at least five years of service were recognised.  Of the 114 staff members celebrated, fifty-seven people have devoted more than five years to Portage, twenty-eight people have provided more than ten years, eighteen people have provided more than fifteen years, eight people have provided more than twenty years, two people have provided more than twenty-five years, one person has provided more than thirty years, and our Executive Director, Peter Vamos, has provided more than thirty-five years of service to Portage.

Portage Canada
Annual General Meeting 2010

Portage’s Annual General Meeting took place on November 18, 2010 at the Saint-James Club in Montréal. Portage Governors and staff members were in attendance and, after participating in the business of the meeting, shared a wonderful dinner together.

About Portage

Portage is a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping people who are suffering from substance abuse-related problems to overcome their dependencies and to live healthy, happy and productive lives. Portage is a vital and progressive force in the drug addiction treatment field in North America, with service centres in Québec, New Brunswick, Ontario, and British Columbia. Through drug addiction treatment best practices and the therapeutic community approach, Portage helps residents develop their self-esteem, confidence, and the competencies necessary to overcome addiction.

Portage has been operating drug rehabilitation centres in Canada for over 35 years.  Portage British Columbia was established in 2009.

Read more about Portage’s mission, vision, and values.


New running track and hiking trail
A winding path now follows the perimeter of the large field at the Portage centre in Keremeos.  Both residents and staff members have been using it quite frequently to get some fresh air and exercise. 

Residents volunteer at Grist Mill Apple Festival
On Thanksgiving Sunday, several residents volunteered at the Grist Mill Apple Festival, sporting period costumes from the pioneer days and helping the young children with the activities and games. 

Residents learn about local culture from the First Nations
At the end of October, Portage Keremeos residents greatly enjoyed a tour of the old Hedley Mine, a very large gold mining operation that has not been in operation for most of the last century.  The tour was led by local First Nations, for whom the mine is an important part of their history.  They took the residents through an interpretative centre where they presented some videos about native culture, past and present, showed them around the premises, and hosted a picnic lunch.  The residents greatly appreciated the experience and Portage intends to return in the spring with new residents. 



For more information, to participate in our activities, or to share comments, please contact:

Jae Kim
Director of Development
Portage BC

For admissions information, please contact the Portage centre in Keremeos, British Columbia:
Tel.: 250-499-4165
Fax: 250-499-4096


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