The Chestermere Whitecappers was founded by a group of local residents in 1983. It started as a means of neighbours and residents in outlying communities to gather to socialize. Pot luck suppers as well as a games night were held once a month. There were 18 original members with Jack Shaw being the first president.
The name “Whitecappers” was derived from the whitecaps on the lake being associated with the white colouring of the hair of some members both being more noticeable on windy days.
The original meeting room was located on the second floor in the Chestermere Regional Recreation Centre. The group had originally decided to build their own centre but decided to contribute funds to the CRCA for the new addition with the understanding they would be granted space on the ground floor. The Whitecappers moved into the new space in 2008. The Whitecappers recently signed a new lease agreement with the CRCA that will have them located in their present space until 2028.
The Whitecappers have certainly grown over the years with membership at 200+ members. The Whitecappers is open to all, the only requirement for a person to join the group is they must be 50 years of age or older. The group is also open to non-Chestermere residents.
The Whitecappers is a non-profit club and provides a number of scheduled activities for the members. The Whitecappers also permit non-members to participate in activities for a minimal fee. The office is open 3 days a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) in the mornings from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. and is staffed.
Activities include a coffee group Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings, chair yoga twice a week, tai chi once a week, a quilting group and carpet bowling groups once per week, two exercise classes run by a certified fitness instructor (Friday mornings and Monday evenings), a line dancing class once a week, pool and shuffleboard once per week and a bridge club that meets once per week. We have a Lunch and Learn program that offers informative presentations dealing with topics that affect seniors along with a light lunch once per month. We still have a potluck supper once a month, but our games night is every Friday evening. We also have a cycling club and kayaking club during the summer months. We do trips to Rosebud and Stage West for live theatre events.
The Whitecappers recently opened their doors to the city of Chestermere FCSS (Family Community Support Services) Department on Thursday mornings. Seniors can access help and direction should they have concerns about housing, finances and filling out forms, as examples.
The Whitecappers have evolved over their short history in Chestermere and work closely with other community groups to provide support and kinship to our community. Our members are part of other support committees in the city such as Seniors’ Week, Community Kitchen and Seniors Coalition to name a few. The Whitecappers have recently added their own website (whitecappers.ca) where information regarding our programs and upcoming events can be found.
The Whitecappers is interested in growing its membership and at a yearly rate of $25 it is a bargain. Please join us and enjoy the fellowship we offer.