BGC (formerly known as Boys & Girls Clubs) of Thunder Bay has been serving Thunder Bay’s children and youth for over 50 years. We aim to provide a positive experience to all our members between 4-18 years of age. Through our programs and services, we promote a sense of belonging, self esteem, appreciation and ensure there is something for everyone at the club.
With the safe and healthy environment provided at our Clubs, our members can expect an atmosphere where they can learn, participate and grow.
History in Thunder Bay
BGC Thunder Bay, previously known as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Thunder Bay, Wayside and Wesley Institute, it has operated in Thunder Bay as a youth service since 1912. Previously located on McTavish Street, the oldest street in the city, the club was just a short distance away from the original site of Old Fort William.
In the early 1900s about 2000 people, mostly new Canadians, lived in the area. Wesley United Church was instrumental in establishing the Wesley Institute which operated out of two buildings from 1912-1923. In 1923 the building on McTavish St. was constructed and the organization became known as the Wayside Unit. Work with children & youth has always been associated with the agency. In 1971, we became the Thunder Bay Boys & Girls Club and shortly after received its official charter from the Boys & Girls Club of Canada.
In 2002, we started to run full time programs at the Vale Community Centre in addition to our McTavish St Site.
In 2008 our McTavish St site closed and we moved to the former Forest Park School on Windsor St. We are now known as BGC Thunder Bay. We have created the first true Community Hub in Thunder Bay, and we continue to support our community by providing the programs and services that enrich the lives and skills of the youth throughout our city.
The clubs offer more than just fun and interactive activities – we aim to meet the needs of our membership through various workshops, clinics, and programs focusing on the issues that are present concerns of the children and youth in our community.
To provide a safe, supportive place where children and youth can experience new opportunities, overcome barriers, build positive relationships and develop confidence and skills for life.
We believe all young people can grow into responsible, contributing and self-reliant members of society. Children and youth are at the center of everything we do. Through adventure, play and discovery, we encourage and empower them to develop healthy lifestyles, a life-long passion for learning, leadership and life skills and a sense of social responsibility.
Inclusion & Opportunity
We strive to offer children and youth from all economic, cultural and social backgrounds access to the resources, supports and opportunities that will enable then to overcome barriers and achieve the positive potential in life.
We work together with families and volunteers in each community, in partnership with government and other organizations, to create healthy community solutions to providing children and youth with what they need for optimal development.
Respect & Belonging
We provide a safe supportive place, where every child is listened to, treated with respect and valued in an environment of inclusion and acceptance. Our staff and volunteers model honesty, fair play, positive attitude, cooperation and respect for others.
We speak out on behalf of children, youth and their families to reduce disadvantage, enhance their lives and enable their voices and ideas to be heard.
Sponsors & Partners
Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism & Culture Industries provides funds for our After School Program
BGC Thunder Bay is a longstanding member of the United Way of Thunder Bay. For more information on all of the funded agencies and how to donate check out the United Way Website (click logo)
Northern Ontario Heritage Fund has given us funds to hire a Full-time Healthy Living Coordinator and a Digital Media Manager.
United For Literacy assists in our homework program and literacy learning during the school year.
Canadian Tire Jumpstart Foundation provides funding for our members to participate in programs such as Aerocise programs, swimming, gymnastics, dance and much more!
President's Choice Children's Charity has been a long standing partner of BGC Canada and is the only partner that provides funds to EVERY Club across the country! They provide much needed funding to support our efforts to ensure our kids have healthy, nutritious breakfasts, suppers, snacks and now they are funding Summer Food Programs! Thanks to the Basic Needs & Brighter Futures and the Summer Eat Well grant opportunities.
Superior Shores Gaming Association hosts all of our Monthly Bingos and is a big part of our fundraising. Money from Bingos goes into running programs for children and youth.
Pizza Hut is our House League Sponsor, one of our Supper Club Sponsors and continues to support our club financially and through programs that promote reading!
Resolute Forest Products, Resolute Sawmill & Resolute Employee Charity all support BGC Thunder Bay. They also sponsor our classroom that is available to Community Groups.
BGC Canada has been instrumental in securing funding for the following programs for us to make available to our members; President's Choice Children's Charity - Brighter Needs Brighter Future Grants, Fare Advantage (Nutrition and Breakfast Club), Virtual Programs, Get in the Game, Raise the Grade, Gap Onward, Scholarships Power Up & Walk this Way.
CSP Marketing Solutions donated our new website. On an ongoing basis, they also provide us with web hosting, website maintenance & security solutions, technology training, and digital marketing coaching.
Canada Safeway Limited
Central Auto Parts
City of Thunder Bay
Fort William Rotary Club
Gap – Career Launch
George Jefferies Centre
Good Luck Lottery
IG Wealth Management
John Andrews Foundation
Lakehead Public Schools
Michael’s Craft Store
Shawn’s No Frills
Order of the Royal Purple #14
Ontario Power Generation
Ontario Provincial Police
OPSEU Local 722
The Paterson Foundation
Province of Ontario
RBC Financial Group
Show Kids You Care
Symington Family Foundation
Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board
Thunder Bay Community Foundation
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
United Commercial Travellers
Whitewater Golf Club