A recreation space in Okotoks came under new ownership this year.

The Point has been around since 2022 and was launched as a "place for teens," intended to be a hangout spot equipped with a wide array of recreation and play equipment, though it later grew popular with an older demographic too.

Earlier this year the business was purchased by Jennifer and Jeff Marks.

Jennifer says she saw the all-ages appeal of The Point and wanted to expand it even further.

"It's a safe place for children of all abilities, it's inclusive, and one thing I really strive for is for our children to know how to play together. My vision and my mission is to teach and educate how to interact with another person who may have different needs or abilities. For example, somebody who is non-verbal can communicate in different ways and I can help facilitate that communication."

She says this kind of inclusive space is something she's wanted to see in Okotoks for a while.

"The Point was a concept and an idea for many, many years for me. I started working with children with complex needs, and I fell in love with being able to provide service and be that support system. Then I became a mom and had the blessing of two out of my three children who have their own special needs, so I got to learn from the parent perspective what to do and what not to do. I found an incredible need for the community just from my own perspective, of what could be out there and what might be missing. I turned that into what The Point is now."

Though the concept had been in her mind for some time, the chance to take ownership of The Point was fairly fortuitous.

"Everything hit me totally by surprise. I was not looking, I stumbled upon it and somebody just kind of mentioned to me, 'Did you know that The Point might be for sale?' I said 'No, I had no idea.' It was definitely divine intervention, I walked into the space randomly and the former owner happened to be there, we had a conversation, and she said, 'You are the person we've been looking for,' and we just went from there."

The Point's website defines its philosophy with three Cs: Community, Create, and Connection.

They've developed a few programs to facilitate those connections among different groups and demographics.

"I offer Respite Re-Imagined, which is a service geared toward more consistent, routine, predictable childcare. Having that respite service in place. So, if you're looking for a weekly getaway that gives you some time to yourself, you can use The Point for those services... We have our Daycations, so any time the kids are out of school, we offer full-day, half-day, as well as drop-ins during those days. Drop-ins are the first Tuesday and third Sunday of each month, and, depending on the need or demand, we will increase or decrease that according to what the community wants for that. You can also rent The Point for birthday parties or special events; we've seen it all. It's just a great space, very versatile," says Jennifer.

The Point has also hosted a few other groups for workshops and other events, including the Autism Asperger Friendship Society and Peak Academic Consulting.

Of course, they're still stocked with plenty of amenities to keep anyone busy.

"We have an air hockey table, a pool table, two foosball tables, we have shuffleboard, we have swinging chairs, we have couches, we have board games, we have tables and chairs to eat and share food at, and you can bring your own food for any events. We also encourage for daycations and things like that that you are bringing your own food. We have books, we have a stage with musical instruments, we also have a basketball court. We are going to change things up, hopefully, every few months so there's something new. Things you might see there would be maybe a ping pong table, maybe some laser wars, maybe some Nerf wars, we'll see," says Jennifer.

More information on The Point can be found on their website and Facebook page.