felt :: feutre canada
President’s Report: September 18, 2022
The last year has been amazing. I again thank Gwen Kerr for her contribution through the end of 2021. We welcomed Tina Sharapova as Secretary, and Donna Bennett as Treasurer. They shadowed the 2021 Board through the end of the year to allow them to adapt to our software, filing and agendas. Sue Gardner continued her role as Vice President, Tech Guru and my tag-team leader, and Sandi Luck agreed to come back as our first Director-at-Large with her graphic skills and creativity. My team from 2021 and 2022 have continued to excel in the fulfilment of our challenging Mission Statement and Goals. Having re-organized all the software, financials and documents in the previous year it was clear sailing as we successfully launched our first ever online Workshop Series in the Fall of 2021. There were six online workshops by six wonderful instructors. We learned a lot about running online events and decided to continue with online workshops through 2022.
Art Talks were also quite popular with between 30 and 80 people registering for these free events. Part of our Goals is to educate and we made an effort to bring subjects that could expand everyone’s felting and creative skills.
Our Members Challenges were run about every two months with a member creating a theme to challenge other members. We shared the finished images on our private Facebook page and in our newsletters then gathered at the end of the challenge for a slideshow and a chance for each member to talk about their work and field questions. We usually had 15-25 attendees for these events. I always came away with new tips and ideas shared by our members.
Our Travelling Swatch Project was a huge success and the 42 pieces have travelled across to 5-6 places already! Everyone has a chance to “borrow” this lending library of felting samples. Each has fibre and technique information as well as the artist attached and can be studied and discussed in your regional group or fibre gathering. Be assured, if you continue to be connected through our alternative outlets, you will continue to have access to this collection.
We have sponsored two more online workshops this year with the encore of Christianna’s Cuffs and Flora’s Wall Hanging. Both were well attended proving the online workshop is here to stay. We have two more home-grown workshops springing from our workshop development grant into two diverse events coming in October. They are filling up and you can still get a spot through next week’s newsletter link. Fay and Joyce have created these exclusively for our members and we are offering them at a nice discount. Repeat presentations will be at the regular price so catch the class now if you are interested. Again, if you continue to connect through our alternative outlets, you will have access to promotions of future online events.
I made the call for a Symposium Team of volunteers and a team leader. I am delighted to tell you that we have the perfect team with a wonderful, experienced leader in place. Cindy makes the work seem manageable and you can look forward to next August! More details will be revealed later in the AGM meeting.
Now for the difficult part… Ideally if we were about three times larger we would be able to hire a bookkeeper, accountant and a webmaster for a membership style website. All those things are far too expensive for a membership the size of felt::feutre canada. Conversely if we were much smaller, like a regional group of 20-30 that could meet in person it would be easy to reach everyone without a website, zoom, mailchimp, membership fees and all the tools we need to connect virtually. We are just too medium sized across a huge country!
Sue and I are coming to the end of our two year term. Donna and Tina still have a year at their posts, but the role of President and Vice President will be vacant as of Jan 1, 2023. We made a gentle call for volunteers in June. We made three more calls through July and August with more urgency and offered a “lighter version” of the President and Vice President that involved administrative duties without the extras such as tech support and media/newsletters/hosting of events. Our aim was to create four Officers that dealt with the administrative duties and four directors-at-large that handle the events and information and visible activities. As we discovered over the last two years, there is TOO much time consumption if the four Officers do ALL the work. Sue and I were willing to step into the at-large roles to continue with what everyone sees, but could not see us running for the Officer Roles for another two years. As of mid August, we only had two Officers (Donna and Tina) with no one willing to step up to continue. This triggered the motions to dissolve and to appoint us to stay in the official duties until we wind down felt::feutre canada. The resolution process is long and involves filing papers of intent to dissolve after we have completed our financial obligations. This will likely take until at least the end of 2023 with our Symposium being the last financial obligation.
The results of the votes to the motion as of writing this report (voting is still open until the 15th) with 95 submitting a vote. (please only one vote per motion)
The Board of Directors move to begin the process of dissolution process and permanently shut down felt::feutre canada. According to the Bylaws, inability to fill the four Officer positions for the next term (2023) will trigger a vote on the dissolution of the Organization. Do you support this motion?
Yes - 89%
No - 11%
The Board of Directors move to extend the positions of the 2022 Board Officers into 2023 in order to carry out the duties of the dissolution. As a result, there will be no members and no programs except the Symposium and related expenses beginning Jan 1, 2023. Do you support this motion?
Yes - 94%
No - 6%
I have carefully read all the comments and you all have my heartfelt thanks for the kind words. I know you are out there enjoying the community that Fiona, Violet and I have worked to develop and maintain along with many other strong volunteers. I know how you have found a home and lots of friends here. It is not lightly that we move to the next version of our Canadian feltmaker community. Please stay tuned and follow us to our next adventures and make the effort to stay in touch with those who speak your language of wool, fibre and felt. At our AGM I will highlight what’s next but I would like to leave you with my favourite comment (among many beautiful tributes). It is from Colleen:
“Sadly I vote yes to both questions. This organization has done so much to connect felters across our wide country. The Board has done an exceptional job keeping us all connected through Covid. I thank each and every person on the executive for their extensive work. We have met so many like minded folk and I sincerely hope those connections will continue on both the local and country wide scale. I will definitely be at the Symposium with a bottle of wine and a Kleenex. Thank you one and all"
Submitted for the AGM, September 18, 2022
Chris Liszak - President