Our last Annual General Meeting was September 11th 2019. Since then the world and life changed with the Coronavirus Covid-19 Global Pandemic. We did not have an Annual Meeting in 2020 and were very busy trying to adapt the game of curling and related social aspects to the required health policies, protocols, and procedures. This changed not only the social nature of our club, but the game of curling as well. Some members chose to come and curl in these physically distanced times, while others did not.
Our season was cut short due to the ongoing Covid -19 pandemic in January 2021. Members were offered a dues incentive if we were forced to terminate the season early, and we hope all those members will return to help rebuild our membership. We were also successful in getting a rent rebate on our lease agreement with the Municipality of Powassan. I would like to thank those Municipality of Powassan council members who supported this rebate.
We are currently operating outside of our current lease agreement, which ended December 2020. We have applied for a one-year lease extension while we enter into discussions regarding a new lease agreement. The next four years will be financially challenging as our yearly rent cost could increase and be greater than our current membership can sustain.
There are a core group of people volunteering huge amounts of their time to keep this club viable and the sport of curling available and affordable in the Municipality of Powassan. Some take on multiple volunteer roles within the club. I would like to thank all those volunteers who contribute their time so we can offer the sport of curling within the community. We always could use additional volunteers.
Executive members keep the club operational on many different levels and need support and thanks, so I would like to recognize their efforts first. Since our last Annual Meeting we have been without a Secretary and this has been challenging as we try to move forward. We will need additional members to take on executive roles going ahead. New people will bring different ideas and solutions to make the club sustainable.
Thanks to Ron Hurley, Amber Winters, Cyndy Giesler, Gerry Giesler, Randy Brousseau, and Terry Lang.
Ultimately we need ice, so Terry Lang, Gilbert Smith and a dedicated core group of ice makers and maintenance crew have to be commended for their work and quality of our ice. Terry Lang also manages our website.
The bar committee is headed by Randy Brousseau. He coordinates stocking the bar, licencing, servers, bar profits, reporting back to the AGCO etc.
Bernie Penney also assisted with ice making, ice maintenance, the Newsletter, e-mails to members, marketing, and media articles.
Cyndy Giesler looked after Facebook posts, treasurer duties and ran free instructional clinics.
Cyndy has indicated that she will be relinquishing her role as treasurer so we will need someone to take that on.
I dealt with all club rentals for curling and non-curling events. Ann Oshell has been assisting by inspecting the club and kitchen after rentals. There have been no rentals during the past season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Junior Curling League organizers and instructors were Amber, and Jeremy Winters. The Junior Curling program was not offered during the 2020/2021 season and will likely not be offered again this upcoming season. Amber and Jeremy have decided to give up the organization and instruction of the junior program. I would like to thank them for their dedication and time to run this worthwhile program. We are also looking for people to volunteer and run this program.
Thanks go out to our draw masters Dennis Lawrence, Sue Brousseau, Gerry Giesler, and Gerri Van Amelsfoort who organized teams and league play. Denis has indicated he will be stepping down as the senior drawmaster so we need someone to take on that role. Many thanks to Dennis for his dedication to this important role.
We continue to promote safe curling and in particular having the right equipment. To that end we have been promoting the use of headgear that’s protects and reduces head and brain injury if a fall occurs on the ice. If you historically did not wear head protection I encourage you to do so. There are several headgear options available for injury prevention. Proper footwear and grippers are the other important aspect of safe movement on the ice surface. Be proactive with members of your team and new curlers if you feel their footwear is inadequate. Membership registration and liability forms speak about the need for personal safety.
Previously we identified that our club constitution document required updating. This has been ongoing by a dedicated group of individuals. I’m pleased to announce that a draft document has been submitted for legal review. The document was sent to Valin Partners Law firm as requested by the membership. Correspondence resulting from that review is part of this meeting agenda.
Our senior curlers play a vital role in keeping this club viable. Thanks to the senior league representative Ron Hurley and all the senior league members for their continued support.
We have tried to increase our fundraising revenue through partnering with the Powassan Lions Club during the Maple Syrup Festival and Fish Fry events. Unfortunately, both these events have been cancelled for the last two years now due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The curling club supplies volunteers for both events and we get proportional funds instead rather than a flat rate rental fee based on the number of volunteers we supply.
During the summer months the Curling Club is underutilized, but we still pay a monthly rent to the Municipality. Solutions to this dilemma are welcome so we can generate additional income during the summer.
This coming season you will again see paid advertising from local businesses on the ice surface. This is a fundraising initiative that increases our revenue. The senior league continues to raise funds that support improvements inside our facility.
Like it, or not, Coronavirus vaccination certificates are now a reality in Ontario. Vaccination is a personal choice, but not being fully vaccinated against Coronavirus will make it difficult to participate in certain activities. Sports and curling are no exception, and members will need to be fully vaccinated to enter the facility and participate this season. Our revised membership forms for this season reflect the requirement for Covid-19 vaccination.
I am hopeful that vaccinations will change this global pandemic and we can get back to some sort of normalcy once children under twelve have been fully inoculated. Until then we will do the best with what we have, and get back to the game of curling.
Items that require further work
- Growing club membership.
- Increasing revenue streams
- Expanding our volunteer base including executive roles