The Powassan Curling Club held its Annual Meeting on Sunday the 20th of November 2022, starting at 7:00pm.
Our last Annual General Meeting was September 23rd 2021.
Sadly, this past week Neil Jones died while hunting. Neil was an avid curler for many years not only here in Powassan, but also in Astorville and North Bay. We will miss his company on and off the ice, his frank commentary on life, his in your face humour, and all the different food items he would prepare and bring to share with us all during the curling season.
We are currently operating outside of our current lease agreement, which ended December 2020. We applied and were granted 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 roles within the club. The value in dollars given by members both in time and personal expenses is enormous. I would like to thank all those volunteers who contribute so much of their time so we can offer the sport of curling within the community. We need additional volunteers to keep this club open.
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 new individuals to take on executive roles. This may involve seeking out individuals who are not active curling members. New people will bring different ideas and solutions to make the club sustainable. Thanks to Ron Hurley, Amber Winters, Cyndy Giesler, Randy Brousseau, and Terry Lang our current executive team.
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 maintains our technical side of 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 performed treasurer duties, member registration, and ran our free instructional clinics.
Ann Oshell has been assisting by inspecting the club and kitchen after rentals and cleaning this year.
As president of the club I deal with a lot of paper pushing and organizing to keep the lights on and doors open. I handle with most of the facility rentals for curling and non-curling events. There have been very few rentals during the past season due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Over the past year I have been involved in committee meetings to review operational costs of both Municipal Arenas and the Curling Club. Recommendations are to be submitted to council.
Our senior curlers play a vital role in keeping this club viable. Thanks to the Day league representative Ron Hurley and all the Day league members for their continued support.
Thanks go out to our draw masters Penny Ann Lang, Sue Brousseau, Terry Lang, and Gerri Van Amelsfoort who organized member into teams and league play. We are still looking for a men’s league drawmaster.
Our Junior Program was suspended around the time Coronavirus became part of our daily language. This is a critical program that starts young curlers on a path to becoming lifelong curlers and future club members. We are also looking for volunteers to reinstate this program.
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 and keeping it clean. 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.
This season you will again see paid advertising from local businesses on the ice surface. This is a fundraising initiative that increases our revenue.
We have tried to increase our fundraising revenue through partnering with the Powassan Lions Club during the Maple Syrup Festival and Lions Fish Fry events. Only the Lions Fish Fry was held this past summer. 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.
On Saturday November 5th we hosted a Trivia night here at the club and nine teams showed up to participate. This was something we wanted to try in order to utilize the club for other activities and generate a little revenue. Admittedly we stole the idea and borrowed some equipment from the Municipality of Powassan. We had an absolute blast. We took in over $500.00 at the bar and made donations to the local food bank. Those who came out indicated they want another one. Many thanks to Terry Lang, and Christine Lang for organizing and hosting the event. Special thanks to Lesley Marshall who loaned us equipment and attended our event.
During the summer months the Curling Club is underutilized, but we still pay a monthly rent to the Municipality. Solutions to this dilemma are needed so we can generate additional revenue and offset our expenses. The Powassan Curling Club cannot afford to continue on using our current operating model.
In August of 2021 the executive discussed the need for a financial audit. There were several driving factors why this audit was pursued.
1) Evidence of any internal or external audit process being done previously could not be found.
2) Our insurance underwriters required that we submit financial and audit documentation in order to obtain Director and Officer insurance coverage for the executive board.
3) The ability to make application for potential grant money.
4) Transparency to the membership in validating our current financial situation, accounting practices, and reporting procedures.
5) As a learning tool to understand any identified deficiencies in our record keeping practices and, if required, adopt different methods of recording, tracking and presenting our financial information in the event of a government agency audit.
That audit process has now been completed externally by Milltown Management Systems and their findings will be presented during this meeting as part of the financial report.
Coronavirus is still with us and we are learning to live with it, but there is a balance between socializing and the risk of acquiring the virus.
My intention is to continue in this position until the next Annual Meeting date when I hope someone else will step into the role.
Items that require further work
- Growing club membership.
- Increasing revenue streams
- Expanding our volunteer base including executive roles
Andrew Emmerson – President
Powassan Curling Club