2019 Annual General Meeting Minutes

Manitoba Writers’ Guild
Annual General Meeting
Saturday, October 19, 2019
Henderson Library, 1050 Henderson Hwy Winnipeg

Welcome and Call to Order: Andrew Dutfield 11:13am

Approval of Agenda: Robyn Hartley/Donna Besel Carried.

Add: After Governance Report – Book Awards Report.

Review and Approve minutes of previous meeting:

Motion: Robyn Hartley
Seconded: Susan Rocan

Correct spelling: Marjorie

President’s Report: Andrew Dutfield

  • Agreed to cover Chair position as well as volunteer in Guild office on Tuesdays – motivated to create a dynamic organization to help writers achieve goals and to develop a robust communication platform for writers, as well as rebuilding the financial situation – to run a sustainable number of workshops and critique sessions, as well as Manitoba Book Awards.
  • Thanked volunteers Susan Rocan (admin duties), Lori (newsletters), Robyn Hartley (survey), Spencer Silver (who recently passed away; acknowledged his contributions and passed on condolences to wife and family).
  • Going forward – to develop a strategic plan with Winnipeg Foundation Grant; to keep membership informed to contribute to brainstorm sessions.
  • Call for volunteers – signup sheet.

Treasurer’s Report: Clarice Sinohin

  • Guild income last year had grants of $19,500.00 but this year only $4,000.00.
  • Operating through donations, fundraising, memberships and cutting costs
  • Average $500.00 in monthly expenses – increasing lifespan from last year’s 12 months to 20 months this year.
  • Obstacles in membership: last year made $10,000.00 in membership, but this year only $8,000.00. We lost 20 members.
  • To focus on efforts to recruit members – Larry Renooy and Andrew Dutfield are researching funding grants to help relevant programming and prevent deficits and strengthen membership.
  • Bad debt last year was $1,500.00 due to renter situation.
  • Booke & Partner (auditor) didn’t find any discrepancies or issues since June 30, 2018.

Motion to accept the audited financial statements

Motion: Phyllis Cherrett
Second: Susan Rocan

Motion to Accept Auditors: Booke and Partners for 2019/2020.

Motion: Andrew Dutfield.
Second: Erin O’Hara

Committee Reports:
a. Programming:

  • New board members this year.
  • This year’s workshops: Freelance Non-fiction, Graphic Novels and Indigenous Characters; Poetry – new dates TBA.
  • Membership drive not as successful as hoped – the reason we sent out a survey for members and past members.
  • For the month of November, we are taking part in NaNoWriMo – ArtSpace boardroom is booked weekends, starting with chat on writing with Joan Thomas and Margaret Sweatman and at the end of the month, a lawyer will go over copyright law. NaNoWriMo has an intro at 2:00pm at the Millennium Library today.
  • Gatherings: Writing Rants and Ramblings (1st Thursday/month at the Fyxx), Critique sessions (last Wednesday/month at ArtSpace boardroom with David Cramer and Daria Patrie), Editors Association meetups (in communications), and Writers Group recruiting (December 6, ArtSpace boardroom)

b. Resource Development: Andrew Dutfield

  • Arts Council situation: early summer we called writers guilds across Canada – their advice: don’t do too many things; do a few things well.
  • Larry Renooy and Andrew Dutfield met with the Winnipeg Arts Council, Manitoba Arts Council, Canada Council of the Arts, and the Winnipeg Foundation.
  • Concerns were: governance, report needed on money used from previous grants, staff needed for sustainable money, consider applying for project based grants, and we need to put a business plan going forward.
  • Larry Renooy is currently writing up a grant application.
  • To consider: Culture Heritage, Tourism and Sport, audience building grants for projects, Access Copyright Foundation, Creative Manitoba (workshops on grants, media and social media etc.), reaching out to young people, maintain aspiring writers and professional writers.

c. Nominations & Governance: Susan Rocan – Past President

  • New Board Members and committees recruited.
  • Andrew Dutfield and Susan Rocan reviewed the Governance Manual.
  • Change clauses that refer to Executive Director
  • Replace President’s name, as well as adding new Board Member names.
  • Replace contact info.
  • Keep history of the Guild.
  • Note no more classroom – we now keep a small office space.
  • Amended October 19, 2019.
  • 3 categories of members – Student/fixed income, Regular members & Youth
  • Change clause to ‘up to 2 Vice Presidents’ – due to small board.
  • Change references to Executive Director – to when finances allow.
  • Page 12 Clause F – Confirm by vote 2017.
  • Credit Cards – currently, the Guild does not have – If credit card arranged with bank keep low credit limit.
  • Page 24 expense report for credit card expenses – user to report to Board.
  • When Executive Director is mentioned add ‘when one is employed by Guild’.
  • Employment section – Annual employees – include contract for part-time employees
  • Procedure for an annual employee – this also refers to contract – time renewed or not.
  • Policy Descriptions – add ‘provided an Executive Director is in place – if not then Executive Committee’ to take this place (President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer)
  • Policy Elimination Position – for an Executive Director or any other position.
  • Executive Committee is responsible in place of an Executive Director.
  • Vice President(s) – brackets around ‘s’ in case only one Vice President elected.
  • Personnel Committee could be replaced by Executive Committee.
  • Hire and performance reviews
  • Page 62 Board meets (at least) 6 times a year, meetings now in ArtSpace Boardroom.
  • Board Meeting agenda: Vice Presidents must be at Membership and Program Committee and at Resource Development Committee meetings – as Chairs.
  • Guests at board meetings – how that works.
  • Contact info and office hours, the Board changed – to copy on the website.
  • Replace By-laws – what stayed the same and what changed – to review annually.
  • Nominations – put a call for new board/committee members in the Newsletter – this year we asked for professional writers.

Motion: Accept Changes to Governance Manual and to review in a month’s time after a more thorough review at a Governance Meeting

Motion: Marjorie Poor
Second: John Hill

d. 2019 Book Awards Report: Susan Rocan

  • Took place May 3, 2019 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • Revenue $6,315.37.
  • Expenses were $5830.30
  • Made under $500.00 – due to volunteers and a Grant for a contract worker – Alix-Rae Stefanko.
  • Deadline for submissions coming soon.
  • Call for Jurors and Book Awards committee – sign-up sheet (So far: Charlene Diehl from Thin Air, Chris Hall from McNally Robinson, Kathleen Williams from the Library Association and Michelle Peters & Karen San Phillipo from the AMBP, as well as Susan Rocan).

Motion to Accept reports: Erin O’Hara
Second: Phyllis Cherrett

Directors Elections

Second Term:

Susan Rocan
Andrew Dutfield
Clarice Sinohin
Robyn Hartley
Deanna Ng

Nominations and Consideration of New Members:

Sharon Hamilton
Kelly Ross
John Hill
Larry Renooy

Call for Nominations from the floor: none.

Motion: to approve slate of board members
Motion: Donna Besel
Second: Robyn Hartley

New Business

  • Anita Daher Writers Union of Canada – Congratulated Guild on rebuilding.
  • Lauren Carter/Donna Besel – spoke of a Writers weekend at Falcon Trails Resort – on Creative writing – Artisan schools teach youth to write – November 15-17.
  • Thank you to Lori Gaudet for Newsletter.
  • Tributes to: Andris Taskins – Founder of Guild along with Prairie Fire and Thin Air Festival. He passed away and his service was a week ago.
  • Jake MacDonald, Lifetime Member & Mentor also passed away.
  • Spencer Silver – Served on the board – passed away in September and his service was on October 13. We send condolences to the families.
  • Susan Rocan is doing much of the communication
  • Facebook to be more active.

Adjournment of AGM – 12:35pm

Motion: Donna Besel

Documents Referenced contained in 2019-10-19 AGM Reports Package