FRIENDS OF THE UKRANIAN VILLAGE SOCIETY
Minutes – Annual General Meeting – March 26, 2017
1. Welcome/opening remarks. Presented by Gordon Yaremchuk, President. Gordon thanked the members, staff and volunteers for their commitment and dedication to the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village and their hard work of the past year. He acknowledged the participation of Jessica Littlewood, MLA for Fort Saskatchewan, who had previously brought greetings to the event on behalf of the Hon. Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture.
2. Election: AGM Chairperson and Secretary.
Motion: Appoint Yarema Shulakewych as AGM Chair.
Moved by Lida Migus; Seconded by Miranda Koshelek.
The requirement for an AGM Secretary was waived, as a recording secretary was already in attendance.
Yarema Shulakewych took over as AGM Chair. He was assisted by Becky Kallal, Parliamentarian.
3. Approval of Agenda.
Motion: Change Item #6 so that the Financial Report would be moved to 6D.
Moved by Chrystia Chomiak; Seconded by Natalka Bilotta
Motion:Accept the agenda as presented but without the times.
Moved by Yarema Shulakewych; seconded by Jessica Littlewood
The agenda was accepted as amended.
4. Approval of Minutes from March 13, 2016 AGM
Motion:Accept the Minutes from the Annual General Meeting of March 13, 2016 as recorded.
Moved by Andrej Hornjatkevyc; Seconded by Ken Solomon.
5. Matters Arising from the Minutes.
Re Item 9 that referenced “other priorities …….to enhance the Village experience…..” a question was asked as to what happened in follow up during the year. Chrystia reported that two grant applications have been submitted to help with the cost of the air conditioning in the Red Barn (estimated at around $60,000) – expecting approval in May.
• Re Item 6C, a question was asked regarding the status of the temporary plaques. Chrystia advised that 58 new permanent plaques may be unveiled in summer 2017.
• Item 10 re Elections to the Board, question asked if the procedure voted on last year had been followed and what were the requirements to be on the Board. Jeremy Haluschak confirmed that all nominations had been duly reviewed by the Nominating Committee and accepted except one, which did not meet the requirements as set out in the position descriptions. More details on board appointments under Item 8.
a. Annual Report of the Society, President, Gordon Yaremchuk. Highlights:
• As of earlier this week, current membership is at 562.
• Gordon noted with thanks the extensive work done last year on updating the Society’s Bylaws.
• The HR Committee’s work had made hiring processes smoother.
• This year the Board will be smaller but there are still some vacancies, including Secretary.
• The Golf Tournament sub-committee is going strong and it is hoped that this year’s event scheduled for June 2 will be a good fund-raiser.
• The 125th Anniversary of Ukrainian Settlement in Canada sub-committee is also in full swing; many activities are planned – potentially including a film festival – to tie in with the Canada 150 celebrations.
• There is also a Casino event scheduled for this Fall; more details will follow – volunteers will be needed.
• With a professional chef on board specializing in Ukrainian cooking and other significant improvements, the Village restaurant has made great strides in the past year.
• It is the final year on the Board for Gordon – he expressed his appreciation for all the good work accomplished by the Friends for the enhancement of the Village.
Full report on file.
b. Annual Report from the Executive Director, Chrystia Chomiak.
• Commented on the improvements in the financial position; cash assets increased significantly for a variety of reasons reducing the deficit substantially.
• The Village continued to establish its presence – improved and updated website and postings on Facebook and Twitter. The increased social media presences has had a positive effect on staffing – 78 applications received this year. Resumes are being reviewed for selections from a large pool of exceptional candidates.
• Food services: although the restaurant is not quite up to business standards yet, many improvements have been implemented. Cory Rakowski is the Executive Chef (he is a well-established chef in his own right and was also an interpreter at the Village in his younger days). He has developed a Ukrainian menu, which will now be offered also as a weekend brunch. The restaurant will also launch a retail component of products made on site. We are looking forward to great results/revenue in the coming season.
• Village Museum Shop – was closed for the public last year to undergo upgrading, but continued to be open for groups. Again better results/revenue is expected for this year.
• Donor Wall – has 107 plaques recognizing donations of $1,000 or more.
• Staffing – funds from both the Province and the Federal government were reinstated this year. We were able to hire a Co-ordinator for the Children’s Historic Program, who has great work in enhancing this core program in our operation.
• Chrystia thanked the Golf Tournament sub-committee, Faye Hough for her consistent hard work and support, Barb and Julian for their generosity in offering this space for our meeting, the volunteers, the Board and all the members, all of whom pull together to ensure the successful operation of the Village.
A question from the floor asked “How many events did the Friends participate in to increase their visibility to the public?” Chrystia mentioned the Vegreville Pysanka Festival, Strathcona County Canada Day Celebrations amongst others but noted that a detailed list is available.
Alvin Hewko addressed the group to encourage promotion of the Golf Tournament – the sub-committee is hoping to have 36 teams/144 golfers at the event.
Full report on file.
c. Annual Report for UCHV by David Makowsky, Director Highlights:
• Talked about the Summer Exhibit of 2016 “Where we came from” which was a lead-in to the 125th Anniversary celebrations and will continue this summer.
• School groups continued to be a successful project; the St. Martin School came through in the summer and again for the Jordan event this past January.
• The Annual Children’s Pioneer Days event had more than 400 participants.
• Vintage Day in June had more than 100 vehicles participate; there is a new addition to the Village which is a 1934 Model A.
• The Music Fest in August was again a great success, while the Harvest Event saw only 900 people come through because of the inclement weather.
• Visitors in 2016 were 45,000+ – surpassed 2015 numbers – and 184 volunteers donated 4,000+ hours of commitment to the Village. The school group program was exceptionally successful and community connections also held their own (e.g. the Elk Island Art Club came several times for painting sessions at the Village).
• Continued work on our Historic Buildings – Galician Farmstead has new signage and work on the Stelmach house is moving along – places a positive spotlight not only on the Village but also on the Friends and their untiring efforts.
• In conclusion, David talked about Arnold Grant’s retirement last year. He will be missed but David looks forward to working with the Friends, staff and volunteers to ensure that Arnold’s legacy of hard work and dedication to the Village will continue into the future.
Full report on file.
d. Annual Financial Report by the Treasurer, Jeremy Haluschak.
• Jeremy spoke about the increase in cash flow this past year which has cut down the deficit to $3,036 or a net loss of 1% – a vast improvement over last year.
• How did this occur? Applied for and received 7 more grants for a total of $30,000; the improvements in food services cut costs and improved revenue; the enhancements to the Museum Gift Shop resulted in a profit margin of 19%; the School Group Program saw an increase of 134% – this is not only a key revenue resource but also a key program for the enhancement of the Village.
• These major factors and an overall decrease in costs of 15% resulted in $78,000 of additional cash flow.
Accept the Annual Financial Report as presented.
Moved by Jeremy Haluschak; Seconded by Andrej Hornjatkevyc
A question from the floor requested explanation of the item of $6,693 under “Enrichment”. Enrichment is paid from dedicated funds to obtain things such as the Galician Farmstead which enhance the historical building program at the Village. Expenses will be much higher this year but are all accounted for in the budget.
7. Appointment of Auditor for 2017
Jeremy Haluschak brought forward three proposals for Auditing Services. Having compared these quotations, the current auditor is still deemed to be the best value for the Society’s needs.
Appoint Pennock Acheson Nielsen Devaney as Auditors for the 2017 Financial Year.
Moved by Jeremy Haluschak; Seconded by Christina Ostashevsky.
A question was raised as to why the quotations are on the basis of hourly rates, rather than a straight contract rate for the entire job. Jeremy said that this is the way an audit is conducted; besides offering not-for-profit rates, saving happens by employing the different levels of service (i.e. junior accountants) for the different tasks.
8. Election of Directors
Jeremy Haluschak presented the slate of Officers of the Board for 2017 as follows:
President – 2 year term Gordon Yaremchuk
First Vice President – 1 year term Lida Migus
Second Vice President – 2 year term Natalka Bilotta
Treasurer – 1 year term Jeremy Haluschak
Director – 2 year term Alvin Hewko
Director – 1 year term Adrianne Nowicki
Director – 2 year term Ben Maklowich
Director – 1 year term Miranda Koshelek
Director – 2 year term Luda Bradley
Director – 1 year term Rebecca Kuchmak
Jeremy pointed out that there are still two vacancies on the board – Secretary and 1 Director. If anyone is interested in being nominated or nominating someone, contact the Executive Director for consideration.
9. Closing Remarks In his closing remarks, Gordon Yaremchuk expressed thanks to all welcomed everyone to another year of valuable dedication to the enhancement of the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village.
10. Adjournment The AGM Chair declared the meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m.