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Annual General Meeting

The University of Winnipeg Club


Report to the AGM, October 30, 2015

Fiscal Year September 2014- August 2015

Overview

As we celebrate our 40th Anniversary today, I want to quickly remind you of what we have been up to in the past year: our Documentary Film nights, our Hot Lunch Speakers series, our Trivia Contests and Pub Nights, our Hat and Tropical Parties, our dinners preceding Theatre Night, our Staff Appreciation Week – ALL of which are advertised only to Club members.

But we also provide considerable service to the campus community at large. We Co-sponsor the annual Open House and End of Term Parties, we hold a Thank You Day every autumn for personnel in various campus services, we donate to the campus campaign of the United Way, we donate non-perishable food items to the UWSA Food Bank in December, and cash to the University’s Scholarship Fund via the November Beaujolais and Canapés fund-raiser. Finally, we have also done our best to accommodate PACE requests for space for some of their 55+ classes.

We give, but we also receive. Many senior administrative offices of UW has provided important material assistance to your Club, many of them with their own membership, but in particular the on-going waiver of rental charges. On your behalf I thank the President’s office for its recent financial assistance and its letter to the campus community, as well as the offices of the Vice-Presidents Academic, Finance, Human Resources, and Student Life. We owe a particular vote of thanks to Mike Emslie, the UW’s appointment to our Board, who has provided us with time, advice and material support. So too are we grateful to UWFA and AESES for their financial contributions to the Spring End of Term Party.

I also want to acknowledge the assistance we receive from other units of the University, including the personnel of Physical Plant, Printing Services, Technology Solutions Centre, Media Services, Marketing and Communications, Security Services, Diversity Food Services, the University’s Art Curator, Jennifer Gibson, and Mark Rondeau from Biology who occasionally resuscitates the Club’s flora.

May I also say that you have been well served by members of your Board of Directors, several of whom are stepping down after serving 2 two-year terms – notably our Vice-President, Bev Fehr, our Secretary, Alan Wiebe, and our quite exceptional Marketing Leader, Karen Tarr. You will soon have a chance to hear our nominations for the coming year, including those who have, thankfully, expressed a willingness to continue on the Board for a second year, or to begin a second two-year term, or – with your approval – to make their début on the Board.

I really must express my/your gratitude for the on-going work of Jeff Babb, our Treasurer, Suzanne Martin, our unofficial Club Designer and Website manager and, of course, Pam Delorme, our Administrative Assistant without whom we would be lost.

Membership

In October 2011 the total membership was reported as 279. In 2012 the total was 324, the current total is 378. Roughly 40% of our membership comes from Faculty, roughly 25% from Staff, with the remaining third coming from diverse quarters – graduate students, alumni, colleagues from sister institutions, 55+ students – all of whom help the Club stay afloat with their Associate membership fees.

Club Operator

Tracey Hilderman seems to be as satisfied with T.T.&W’s business as our members seem to be with her menu and her service. Daily lunch traffic remains constrained, if unpredictable, but her in-Club bookings are strong and her catering service is attracting more and more attention. At the end of the summer we extended our formal contract with T.T. & W. to June of 2016 – the key provision of which is a guaranteed monthly subsidy of $1000 through to May of next year.

House Committee

The period under review was less gentle on us than last year. We had to replace the back bar beer cooler for about $5,500, whereupon a competitive fridge in the kitchen cost us another $500. (I have learned that words like “compressors” and “thermostats” should not be used in polite company.)

So ends my report covering the fiscal year, but with your indulgence I would like to bring you up to date on a number of developments that have happened or are happening this autumn.

On the programme side: we have had a successful Open House Event in September, co-sponsored by the Club, the President’s Office and that of the Vice-President Finance; this month’s Hot Lunch featured Allen Mills on the federal election, then but days away; and Bruce Daniels will speak in November about US politics and what they might mean for us. Our first Doc. Night of this term featured “The Challenges of Giving Shelter” (on the Winnipeg Humane Society) and our November documentary, next Tuesday, is Aaron Floresco’s “One Gay City.” Please note that all films in this series are directed and produced by local artists and companies, and typically have one such person in attendance.

“Beaujolais & Canapés” on Friday 20 November – a fundraiser for scholarships, will feature the music of “Neil Besner and His Mystery Guests”, a silent auction of some very worthwhile donated items, some appetizing appetizers provided by the Club, and easy access to this year’s Nouveau Beaujolais which goes on sale in the 3rd week of November,

We hope to organize a Wesmen event, possibly in connection with the Duckworth Challenge early in 2016; we anticipate holding another Theatre Night in February, and contributing to the March 2016 version of Class Acts.

Sermon

Whatever the efforts of our operators and our Board members, this enterprise cannot survive without the material support and good-will of every member. Please make a point of getting up here for occasional lunches. Please encourage your respective units to direct some of their budgetary resources in our direction. Please consider booking our facilities for private events.

Please do whatever it takes to get your colleagues involved as members – especially your younger colleagues – for it is on them that our future depends. As fee-paying Club members you have the right to know that in the fall term of 2014 some 20+ campus units booked the Club for a variety of meetings and functions. That is great for Tracey, and indirectly for the Club, but the fact remains that a majority of the members of those units are still not Club members and as such are content to benefit from your generosity. Eg. Janis Thiessen in History – 6 new memberships.

We have an exceptional, truly unique, facility at the heart of our campus, but under-use will turn what all of us believe to be a resource essential to campus life into a perceived luxury. I’m looking forward to becoming a Past President and cooperating (within reason!) with your about-to-be (I trust) new President, but she and those you have elected are really in need of your help.

I say for a final time: Go Forth and Multiply.

President Robert J. Young