Please consider this official notice of our AGM:
March 12 from 2:30pm-4:00pm at New Westminster Public Library
Our Annual General Meeting is March 12 from 2:30 to 4:00pm at New Westminster Public Library, located at 716 Sixth Street. The meeting will take place in the Auditorium (downstairs) which is accessible via stairs and an elevator. You don’t need to register to attend, and we hope you’ll bring a friend! There will be tea and coffee and cookies for you.
We have lots to report on at our AGM, and as a result, we won’t be having a guest speaker. There are some exciting changes coming up for RCFM as we enter our tenth year of operation and we can’t wait to talk with you about them.
If you need any help in getting to the AGM, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to arrange rides to make sure you can be there with us.
What to expect at our AGM this year:
Reports on Our Year: You’ll hear reports from two people: Valerie, our Operations Manager on some of the highlights of the market this year, and me, the President, on some of the advocacy work we completed, and some of our plans currently underway.
Approving Financial Statements: Exciting to some and boring to others, this is an important piece of business we’ll be taking care of on March 12. Our outgoing treasurer, Sheila, will be providing a report on our financials. This past year we have completely redeveloped how we do our bookkeeping so that it is more efficient, and we’ve also made a few spending decisions we weren’t expecting. For example, training for our new market manager, Valerie, added some additional personnel time we hadn’t budgeted for. We opted to update our database and application system for vendors and rebuild our website (launching soon!), and hire a bookkeeper and a communications contractor. We also hadn’t anticipated paying mandatory police officers to staff barricades at last year’s winter market. As a board, we have been democratic, thoughtful, and pragmatic in our financial decision-making, but we want to talk to our members a bit about what some of those spends mean for the long-term viability of RCFM and how we came to make them. It’s good news we’re sharing, but transparency is important to us.
Bylaws and Constitution Changes Proposed: In late 2016, a new BC Societies Act came into effect. At the AGM, Royal City Farmers Market’s Board of Directors will be making a motion to replace our current bylaws and constitution (here) with the new version set out in Schedule B of the new Act, for a few reasons:
- There’s nothing in Schedule B that would negatively impact our society and the way we currently operate.
- Some of the changes will actually professionalize and provide flexibility to our society. For example, under the new Act, directors are required to provide written confirmation that they agree to serve on our board. This also gives us a chance to include a clause about confidentiality, terms of service, etc. Additionally, the new Bylaws and Constitution will provide flexibility for future iterations of the board in terms of how many directors are required and their term lengths. Currently, we have a very specific and somewhat complicated list of positions and responsibilities for our directors. The new Bylaws and Constitution will allow for the group to adapt based on the volunteers who would like to commit, rather than having to adapt to meet the Bylaws and Constitution.
- By doing this, our Bylaws and Constitution will always be up-to-date to whatever is the most current version. Right now, there’s some parts of our current Bylaws and Constitution that are a bit outdated, especially as it relates to communication with our members (Use a facsimile machine? Does anyone have one anymore?). By adopting the Schedule B Bylaws and Constitution, the updates will be automatic and be one less thing for the board to worry about.
New Name Proposed: That’s right. After ten years in operation as Royal City Farmers Market, our Board of Directors will be putting forth a motion to initiate the process to change our name to New Westminster Farmers Market Society, or New West Farmers Market casually. How come? Well, part of our Strategic Plan is to build relationships with new vendors and new shoppers. The truth is, the “Royal City” moniker is a bit of a New Westminsterism that people outside of New West don’t quite understand, and even some people here in New West don’t really understand. Very few people outside of New West call us Royal City Farmers Market. Almost of them call us New West Farmers Market, and we’ve struggled a bit to make our marketing and communications work clear. A lot has changed in ten years, and we aim for proactive changes, rather than reactive ones. The time is right: if we are transitioning to the new Societies Act anyway, this is a good time to do a bit of organizational housekeeping at the same time. So, we will be seeking approval to begin that process.
Elect or Acclaim a Revised Board: Some of the most basic business of an AGM is to elect a new board. We do not take nominations from the floor, and haven’t for a few years. We are losing a few of our directors this year due to new jobs and changes in their personal lives which is a loss for RCFM, but we have a couple of new faces who are willing to step forward. Nominations closed March 4, and here are the nominees. As only six nominees have agreed to stand, they will be acclaimed. As president, I am in a two-year term, and do not require re-election this year as my term doesn’t end until our next AGM.
After that, there will be cookies and socializing.
Phew! It’s going to be a good one. We hope you can join us on March 12.