You can also read this post at this link: Naramata Centre E-News
It was a lovely fall weekend in Naramata when your Board gathered, Nov 20-22, to explore possibilities for the future. Please read on for information and updates about Engagement Session Results, Short and Long Term Approaches, Refugee Response, and 2016 AGM Dates.
ENGAGEMENT SESSION RESULTS
Over 270 people in 20 local engagement sessions told us what they thought. And we used this information to guide our thinking and planning for the future.
Given the enthusiastic response we received from you, the Board is keen to move forward towards re-opening the Centre, if a sustainable financial model can be found to do so . The next step is developing a financially viable operating plan that ensures meaningful activities and experiences for people who attend the Centre.
We spent time at this meeting focussing on the core purpose of the Centre using the feedback you provided in the engagement sessions. Please see the summary of these results posted on the Board’s blog November 25th: http://www.naramatacentresociety.org/blog/2015/11/25/results-from-the-engagement-sessions
SHORT AND LONG TERM APPROACHES
As a managing board with no employees our work is always a combination of taking care of day to day tasks to ensure the ongoing well being of the Centre as well as long term planning for the future.
We have been working to reduce costs at the Centre. The expenses and revenues are much less than they were when the Centre was operating and we have reduced our costs to match our much reduced revenues. For 2016 we have a ways to go in having revenues match expenditures and will be working on options for generating revenue while we develop an operating plan for consideration by BC Conference and our members.
As suggested by many of you in the engagement sessions we have been looking at what we can learn from other retreat centres in various countries in addition to Canada. Our thanks to Dr. Janet Groen of the University of Calgary for her help with this work. Each of the retreat Centres have a unique history and quite different operating models. As we move through development of an operating plan we will be drawing on the information from these other centres to help guide us.
We spent time understanding in depth our buildings and land, including our sewage system, examining the strengths and weaknesses of each building. Our thanks to Craig Burns and Robin Robertson for sharing their expertise with us. As a number of you said it is important for the board to identify which buildings are central to our ongoing purpose as well as identifying which land or buildings may be surplus and can be used to generate revenue by being leased or sold.
We spent time understanding a variety of tools which could possibly assist us in developing an operating model such as cooperatives, Community Contribution companies, social enterprise, partnerships with businesses, fractional ownership and fund raising.
Our goal in creating an operating plan for review by BC Conference and our membership is to describe what we want the Centre to be providing in 5 years and how we will be providing that with milestones to be achieved for each year of that 5 year plan. If we are able to re-open we know we have to start small and revenues must match expenditures in each year of operation within the 5 year plan. We are excited about the possibilities. Between now and our January meeting we will be doing in depth research on the available tools and developing two options for an operating plan for the future. At our January meeting we will finalize the draft operating plan for initial review by BC Conference in February.
Many of our society members, Centre supporters, local residents and other neighbours near and far have wondered about using Naramata Centre as a place for housing. Please read our blog post of Nov 24, sharing our decision to support help for Syrian refugees: http://www.naramatacentresociety.org/blog/2015/11/24/naramata-centre-society-responds-to-help-syrian-refugees
28 MAY 2016 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
We have set Saturday May 28 as the date for our Annual General meeting. Thank you to all of you who have joined as members of the society. If you want to be able to participate in the AGM as a voting member and have not already joined, please do so by the end February to meet the requirement of having been a member for three months prior to the AGM. Join the Society at this link: http://www.naramatacentresociety.org/membership/
We look forward to sharing our progress with you in the coming months.
The Board team
Doug Woollard, Kathy Hamilton, Sarah Vollett, Dhane Merriman, Tressa Brotsky, Jeremy Church, Pam Rinehart, Norma Fraser, Jenne Newman, Barb Hatfield, Mandy Roberston, Gordon How (BC Conference Rep)