Open Voices Board Meeting Minutes
March 29th, 2018
46 Colborne St at 7pm
In attendance: Andy Rush, Linda Williams, Skot Caldwell, Elaine Brown, Diana Hopkins Rosseel, Jerry Weller, Pamela
Bandy Dafoe, Sherry Aylesworth
Regrets: Linda Johnson
1. Approval of minutes from March 1st, 2018: Approved
2. Follow up from March 1st, or earlier
a). Request for impromptu community gigs:
Action: Linda Johnson to be asked about whether there are any gigs.
Linda Williams wondered if Systema would be good link for OV. This option to be explored in future.
Action: Andy to connect with Carma Thom or Juliene Bouchard.
b). Town Hall: To be held April 21st
It was decided the following topics will be brought to the Town Hall: Board Term, membership concerns and
taking terms off, members who cannot attend fully, OV donation requests, and gathering general feedback.
Action: Andy to announce Town Hall (purpose, location, and date) at choir rehearsal.
c). Special General Meeting: This was discussed at length at last Board meeting. Diana reported that she
discussed options of changing Board recruitment and AGM with Gord McDiarmid. The proposed idea is to recruit
new Board members in the spring and have a Special General Meeting (AGM) at that time. Six weeks is required
to give notice of AGM. Thus a date of May 16th at 7:00 pm was selected to hold the Special General Meeting.
Action: Diana will make an announcement at rehearsal describing new AGM and Board recruitment process.
Jerry will share a power point presentation with choir.
Gord McDiarmid is looking into auditors to see if books can be closed by spring of each year.
d). Feedback from choir-re. Vocal/Singing Health workshop:
Choir members were wondering what was happening with the proposed vocal workshop. A sign-up sheet for a
vocal singing health workshop was posted some time ago at rehearsal to determine if there was any interest.
Twenty members have signed up. It was suggested that Karen Bright, Speech Pathologist could do this workshop.
She has experience with singers and would thus be a good fit. Diana read an email she sent Karen requesting her
services and the follow up response. Karen is interested and thus the following dates are options: May- 5th, 12 or
26th. Diana was thanked for her work on this.
Action: Diana to forward email correspondence/contact with Karen to Linda and Andy. Andy will connect with
Karen and organize details.
e). Photo-directory of OV members: Frank Poce is interested in this. Tabled to next fall.
f). Syrian Family Support: Diana brought forth a request from Carole and Bruce Rosseel (Diana’s sister-in-law and
brother) who are in the process of bringing another family from Syria to Canada. They are requesting a donation
from OV for their cause. They suggested two possible options for donation: 1) a percentage of OV profits or 2)
OV participates in a charitable event in fall 2018. The event could be combined with EVE and She Sings. The
other choirs would donate their time. Andy suggested the possibility of OV doing some easy repertoire for this
event with any choir members available. OV would offer this for free and just show up to sing. The producers
would be the Rosseel family. Skot suggested another option: 3) have a collection jar available at a concert so that
the money does not come from OV funds.
Action: Topic of OV donations process to be placed on agenda for future board meetings.
Action: Diana to forward details about option 2 with Linda Johnson. Linda can then correspond with Carol and
Bruce about looking into a fall charitable event with EVE, She Sings and Open Voices.
Skot mentioned he has created a New Ideas file in Googledocs as there seems to be a lot of new ideas being
generated at Board meetings. All new ideas can be placed here and referred to by Board members.
3. New Business
Membership: (Andy and Elaine)
i). Intake process and membership numbers for next year (Andy, Elaine):
Andy feels the choir needs 100 people to be healthy and viable. The target number for membership should be
115 to allow for drop out, illness etc… With less than 115 members, it might be harder to generate dues required
to maintain the choir and to get audience members for ticket sales. There are a lot of requests for new members
to sing. The current intake procedure needs to be changed as it is too onerous a task for the membership person
and Andy during the summer months.
Action: Andy to make an announcement at rehearsal to recruit for a volunteer intake membership person.
ii). Retaining Members: There seems to be a recurring issue of retaining members, especially in the spring
session. Currently we do not hold a waiting list. It was proposed, that members who were considered in this past
summer’s intake be asked if they would like to be considered and contacted should a space open up. This
procedure would allow for the option to bring in new members when the need arises. This question would be
asked of future intake members who are considered.
iii). Review of dues refund policy
Currently: Membership Dues: “If a member has submitted a Registration Form and has paid dues, but later
withdraws from the choir or requests a leave of absence before Sept 30 of that year, will have their applicable
membership dues refunded. After that time, dues will not be returned.” And additionally…
The above policy will stay as it stands and was approved by Board.
Unforeseen Circumstances: “There will always be life events that no policy can anticipate. Members with
extenuating circumstances should always feel free to discuss accommodations with the Board member
responsible for membership.”
This part of the registration form allows for a request to leave choir for part of year if there is a tragedy, illness or
aging out. There is a current policy to accommodate this. Currently the form makes it accessible for members to
take off half a year for other reasons unrelated to the above reasons. This has been problematic and the Board
would like to see a commitment for a year. It was determined that the current registration form needs to be
Action: Elaine and Andy to update registration form and then forward to Board for review. There will be a rephrasing
of the commitment expectation.
Skot also brought up for discussion the issue of whether there needs to be a policy change concerning the
expectation of the full year commitment vs. taking term off. Is this a new policy?
Fee increase: (Pam, all)
Looking at future commitments, there is a concern there might not be enough money to cover these expenses.
Other expenses have gone up over the past few years. Should concert revenue cover expenses or should there
be a fee increase? The past fee increase was 2014. Expenses cannot be cut. Thus, there is very little wiggle room.
It was decided that fees will increase $30.00 bringing fees to $270.00. All approved.
This will be reflected on new registration form.
Action: Linda Williams to make an announcement about fees increasing in the fall.
Jan. 2019 dates when Cookes-Portsmouth is not available: the sanctuary will be used for Royal Conservatory
exams from Monday-Sat., Jan. 14- 26, 2019, until 6pm. Coco Love Alcorn is booked for Saturday January 26th. It
was suggested to hold the concert at St. Andrews or Edith Rankin Church. This discussion to be moved to the
next concert committee.
Action: Skot to look into venue options for next year.
Complaint of on-going sexually inappropriate language by a male member- (Linda W)
A letter of complaint was sent to the board from a choir member concerning on-going sexually inappropriate
language by a male choir member. The complaint specifically pointed out inappropriate comments that were
made in front of whole choir to Janice, the Assistant Artistic Director. The Board was asked to review Core Ethical
Principles document in their binders prior to the meeting. Upon discussion of the complaint, the following action
items were agreed upon by the Board:
Action: Skot Caldwell and Linda Williams will talk to Bill about his behaviour, and indicate that there is an
expectation that he apologize to Janice and Maggie and the choir. This conversation will happen at next choir
rehearsal. The action expected from Bill will be as follows: acknowledge what he did, understanding that he
made people feel uncomfortable, agree that he will not conduct himself in this manner again and to inform
Skot and Linda what he will do to show his behavior has changed. Linda and Skot will report back to Board
following the discussion and how to proceed from there.
Choir member request: (Diana): John Thomas and other choir members indicated that they find it helpful if they
get the songs that will be rehearsed at choir before each rehearsal. Diana brought this request to the Board
meeting. Andy stated he will do his best to accommodate this request. He will inform choir of ‘homework’ at
each rehearsal, so that choir members can come prepared.
Action: Andy stated that he will inform the choir at each rehearsal about what music members can rehearse
for the following week.
Elaine and/or a back up person will send out an email of what Andy has stated.
Action: Diana to talk to John Thomas about being the back -up person.
Treasurer- Pam: reports were sent to Board by email. Documents attached in email.
Artistic Director’s Report: (Andy)
a).Recent concerts, gigs: Tuskegee (Andy): Andy thanked Board for work with Tuskegee event. The event was
awesome. The choir should be proud of the whole event, promotion and hosting.
b).Queer Songbook Orchestra (Linda W) – 21 members showed up. It was a great event. Kim did a great job on
c).Peace Quest- Andy has accepted this request for event in the fall.
d).Street Song Initiative update- this is not happening at this time as Skeleton Park is currently hosting a similar
idea. There was a question about whether OV could tie in with their event. The response was No.
Concert Committee Report:
i). June concert update: Grand is responsible for this promotion. Rebecca Brown is Grand coordinator. Colleen
and Andy filled out forms for Grand and may need to review this to ensure that Rebecca gets paperwork. HST
number is required to get the process going.
Action: Pam to get this number ASAP to Andy so that he can complete forms.
ii). Poster/promotion: (Jerry) Received Blue Skies logo. There will be posters available this week. The LDSB
approved poster and will share with their schools. They will post on their Facebook page and twitter. Jerry
received two good quotes he will use in the promotion. LDSD is very appreciative of OV offering this great
musical opportunity for their students. Tickets for the evening show are $20.00 and $10. Jerry will send poster to
Susan Hara for website and to Nola for the program.
Action: Andy and Jerry to discuss promo option for next year’s season to have in June concert program. The
Grand will also promote our next season’s concert as part of the package.
The Board thanked Jerry for all his great efforts on the promotion of concert.
iii).Blue Skies in the Community Grant: received
iv). Teaching Kits: Andy is going to Skot’s school to work with some children to be involved in mini choir as part
of the concert. Skot will develop an application that will go home for those kids who are interested. The first 30
kids who get applications in will be chosen to be in the mini choir. Andy and Skot have dates set up to practice.
This will be a great addition to the concert.
i). Elaine has met all new members through Diana and Skot.
ii) Elaine sent out the Membership role description to Board members to review.
iii). Registration 2018/19 form: the current form was sent out by email to Board members.
iv).Fall registration forms to go out in May.
Action: Elaine to make an announcement in weeks leading up to May about registration for next year. Elaine
will also email those members who are on leave. Folks who were considered for Intake will be contacted as
well. (See above under membership in New Business for more details) The form will be revised ASAP.
Proposal for registration: A question arose around whether PayPal or e-access can be accepted as an option for
those who do not have cheques?
Action: Elaine to discuss PayPal and e-access options with Susan Hara and the method to access banking
Rehearsal chair fundraising and purchase- Diana
There is currently $800.00 in fundraising . Dave Best volunteered to create a trolley for the new chairs. Once the
details for trolley has been confirmed, then Diana will purchase chairs.
i). It was determined that three positions are required: Elaine Brown, Linda Williams and Diana Hopkins Rosseel
are to leave their positions at this time. Jerry Weller would like to remain.
ii). Board recruitment slides (Linda Williams). Linda sent some slides to the Board as suggestion for a method to
recruit new Board members. The idea is to show one slide each week as members are arriving for choir.
Everyone really liked the slides and thought it would be a great recruitment tool. Linda was thanked for her work
5. The following documents are included as attachments in March 29th Minutes email:
Email from Maggie S.
2018-2019 Registration Form
OV Board recruitment slides
6. Next meeting:
May 3rd, Andy’s house-50 Livingston
Diana to chair.