AGM Communications

Friends of the University of Alberta Botanic Garden
Minutes of the 48th Annual General Meeting
Saturday, April 27, 2019
Field House, University of Alberta Botanic Garden

Present –
Board Members –Gwen Holland, Diane Bell, Lynn Bellamy, Janet McLean, Bruce Dancik, Nicole Stratton
Members of Friends –Connie Prentice, Larry Holland, Marie MacLean, Vickie Boechler, Brenda Laishley, Rose Bendfeld, Jim Benfeld, Melanie Kruger, Zahra Merali, Karim Merali, Garnet Ropert, Margit Schowalter, Kerry Moore, Kelli Foote, Dolores Brent, Neil Lang, Colleen Nissen, Valerie Kennedy, Lorene Turner, Brett Zawadiuk, Dianne Turner
Guests – Shelley Hys-Postill

1. Call to Order – Gwen Holland, President, called the meeting to order at 1:30 pm.
2. Adoption of Agenda – moved by Bruce Dancik, 2nd by Lynn Bellamy
3. Adoption of Previous Minutes – moved by Lynn Bellamy, 2nd by Nicole Stratton
4. 2018 Financial Statements – The President, Gwen Holland reviewed the Financial Statements for 2018. Moved to accept by Neil Lang, 2nd by Bruce Dancik.
5. President’s Report – I wish to thank everyone for coming today to help us close another year and begin a new one. This past year has been more than a little exciting, including the opening of the Aka Khan garden. The Friends membership was able to enjoy a special tour of the Aka Khan garden with Dr. Foote and the staff in early June. Later in the summer, we were also given a tour of the construction and workings of the garden by the engineers who built it. As you know, we raise money for UABG by way of donations, grants from the Edmonton Community Trust Fund, membership fees and a casino. The past year we have been able raise money for the Bee garden and fencing, an Interpretive Cart, golf carts for the B-Line, and the Potager garden. In the coming year we have dedicated money to replace the shingles and the sky lights on the Pine pavilion, shades for the Tropical House and improvements to the Japanese garden. This year, the Friends board has imparted on a five-year strategic plan. The purpose of the plan is to align our goals with those of the Garden. The plan includes a means of fund raising and increasing donations, as well as projects, and the identification of key areas such as: Events, Communication and Liaison with the University. The events committee last year scheduled three walks in the Garden but unfortunately the weather had other plans. However, they did organize a very successful presentation in conjunction with the Friends of the Alberta Royal museum earlier this year. This event attracted over 100 people, resulting in raising $450 for each group. There is another garden walk scheduled for July 28, titled “the Heritage of the Garden” and a pot luck in the fall. We also have a special event planned for June 27. As part of the Gardens Thursday Date night series, this will be a “Celebration of Friends”. This night will include a BBQ accompanied by a live Jazz band, a Tree Walk with Dr. Dancik and a behind the scenes tour of the garden. Please go online to the UABG website to register. The communication group was also busy. With the changing of the name of the garden and therefore the name of the friends, we had to change not only our electronic outreach but also our brochures, business cards and banners. We thought it was an opportune time to also change our logo so as to be in step with the Garden logo. I would like to thank all the extra time this committee spent on this project and a special thanks to Nicole Stratton who designed the logo and the art work on the brochure. Thank you, Nicole. The liaison committee has been tasked with improving communications between the Friends and the garden management and staff. We have had the privilege of garden staff attending our board meetings so that we can learn more about their roles and responsibilities. The liaison committee keeps the Garden abreast of FOG plans and coordinates FOG events, fund raising and projects with UABG. FOG is still committed to contributing $4000 to the bursary fund. Although last year, with the garden opening late, the amount spent was only $535 there are plans to be able to utilize the full $4000 this year. The monies are divided between Camp Chance, YMCA day camps, and nonprofit and charity groups. FOG will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021 with our project of the improvement of the walkway in the Imrie Wetlands. We have the expectation that this project will cost approximately $150,000. The Friends has now approximately $90,000 set aside. I am pleased to announce that the permits are being applied for already and drawings have been started. The actual building of the walkway will take place in January of 2021. The walkway is used by over 17,000 children participating in the school programs each year. I would like to thank all the volunteers who assisted in manning the Friends table at the garden last summer. We are planning to do it again this year but once more will need help. We are also going to be looking for volunteers for our casino to be held August 19 and 20. One other request for volunteers: the garden is holding its annual plant sale May 11 and 12 and has asked for help from the Friends. If you can donate some time on these days it would be appreciated. I would like to thank all the board members who have made my job so easy and fun. I would also like to thank Dr. Foote whose support is never failing as well as all the garden staff, their assistance has been invaluable.
6. Appointment of Auditor –Romanovsky & Associates were appointed to review the books for 2019.
7. Election of Executive and Trustees –
Secretary-Treasurer – Diane Bell nominated, no further nominations. Diane voted in as Secretary-Treasurer
Trustees – to be elected for another two year term Lee Foote, Katherine Irwin.
New FOG Board Members appointed Debra Meakin, Nicole Stratton, Nicole Mongrain, Zahra Merali, Melanie Kruger, and Brett Zawadiuk.
Karen Robard and Nicole Bedard have resigned from the board.
Moved by Connie Prentice and 2nd by Neil Lang.
8. Adjournment – The meeting adjourned at 2:05 pm by Connie Prentice and 2nd by Brett Zawadiuk.