The North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association held their 2020 Annual General Meeting by virtual video conferencing on Sunday, Mar. 14. It was a first for the organization.
“We usually hold our AGM in November of each year, but due to COVID-19 we delayed it for as long as we could so that more of our membership could participate,” reported association president Jill Hayward. “We needed to hold our annual elections and present our 2020 financial statements review for approval to our membership – virtual was the only way to accomplish that in a timely manner.”
Twenty-seven members attended the online meeting, as well as special guest Dennis Piva of Tenisci Piva LLP Chartered Professional Accountants, who attended to present the 2020 financial statements.
In the president’s report to the membership Hayward thanked members and supporters of the association who stepped up to help during the past 12 months.
”You have all helped to keep our organization and the facility alive by exceptional volunteering, and sourcing of funding through grants and fundraisers,” said Hayward, “By joining together to present our first Drive In Cowboy Church, a very successful Fall Fair Drive Thru event (thanks to over 100 volunteers), and our amazing Christmas At The Fair Light Show Drive Thru that saw 1051 people attend in 348 vehicles over the four days. Thank you to everyone who participated.”
The president also thanked all who sold or bought 50/50 raffle tickets that paid out $10,000 to the winner and raised $10,000 for the organization, Other fundraisers included marketing N Leaf fruit and vegetables, and also selling bulbs dug from fairground flower beds.
A large thank you was also extended to the Lower North Thompson Community Forest Society, and to CN for providing grants to assist with monthly utility and insurance costs enabling the facility to remain open, and a special thank you to an anonymous donor who provided generous support when it was most needed.
“We are still fundraising like crazy to keep the doors open,” said Hayward, “But we have made it this far, and we have every intention of weathering the pandemic shutdown until we can get back to business as usual at our fairground facility.”
The annual election of officers, board members, and conveners was chaired by Ed Salle, with the list of nominees presented by Nomination Committee Chair Donna Salle. During the elections no further nominations were submitted from the floor.
Executive (for a one year term): President Jill Hayward, 1st vice-president Karl Rainer, 2nd vice-resident Harley Wright, correspondence secretary Pat Paula, interim treasurer Michelle Johnson.
Directors (for a two year term): Brian Sabyan, Bob Black, Glen Stanley, Gordie West, and Donna Kibble.
Conveners (for a two year term): Goats – Sharon Threatful, flowers -Dianne Bloomfield and Dodie Lysak, camping – Shane Baykey, 4-H photography – Brent Hamblin, rabbits/cavies – Ginger McCurdy, exhibit hall – Sylvia Chivers, gates – Linda Altenhofen, parking – Ed and Donna Salle, advertising – Jill Hayward, crochet, knitting, fiber arts – Denise Proznick, companion garden – Jane Milburn, boys and girls schoolwork – TBA, parade – Bob Payette, booth rentals – Joanne Pettersen, catalogue – Pat Paula.
Committee reports presented included a number of grant applications that have been applied for, and confirmations regarding funding received and earmarked for improvement projects to the fairground facility. One such improvement was a grant from BC Gaming to conduct roof repair maintenance on the North Thompson Agriplex.
The possibility of hosting another 50/50 raffle is also currently under consideration.
Harley Wright reported a grant application was sent to the Agri Spirit Fund asking for funding to install a rain water catchment system that would utilize rain coming off the Agriplex roof which could then be used to water the fairground gardens during summer months and water restrictions, and it would also reduce the cost of water usage fees incurred with the District of Barriere.
Donna Kibble reported confirmation of a New Horizons For Seniors grant that the NTFFRA structured to benefit area seniors. Funding will provide senior friendly chairs for the fairgrounds, a dishwasher for the Fall Fair Hall, and six new porta potties for facility events. Funds are also included to pay for the seasonal garden plot rental fees in the District of Barriere Community Garden for senior users, and a basket of vegetable plants purchased from the local 4-H club will also be provided for planting in each senior’s garden plot. Twenty folding picnic tables will be purchased for the fairgrounds, and the tables will also be made available to the District of Barriere as needed for municipal events.
NTFFRA Ambassador Committee chair Leslie Harpauer reported that due to COVID -19 restrictions the Ambassadors were unable to do many of the programs they normally participate in, but they did hold a successful Apron Auction, a virtual Speech Pageant Night, and other virtual programs. They participated in the Walk for Alzheimer’s, helped at a silent auction, handed out stuffed bags at the Fall Fair Drive Thru, made a ‘Frozen’ display for the Christmas at the Fair Light Show, helped with NTFFRA produce fundraisers every second week through the summer, and also held a bottle drive that netted $2,000.
Hayward also advised the organization has recently completed a Density Study for the entire fairgrounds facility.
“The study will help with COVID-19 guidelines regarding social distancing and will also be invaluable in regards to future event planning at the facility, especially in the buildings.”
To learn more about the NTFFRA go to: www.fallfair-rodeo.com or follow them on Facebook: North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association.