22 Oct AGM 2020 – President’s Report
I’d like to begin by thanking the Board and members for the support and encouragement I have received in my first year as President of the Board. I know now the amount of time and energy required to fulfill this position and the numerous responsibilities it entails and I have even more appreciation for all the past Presidents and the fantastic job they did.
So… who would have thought that after our last AGM in April of 2019 we would have had the year we’ve had. The summer was spent completing the transition of knowledge and materials to the new Board and Executive and an opportunity to begin a deeper look into our operations, partnerships and governance. On the governance front, our application for charitable status is finally complete and is being vetted by our Counsel prior to being submitted to the government for final approval. While government efficiency isn’t stellar at the best of time, due to the pandemic we can expect a delay in our application being processed. We will keep the membership apprised of any changes. Regarding operations, we have begun the process of ensuring that Programs have the support and resources they need to deliver the quality experience that our Members expect. Both Division and CADS National are being far more proactive in their relationship with individual programs. Discussions are still underway with Ontario Track 3 and we do hope that we can take advantage of this unprecedented time to re-evaluate our collective mission and purpose and to find more ways to work together rather than alongside each other.
The 2019/20 season began with a successful Orientation session at Horseshoe including an Administrator’s Workshop. This was followed up by another successful PreCourse with several certifications being achieved. With somewhat of a delayed start due to weather Programming began in January and continued fairly uninterrupted until March when the lockdown was enacted and all programs came to a crashing halt. Thankfully most programs were able to complete the majority of their season but sadly Festival had to be cancelled.
Our 2019/20 membership numbers totalled 462 a decrease of approximately 8% from the 2018/19 season. While this year’s numbers are likely to drop considerably, we are encouraging people to renew their membership where possible in hopes that we can resume normal programming next year.
We also made the decision not to host our AGM in the Spring in order that we could take time to re-evaluate the parameters in which we were being asked to operate and plan this Fall’s AGM with some sense direction.
2 major changes have been developed and implemented over the Summer. The first is the introduction (at least for CADS Ontario) of a new registration system; Snowline. Snowline is a purpose-built and full-featured online registration and program management system that will greatly speed-up the registration process, consolidate numerous required waivers and policies in addition to providing Program Coordinators, Instructors and Students access to their respective information in an intuitive and accessible way. Your individual Program Directors have had training on this new platform this Summer and Fall and I encourage feedback from the Membership regarding its use.
Secondly, CADS Ontario began discussions with CADS National and several of the other Divisions around formulating a Return to Snow Plan. Knowing that each Division and by default each Program would need a guiding document in order to help them navigate the complex but necessary steps in order to resume programming this year.
You will have received a link to the DRAFT copy of the CADS Ontario Return to Snow Plan which provides a concise but detailed outline on the requirements and recommendations required by each Program should they choose to run their program this year. I would like to thank the CADS Ontario Return to Snow Plan Working Group and the CADS-NCD Working Group for the assistance in putting this document together. It is important to note that this is a ‘living document’ which will likely undergo revisions and amendments throughout the season as circumstances warrant. This document will reside on the CADS Ontario website within our COVID-19 Resources page. Copies can also be emailed to Members upon request.
I wanted to introduce the Return to Snow Plan in my President’s Report to highlight a few key points and then leave what I imagine may be a number of questions, for the Members Q&A immediately following the adjournment of the AGM. This way we can have an informal discussion and offers a more open forum for dialogue. While this document is primarily to be used a Guide for Program Coordinators, it does provide some details on what Students and Instructor/Volunteers will be asked to adhere to.
The first item I wanted to highlight is that the CADS Ontario Return to Snow Plan will act as a 4th line of protocol following the guidelines imposed by the Ministry of Health, the local Regional Health Unit and finally the host Resort. Recognizing that our 8 programs fall under 5 Regional Health Units and 8 Resorts, you can appreciate that not all guidelines will be the same and that these will change depending on the COVID-climate of the region. Secondly, along with some additional Waivers which you will find during your Membership renewal, a daily COVID Health Affirmation will need to be completed prior to participating in your program. This will need to be completed by ALL participants. Thankfully this is embedded within Snowline and will be easy to access and eliminates additional paperwork. Finally, you will likely be seeing some changes to your program and how you arrive, check-in, get ready, have your lesson and depart. Your Program Coordinator(s) will explain the procedure for your individual Program prior to arriving for your first class. Most of the conditions that you are already familiar with will be required including but not limited to masks, physical distancing and regular hand sanitizing. I would also implore you to be vigilant in your self-monitoring and to not arrive for a program if you have any COVID-19 related symptoms. We’ll all be safer as a result.
I would also add that, as a result of the pandemic and the restrictions being placed on resorts and programs, 2 of our programs will not be running this season. Both Horseshoe and Sir Sam’s CADS programs will not be running their weekly programming this season but due hope to return to full strength again next year. As a result, there are some Volunteers and Certified Instructors available to offer their assistance at any other Program. I would encourage programs to consider this offer should they need extra help. It is possible, that, in lieu of programming, we may look for opportunities to offer some certification sessions should conditions allow.
This leads me to my last point and that is that Programs may be a little late in communicating with their members as they continue to work out logistics and evaluating their capacity to resume programming this season. I would ask you for patience while they work out their respective plans in combination with their host resorts.
That concludes my President’s Report. Thank you.