Below is the full text of the President's Report I submitted to the board. If you need a copy of this document as a separate file, please contact me.
PRESIDENT’S REPORT TO THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
JANUARY 29, 2011
“We are remembered by what we finished, not by what we started”.
This past year presented us with many challenges. The Ortic Railands project was a visionary initiative that was intended to re-define the museum through improvement of the infrastructure. It was successful in some ways – rehabilitating the track, repairing crossings and clearing away dead trees and brush. We also depended on the Ortic trainees for track repair and maintenance and in some ways that was forthcoming.
The agreement with Ortic was canceled in August for non-performance. The net result is that we have to complete the work using other sources of manpower.
We have been approached by Alberta Justice to set up a work schedule with the Attendance Centre inmates to perform work that otherwise would not be done. Track work and grounds maintenance are high on the list.
The following donations have been received:
- John Deere 850 bulldozer donated by Agrium
- CN donated xGT4520 – a unique high nose GP9
- LaFarge donated a 50 ton switch engine
- Alta Steel donated an 80 ton switcher and a 35 ton American Rail Crane
- A Trackmobile at Camrose Pipe was purchased by Don Weymouth and donated to the museum - $500
- A two-man speeder donated by Edmonton Radial Railway Society
- Canadian Rail Serve - $1,000
- Shop Rental (Brad Rae) - $3,000
- Operating Grant from the Edmonton Arts Council and City of Edmonton - $4,346.00
- Harrie Pollard $100
- Health Care Engineer’s Association of Alberta - $500
- John Rushton $600
- Don Kashuba $65
- Les Kozma $50
- 5-Star donations in kind – $5,104
The proceeds of the casino - $72,835.92 will be distributed between 2011 and 2012. The next casino will be in the second quarter of 2012.
A volunteer management and recognition program is being set up with the objective of increasing the numbers of volunteers. The software will list the skills and talents of our volunteers so that we can match them to the jobs available. Over the years we have depended on people such as Ernie Townend to keep track of our membership but the task now demands more attention than we have given it up to now. I am asking each of you to fill out a volunteer registration form so we can keep track of your activities, skills and interests. On the form is a question for your input about how we should recognize volunteers.
The board is addressing the recommendations of the Museum Mentorship Report from the summer of 2010.
They are as follows:
- Curb Appeal: weeds, parking lot, and unsightly area east of Dunvegan Shop by Pelee Island. Grounds and parking lot need to be cleaned up.
- Additional signage on 34th street, Highway 37 and Manning Drive
- Gift Shop – update fixturing, broaden merchandise range
- Website: redesign with action photos showing volunteers and people enjoying experience, not so bookish; promote events; list benefactors and thank you page; update links. Activate Facebook and Twitter for communication with visitors to the website. Mike Bowen has begun re-designing the website
- Volunteers: update volunteer opportunities, enhance recruitment
- School Tours: develop and sell in winter of 2011 to increase awareness & family visitation
- Explore opportunities with Edmonton TDR & Travel Alberta for activities and current advertising.
Stephen Yakimets and Maria Vicente have arranged a display at the Alberta Teacher’s Convention to further promote the museum’s educational value.
Maria will continue to schedule Thomas the Tank Engine story-time for children.
Mike Bowen is setting up Simply Accounting and is handling all the bookkeeping tasks. Getting current information entered has been a massive job. He has completed the entry of this year’s raw data. It is in the hands of our accounting firm.
There are many activities that are carried out by our dedicated volunteers. We are indebted to them for the following:
Feeding the cats, plowing snow, moving dirt, lifting rail, stacking ties, cutting grass, cleaning shops, restoring cars, cataloguing archives and providing visitor services. I have not put volunteer’s names to these activities – not because the people are not important but for fear of offending those I might miss. The Volunteer Management Software will enhance our ability to recognize your contributions more specifically.
Irene Dixon is completing her MBA from Athabasca University. Her project is focused on aspects of financial management, marketing, operations, and volunteer management among other topics. Her project has been approved by the board and will streamline many of our functions.
We have passed the re-vitalization stage of last year. We now need to get the “curb appeal” in place. I look forward to these challenges. It is a pleasure to work with all of you and to see what can be accomplished.
Your continued participation is essential. Thank you for making the Alberta Railway Museum into a significant part of Alberta and Canada’s railway heritage preservation movement.