Notes from your national executive council: A report from the March 2020 (Q1) meeting

The national executive council (NEC) met in Toronto on March 14 and 15, 2020.

This meeting was unique in that it happened at the same time as the COVID-19 situation was escalating in Canada. As a result, we had a combined in-person/Zoom meeting because several directors made the decision not to travel to Toronto, while some directors attended in person as planned. Chairing this type of hybrid online/in-person meeting was a new experience for me, but I believe under the circumstances that it worked very well. Thank you to all the attendees who were patient with me as I figured out how to chair the meeting.

Thank you also to Michelle Ou and Caitlin Stewart, who attended the meeting to give valuable staff insight, and to Nicole Watkins Campbell, who did a fabulous job as our new volunteer recording secretary.

Rethink update

The Editors Canada rethink has been in the works for about a year, and we’ve started to make some good progress. One of the first things directors did was to go through the list of member comments and evaluate and discuss them to figure out which ones can be implemented. We then prioritized the tasks as short term, medium term, long term, and in progress/complete. Each director has been updating the spreadsheet as tasks are completed to keep track of the work being done.

We’ve made particularly good headway in the areas of educating editors, connecting editors, building communities, and administering it all. Some specific achievements include revising the mentorship program to allow for two levels of mentorship and student participation, creating a wider range of webinars that appeal to non-editors and editors alike, and creating a virtual group, the Editors’ Vine, to reach remote members and members who can’t easily attend meetings.

Moving forward, the directors will reevaluate the remaining tasks and reprioritize them so we can continue to implement member suggestions. Please keep up to date on what we are working on by visiting the member comment spreadsheet linked above at any time.

Branches and twigs

The NEC was able to speak with two of our twigs over the weekend: Alicia Chantal, co-coordinator of the Edmonton twig, joined us via Zoom on Saturday, and Ryan Smith, coordinator of the Calgary twig, joined us via Zoom on Sunday. Both twigs are doing very well and have held a number of well-received events over the last few months.

Both Ryan and Alicia mentioned possibly having to cancel upcoming meetings due to COVID-19, and one thing the NEC suggested to them was using the Editors Canada Zoom account to connect online instead of cancelling. This option is open to all branches and twigs; however, our subscription only allows us to have one “classroom” running at a time, so you’ll need to make sure your proposed meeting date and time isn’t already taken. Please email Michelle Ou at for any Zoom meeting requests. Be sure to make your request at least three business days in advance of your meeting date, and include the start time (including time zone), the length of the meeting, and the name of the branch, twig or committee that is meeting. You can send Michelle a follow-up email if you haven’t received a response within two business days.

Work in progress

The NEC discussed a number of other projects and ideas that are on the go. We’ve been working on getting access to G Suite for Nonprofits, which would allow Editors Canada free access to Google Drive accounts for all committees and task forces (as well as branches and twigs, if desired). This would increase continuity when there is turnover of committee members and/or chairs by allocating file storage by Editors Canada email address (e.g., of the committee chair), rather than each committee/group using their own personal storage for committee documents. More information will be shared as it is available.

We’ve also created a copyright policy and procedures to protect work done by volunteers for Editors Canada. The NEC is currently working on a strategy to implement the policy and procedures, and we’ll be contacting our volunteers when this is ready.

Next meeting

The NEC’s next meeting will be held over Zoom on Saturday, June 27.

The NEC and the office staff will also be planning to hold the 2020 annual general meeting online due to the cancellation of this year’s conference. More information will be sent to members as soon as possible.

On behalf of the entire NEC, I wish everyone the best of health during these trying times. Be sure to connect with your fellow editors on the Editors Canada Members-Only Facebook group, the Editors Canada Twitter page, and the Editors Canada LinkedIn page, as well as on your local branch and twig groups or pages. And don’t forget you can join the Editors’ Vine each month on the first Thursday evening at 7 p.m., Eastern (4 p.m., Pacific) and on the Saturday that follows at 1 p.m., Eastern (10 a.m., Pacific). If you would like to join the May meeting, please email

Also, please keep in mind that the national office is now closed because of COVID-19, and our office staff are working from home. This may cause delays in some areas, and we ask for your patience. The directors continue to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on our member services and will keep members informed as necessary if further changes arise.

Heather Buzila

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