Notes from your national executive council: A report from the September 2016 (Q3) meeting

Notes from your national executive council: A report from the September 2016 (Q3) meeting

Your national executive council (NEC) held its September meeting in Ottawa on September 24–25. The minutes will be posted on the Editors Canada website once they have been approved.

What did you discuss and what decisions did you make?

Roles: Here is your 2016–17 NEC:

Anne Louise Mahoney (Editors Ottawa-Gatineau)

Gael Spivak (Editors Ottawa-Gatineau)

Past president
Greg Ioannou (Editors Toronto)

Carolyn Brown (Editors Ottawa-Gatineau)

Breanne MacDonald (Editors Hamilton-Halton)

Michelle van der Merwe (Editors British Columbia)

Training and development
Stacey Atkinson (Editors Ottawa-Gatineau)

Berna Ozunal (Editors Toronto)

Volunteer relations
Patricia MacDonald (Editors Nova Scotia)

Professional standards
Elizabeth d’Anjou (Editors Kingston)

Francophone affairs
Marie-Christine Payette (Editors Quebec/Atlantic Canada)

Branches and twigs (east)
David Johansen (Editors Quebec/Atlantic Canada)

Branches and twigs (west)
Margaret Shaw (Editors British Columbia)

We look forward to serving you this year.

Finances: Our focus on Saturday was finances. To start us off, treasurer Carolyn Brown made a presentation on the current financial picture. Based on the first nine months of the year, she projects that the association will end the year in a slight deficit.

Membership: Carolyn also did a membership analysis to help us understand current trends.

  • A key conclusion, based on information from Statistics Canada and the Labour Force Survey: there has been a major change in the labour market for editors, with the number of jobs dropping sharply since 2011. (This decline may be a lag effect of the economic crises that began in 2008.)
  • Editors Canada membership has dropped steadily since 2008, in step with the labour market decline since 2011.
  • The effect on membership may be slightly exacerbated by increases in annual fees (price sensitivity in a poor labour market).
  • To date, membership levels in 2016 have not fallen from 2015 levels, and we will focus this year on increasing the value for membership.

New sources of funding: Based on Carolyn’s analysis, Editors Canada is a lean organization that has trimmed expenses where possible. That means we need to explore new sources of funding. Here are a few we’ll be working on this year (we talked about some of them at the meeting): grants, sponsorships, advertising and crowdfunding. We’ll let you know how this process unfolds.

Active Voice/Voix active: We’re planning to create a taskforce to look at the goals of our national magazine and make recommendations on how it can best serve Editors Canada members.

Branch/twig toolkit: This practical toolkit will be available online this fall to help branch and twig leaders access existing resources rather than having to reinvent the wheel.

Branch/twig taskforce: The group began meeting by phone in early October to explore how revenue and expenses are shared between the national office and local groups.

Editing Canadian English 3: Our first printing of ECE3 is nearly sold out! As of mid-September, only 60 copies remain. We’ll be reprinting soon. Also, an enterprising member, Andrea Hatley (Editors Manitoba), volunteered to create an ebook (EPUB and MOBI editions) of ECE3! Thanks to Andrea and a team of beta testers, we expect the ebook to be available for purchase later this fall.

Promotion: We know we need to do more to spread the word about the value of editors and of Editors Canada, such as by reaching out to employers and clients and adding new website content geared to writers. This is a key activity for 2016–17.

Member services: Belonging to the association is only of value if people get services they want and need. This year we’ll look into providing services for rural members, francophones, student affiliates and in-house editors; helping members find meaningful employment opportunities; launching the national mentorship program in the new year; updating the Standard Freelance Editorial Agreement; advocating on behalf of members; and more.

Agrément: The comparative editing test, which had been scheduled for fall 2016, will be offered on January 28, 2017.

Partnerships with other associations: We are exploring partnerships with various international and Canadian associations that have something to offer our members. We’ll announce these as they are formalized.

Succession planning and continuity: One of the weak links for volunteer organizations is the lack of continuity from year to year as volunteers come and go. We have created a continuity officer position to help us organize information to make it more accessible for members, as well as future executives, branches, twigs, committees and staff.

Did you see any local members while you were in Ottawa-Gatineau?

Yes! On Friday night, about 15 members joined us at the bar at the Sheraton Hotel—it was a fun, informal event. Ottawa–Gatineau chair Kaarina Stiff attended our meeting for an hour on Saturday to share some of the branch’s recent achievements and challenges. On Saturday night, five members met us for dinner downtown at Tosca. As always, it was great to connect with local members.

When’s your next meeting?

Our next meeting, where we will set the budget for 2017, is on November 19–20, in Toronto.

Talk to you soon!

Anne Louise Mahoney, president

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