Program Season Review
It is fair to say that 2017 has been an interesting year with challenges and growth toward our goal of assuring a solid, long-term and healthy financial future for the Centre. With significant flooding in the spring and forest fires across BC bringing smoke to the south Okanagan for much of the summer, we faced significant challenges.
Like many other properties around Lake Okanagan, we lost our dock in a storm while the lake level was very high. We had some cancellations from people concerned about the air quality. But, by the last week of July we were virtually full. Thanks to the help of many volunteers our beach was cleaned and the remains of the dock were disassembled and removed leaving a wider beach with more sand.
The number of participants who came to the Centre this year increased significantly over 2016 creating momentum for an even better 2018.
Board Priorities and Key Work Areas
At our November 17-19 board meeting, we carefully reviewed all aspects of our 2017 Spring, Summer and Fall program seasons. It is a quiet time at the Centre but one of the busiest times for the board as we actively plan for next year. Here are some of our key areas of work:
- We have issued a call to the land development community for expressions of interest in partnering with the Centre and Naramata community as we develop the land we no longer require to achieve our mission. Responses are due at the end of January, after which we will select a development partner. The development and sale of land is essential to pay back BC Conference for the loan granted in 2013, and to enhance the property and buildings we will keep.
- We finalized the role description for the Managing Director we will hire in the new year. The director will have a two-year contract, and will work with the board to achieve our goals. Once the director is hired we will work together to hire additional staff. We will also post positions for paid interns to work with us from May to September. Watch for these postings in January.
The Naramata Centre Society
Board Program Team has recently called for program pitches for Spring, Summer, Fall 2018 and is currently vetting these submissions. We are excited about the potential for next season given the excellent ideas we have received.
Based on what we have learned in 2016 and 2017, the structure for next summer will change with
increased programming for children and youth, as well as a greater emphasis on community life.
Watch for the
program calendar and registration details in the new year. We are also implementing a new registration system that will be more intuitive for registrants.
- 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the opening of the Centre - a time to celebrate all that has gone before and to anticipate possibilities for the future. We will celebrate the anniversary at the AGM in June. We will also offer the opportunity to plan reunions of staff, summer staff and winter session participants. Watch for a template with information and ideas about how to plan a reunion for your group. We will announce more plans as they develop.
- Like any non-profit when board members leave, the Naramata Centre Society Board regularly needs to refresh our pool of talent to ensure we have the skills and knowledge to lead the organization. We are seeking new board members with skills or experience in various areas including: marketing, communications, land development, fund development, program development, volunteer management, involvement in the United Church or other faith communities. As always, we are seeking a mix of ages, gender, local Naramata/Okanagan area members, as well as people from further away in BC and Alberta. Watch for details in an upcoming newsletter about how to apply to join the Board.
Thanks and Blessings
Thanks to all of our staff and volunteers who worked for the Centre in 2017 and those who remain with us over the winter to maintain the Centre.
While it still seems far away, in a month we will celebrate Christmas and welcome the new year. On behalf of the Naramata Centre Board of Directors, I wish you and yours a blessed Christmas! We also wish you a happy and healthy year ahead, and hope to see you at the Centre in 2018. We hope you will start planning now to be there then!