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Recap of 2011 OAC Annual General Meeting

By June 20, 2011

The second annual general meeting of the Ontario Access Coalition was hosted on June 15 at True North climbing gym. A good turnout from the climbing community was in attendance that evening despite the meeting coinciding with the final game of the Stanley Cup. The law firm of Blakes, Cassels and Graydon provided their expertise at the event ensuring proper formal protocols for a fair and equitable election process. The event saw several changes to the members of the board.

Departing board members Jeremy Nathan and Loïc Markley dedicated a great deal of their personal time in the last year to help climbing access. If you see them at the crag or the gym please remember to thank them for their positive and constructive contribution to access efforts. Thank you Loïc and Jeremy for all of the help!

New to the board this year is Renu Monica Chattha. Over the last year, Renu has made huge contributions to the OAC in terms of building relationships with land mangers and local community stakeholders in the Beaver Valley, Collingwood, and on the Bruce Peninsula. Renu is knowledgeable and passionate about access and is an active member in the local community around her home of Flesherton.

The excitement during the formal elections at the AGM was the close race for the open Director position. Rio Penabella and Justin Dwyer were both nominated for the position. Justin has provided invaluable information on escarpment endangered species and continues to assist with Mount Nemo access. While Rio, using his social media expertise, has set-up and continues to spearhead the OAC’s social media presence in order to help the OAC reach out to the climbing community. The 15-14 vote turned out in favour of Rio. With such a close vote, the OAC board has invited Justin to attend and contribute at board meetings going forward. With the initiative and drive Justin shows in the community, we are sure he is ready for the challenge.

Unfortunately, a number of individuals showed up late to the meeting and missed the vote, while others arrived with the expectation they could become members that night and immediately vote. Like many charities and not-for-profit organizations, the OAC is required to approve new membership and does so during regular meetings. For the 2012 AGM the OAC will look to ensure that this is clearly communicated to help avoid this issue in the future.

At the end of the formal proceedings a lengthy question period ensued where the Board reviewed the 2011 OAC goals with the attendees (Click HERE to see the 2011 OAC Goals). Lots of great ideas flowed as the current state of Ontario climbing access, and the strategy and reasoning driving OAC actions were discussed. The OAC is looking to add an FAQ section to our webpage to address common questions, and concerns. We continue to ask for the assistance of you, the climbers of Ontario, to identify and inform the OAC of developing issues. Volunteers, as before, are needed for special projects, and we encourage members possessing leadership and initiative to check out our volunteer section here: http://www.ontarioallianceofclimbers.ca/join/volunteers/.

Following the meeting and question period, a portion of the Madaleine Sorkin “Mad Tour” film and slide show was presented, despite the last minute absence of Madaleine herself due unforeseen circumstances. A big, sincere “THANK YOU” to everyone from the climbing community who took the time to come out to the AGM. We hope to see you at the crag!