Gabriola Arts Council AGM

Michelle Benjamin

Gabriola Arts Council

Tuesday, November 10 2015

The Gabriola Arts Council held their Annual General Meeting on October 28, and reported on the end of a challenging and successful year. GAC revenues increased significantly over the previous year, across all revenue streams (including grants, fundraising, ticket sales, donations, registration fees, and other earned revenue). Programming and other activities were expanded (including the start of renovation and upgrade work at the WI Hall), and so expenses increased accordingly. The organization completed the year with a small surplus. 

The addition of the WI Hall makes a significant impact on the organization’s balance sheet, as does the development of an administrative emergency reserve fund, which was a priority for the board this past year.  

President Jim Wilson-Storey spoke about the value that GAC brings to the community, including being able to offer access to events and programs at low cost to participants, due to contribution from fundraising efforts. Executive Director Michelle Benjamin reviewed programs and events in fiscal 2014-15, which included the Gabriola Theatre Festival, Thanksgiving Studio Tour, Isle of the Arts Festival, Youth Engagement Program, Healing Power of Art Program, the Winter Theatre Season, the Chair Affair Fundraising Gala, and partnerships with the Haven on the Artist in Residence Program, and co-sponsorship of Lulu Performing Arts tenth anniversary season. 

Michelle also reported that GAC membership is 420, which is close to ten percent of the Island’s population. A planned membership drive will target a goal of 900 members by the end of 2017—20 percent of the Island’s population in recognition of GAC’s 20th anniversary. 

Other discussions included an update on the WI Hall upgrade process, plans for the 20th anniversary of the Studio Tour in 2016, fundraising plans for 2016, and the happy announcement that Alina Cerminara, who has just completed a one-year internship funded by the BC Art Council, will stay on as Events Coordinator and Administrative Assistant. 

Leigh Cornett completed her term on the board, and was thanked for her service and contribution. 

An election was held, and the proposed slate of directors was elected. Here is the list, including primary areas of responsibility:

Jim Wilson-Storey — President, Lead Director for Fund Development 

Charlie Cheffins — Vice-President 

Robyn McMahon — Treasurer  

Julie Sperber — Secretary 

Margy Gilmour — Director at Large, Lead Director for Visual Arts 

Mary Holdgrafer — Director at Large, Lead Director for Arts Education  

Tina Jones — Director at Large, Lead Director for Youth and for Performing Arts 

Jeff Molloy — Director at Large, Lead Director for Public Art and for the Building 

Barb Russell — Director at Large, Lead Director for Theatre