We aim to be the least boring AGM in Ottawa and according to several members we are successful in that. Organising the AGM starts already a year in advance, by securing the Tom Brown arena. In spring we start to discuss a speaker and in the summer we put the to do list together, analyse improvements (not enough coffee) and we start to prepare the financial reports. As a non profit incorporated organisation, lots of work happens behind the scenes to make sure that everything is accounted for. The trick is to keep things simple and standardised in order to maintain continuity.
At the day itself, we start at 4 pm to put the chairs and tables out, have the catering delivered and set up the A/V. We always keep our fingers crossed for the arena’s wireless microphone, which tends to drop its signal once in a while.
This year, around 90-100 people came out to listen to Sarah Craig, our keynote speaker from Halifax’s I heart bikes. Paul Dewar mentioned in his opening talk that Ottawa’s cycling progress starts to get noticed outside Ottawa and Risa gave an overview of Citizens for Safe Cycling’s activities this year, both public and behind the scenes. Two new board members were acclaimed (no need to vote): Isabel and Kathleen. While four years ago, the board consisted of 8 men and 1 woman, the board now consists of 3 men and 6 women, a big change.
In our keynote choice, we want to steer away from the infrastructure discussion as there is more than bike infrastructure that makes a city bike friendly. Instead, we have looked into social media and cycling two years ago and this year we looked into bike rental business run by Sarah, owner of IHeartBikes in Halifax.
A large and important part of our event is socialising. People love to catch up with friends and politicians such as city councillors, MP’s and city staff. A strong bike community is important for cyclists but also for the city’s staff to turn to for questions and support.
Here are a few impressions of the evening. En passant, we signed up seven new members at the door!
Most photos by Paul Clarke, except Otesha and Paul Dewar pictures.