1. EFCL Backs Family Day Unplugged
The Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues is encouraging all of its leagues to support the city’s Family Day Unplugged campaign. The idea is to encourage Edmontonians to turn off their electronic gadgets – such as computers, televisions and cell phones - and focus on family-related activities on Family Day (Monday, February 18).
This week the city announced that it would offer family passes to city rec facilities as prizes for the league that convinces the most members to turn off their gadgets and attend a family day activity.
Registration details will be provided at the EFCL’s General Meeting on January 30 and in communications to the leagues in the coming weeks.
2. Community Connector Pilot Project Approved
Remember the good ol’ days, when neighbors knew neighbors and did a variety of activities together on a regular basis?
Well the good news is that more people may get to experience this feeling if a new City of Edmonton/EFCL pilot project proves effective.
Called the Abundant Community, the project focuses on hiring a community connector, whose job it will be to bring people together block by block and encourage the development of local activities.
“It could be a dog walking program, a choir group, a men’s hockey night - anything that appeals to people in the area,” noted Highlands Community League president Howard Lawrence.
“Some of the activities might be run through the local community league. Others might simply happen between residents living on the same street.”
With the support of the city’s community services department, Highlands Community League will soon be spearheading the pilot project in its 100-year-old neighborhood. However, the EFCL would like to know if other leagues would like to give this a try and will soon set up an information night for any league that is interested. The federation sees this initiative as a great way to engage local citizens and will be releasing more details of the initiative at its January 30 General Meeting at Royal Gardens Community League.
3. EFCL looks forward to an Action Filled 2013
The Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues has put together a promotional plan that features fun activities and events from one end of the year to the other.
Beginning this month, it is starting with a great toque giveaway for any leagues holding winter festival events. The black EFCL emboldened touques can either be used as prize giveaways or as a thank you to hard working volunteers.
Later this month the federation will also be announcing the recipients of this year’s Living Local Arts and Heritage Program award winners. Successful leagues will be employing a local artist and/or historian to develop a project that celebrates the historical character of their area.
This spring, seven leagues – along with the EFCL – will see their building adorned with solar energy systems, as the federation seeks new ways to make community leagues more energy efficient. This will be followed by the announcement of this year’s CLIP grant recipients, where the city will be providing $3 million in grant money to leagues interested in building new facilities or repairing existing ones.
Volunteer Recognition Night Set For April 23
One of the premier events of the year will be held on April 23, when the federation invites community league volunteers to a gala affair at the Myer Horowitze Theatre on the U/A campus. Delegates will be treated to an engaging speech entitled “The Power of One” by the popular speaker Laurel Vespi, along with some interesting videos on community league projects and a wine and cheese reception.
Later this spring the federation will team up once again with the City of Edmonton to host the Good Neighbor Awards, where citizens across the city will be recognized for helping others in their immediate area.
Balconies In Bloom Set to Blossom
Another new initiative planned for 2013 is Balconies in Bloom, where residents of apartments and condominiums will be recognized for work they do to dress up the balcony of the unit in which they live. Designed to be an extension of this year’s Communities In Bloom contest, the contest will be run as a pilot project this year by interested community leagues.
This summer the EFCL intends to do a bang up job on its Heritage Days booth in Hawrelak Park. A key feature will be a new exhibit, describing the federation’s 100th Anniversary Project in the park. Visitors to the booth will be encouraged to view the plans and offer their design suggestions as the federation completes the conceptual phase of this program.
The month of September will once again be dominated by Community League Day, where leagues across the city will be encouraged to host an event on the third Saturday (Sept. 21). Once again the federation is planning to provide promotional and event materials for the leagues and this year is making plans for a Community League Day Video, to document the activities at leagues across the city. The video will be used as an information and promotional tool in future years.
Rounding out the year will be the return of the “Leagues Alive Conference”, where delegates will be treated to a variety of educational seminars on topics pertaining to community league operations. The November event will once again feature a luncheon members of city council.
4. Federation Starts Work on Five Year Business Plan
The EFCL eagerly looks forward to the creation of a new business plan, now that it is nearly finished with the five year plan created in 2008.
Last week the board of directors approved the hiring of a consulting firm to do some research and provide some guidance. The consultant will interview community league reps, city councillors, senior city administrators and other key stakeholders in an effort to evaluate current initiatives and plot new directions over the years to come.
One area the federation wants to take a hard look at is the manner in which it handles civic issues, such as planning matters, social housing policies, traffic safety programs and crime prevention measures. Trying to act as the spokesperson for a large number of leagues is a very challenging task for the EFCL and the stances it takes on controversial issues often affects the relationship it has with government and private industry partners. Consequently, the federation is looking for new ways to handle this portion of its mandate effectively.
5. Swim Allocation and Consultation Meeting held January 23.
The first change is to stop referring to this program as a rental. Given that the city is providing the community swim supervisors, not the renters, it wants to start referring to the community swim nights as a community swim program, and manage it in a similar fashion to other city programs.
With this in mind, community leagues will no longer be required to sign rental contracts. Rather, communities will be asked to acknowledge their interest in being involved in the community swim program in their local pool. The City will calculate the program fee based on the
enrollment seasonally, and leagues/ Area Councils would be billed monthly (there will be no change in how monthly rates have been calculated currently).
The second change is to view community swims as a continuous program where leagues will remain enrolled until they notify the City (Facility Booking Unit) of their intent to withdraw.
It is hoped that the restructuring should remove a number of barriers and facilitate a smoother transition into and out of seasons.
6. Three Board Development Workshops In The Works
The EFCL has three more workshops lined up to help league executives hone their skills. Here they are, in chronological order:
Tools for Treasurers: Thursday, February 7, 2013, 5:30pm, at the EFCL office. This workshop will follow the EFCL budget meeting set for January 30/13, where we will discuss community league budgeting practices - so we expect a full class. Linda Crosby, EFCL Financial Assistant, and I will work closely together to further expand on key concepts introduced during the Leagues Alive 2012 session, with a strong focus on the necessity of having a budget and how to work within the budget the community league board has set
Social Media 101: Thursday, February 21, 2013, 5:30pm, at the EFCL office, presented by Joseph Carma, technology & social media consultant. Joseph has generously offered to present this session, in order to provide an opportunity for those community league board members who may have missed L.A. 2012.
Volunteering Recruitment & Screening: Thursday, March 28, 2013, 5:30pm, at the EFCL office, presented by Milena Santoro, Volunteer Management Certification instructor with Volunteer Alberta, and owner/operator of MS Productions. As all community league boards are run with volunteer energy & input, the need to recruit the “right” individuals is an important & timely issue, along with how to ensure the new board volunteer is the correct fit for the league and job(s) at hand. This session will look at ways to recruit new volunteers, as well as methods involved to screen potential volunteers.
7. Socan Saga Lurches Along
According to the Copyright Board of Canada, the review of an application by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) for a new tariff in 2013 never proceeded last summer as planned, due to the high number of objections and complaints received. Instead, the board is putting together a review process to accommodate all parties and will apparently let us know when the hearings will be held.
In the meantime, we are told that the 2012 rate of $185.07 will remain in effect until the board conducts its review and certifies a tariff for 2013 or beyond.
Consequently, we continue to receive reports from community leagues that are being pestered by SOCAN reps to pay tariff #21, which allows them to play music in their hall.
8. EFCL Decides to Name Each of 12 Districts
The EFCL has decided to name each of its twelve districts, in order to make it easier for everyone to understand where the districts are located.
Last week the board decided to invite feedback from its leagues on a draft list of suggested names. It intends to finalize the names at its meeting in March. The names are as follows:
District A: Castle Downs/Calder.
District B: Londonderry
District C: Clareview/Horse Hills
District D: West Edmonton
District E: Meadowlark
District F: Downtown
District G: Highlands/Beverly
District H: Terwillegar/Riverbend
District I: Greater Strathcona
District J: South East
District K: Southgate/Heritage
District L: Mill Woods/Meadows
What do you think. We will still call our area District B, but to help folks who don't know what area that refers to we are considering referring to our area as District B: Londonderry? There is the pool, a mall and a community league of the same name. Does this work for you? Let me know what you think.
District B Rep.
Thanks to Allan Bolstad for the notes that have been adapted