President’s Update #2!

Hello everyone!
This past month a lot of exciting things have been taking place behind the scenes here at CAMRA BC. First and foremost I’m pleased to welcome the opening of CAMRA BC South Okanagan Branch. It’s all thanks to many months of planning and the hard work of Paddy Treavor, President of CAMRA BC Powell River, and Kim Lawton our new President of CAMRA BC South Okanagan, as well as the newly formed SOK executive. If you have any craft-beer loving friends in the Okanagan let them know that they can join in on the CAMRA BC fun. Congratulations on your new branch, South Okanagan!

CAMRA BC held its first summit meeting on Sunday, March 29th at Steamworks Brewpub and it was a roaring success. All branches had a executive representative present for the meeting, and new ideas and strategies were hammered out. We’re getting ready to roll out a new membership system and website, sending Vancouver’s education platform out to other branches and working on some awesome new swag. Thanks to everyone who came out and Steamworks for hosting, I’m very excited to be working with such a great team – the meeting was very inspiring.

On the advocacy front we’ve been puzzling out the new BC Liquor law changes. In early March preliminary guidelines and changes were released, but the promised information release dates of March 20th and April 1st never materialized. We’re still working with a number of politicians and local advocates to find out what will be changing for you the consumer, but the BCLDB hasn’t been forthcoming. Stay posted and if you have any input please do contact us.

Thank you again to everyone who came out to all the AGMs.
It’s time again for all of our beer celebrations to get underway, so here’s to a long summer filled with festivals, events, and good friends.

Cheers!

President Ari Dressler

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CAMRA BC Presidential Update

Hello CAMRA BC Members!

My name is Ari Dressler and I have the honour of being President of CAMRA BC this year. I wanted to take the opportunity to let you know some of the things we’re planning for the coming year. I also plan to write to you all regularly so that you know what’s going on at the BC level.

This past month, Janna Gabrek (VP), Carmen Castrucci (Secretary), Ryan Baker (Treasurer) and I were acclimated into our positions on the CAMRA BC executive. We’re all very excited to be taking over. All four of us are Vancouver based but we’re making sure our outlook is Province-wide. Already we’ve been hearing CAMRA BC members across the province loud and clear, requesting a BC AGM that’s announced well in advance, that is accessible to as many members as possible so we will soon be setting the date for the 2016 AGM and I hope you’ll all be able to come.

I’m really looking forward to this coming year, there’s so many great things in the works already. This year’s executive is dedicated to reaching out to each branch individually supporting and attending to their unique needs. After all, what works for Powell River may not work for Vancouver, and what works for Vancouver might work for Victoria. We want to see each branch grow and come into it’s own to serve their diverse group of members. CAMRA BC has around 1,600 members,  so we’re talking with people in the Tri-Cities, North Shore, the Okanagan and more to see if there’s a possibility of opening new branches. After all, there’s so many great craft breweries popping up all over, changing and shaping the drinking habits of British Columbians. CAMRA BC needs to be there promoting, educating, advocating and enjoying! More branches means more members, means more events and a louder voice for the craft beer consumers.

Did you know that your membership card can be used province-wide, not just in the boundaries of your home branch? As we steadily improve our websites, you’ll be able to see just exactly where your card can benefit you. It even works in Alberta and in the UK where CAMRA began!

I’m immensely grateful for the opportunity to better serve the community I love, and I’m keen to speak with as many members as I can directly. If you have any questions, complaints, accolades, please feel free to contact me at pres@camrabc.ca or in person I’d be happy to listen.

Cheers to a great year for all CAMRA BC members!

 

President Ari

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CAMRA BC President’s Report 2014

First of all I wish to congratulate the executive officers of all the branches for a year of accomplishments. It’s taken hard work to get where we are today and you all deserve a sincere ‘well done, you’.

The year opened with the inaugural AGM of the shiny new South Fraser branch. I was privileged to receive an invitation to enjoy the hospitality of the new branch at Central City. Thank you Megan and thank you Adam for shepherding the new kids around the block.

2014 was a year of consolidating our expansion efforts and continuing to keep the name CAMRA forefront in the minds of the public as the craft beer consumer’s voice. We sat at the table with government and industry on an equal footing. We challenged industry with an on-the-ground campaign (FUSS) to raise awareness of your right to a proper pour.

One of the main expenditures of provincial dues is making sure the society is properly insured and indemnified. Under advisement, the Directors and Officers insurance was brought up to date to ensure all branch executives are fully protected. We also added a second Commercial and General policy to protect the society’s resources when providing classes and cask events. It may not be as sexy as beer and government lobbying but it is vital that all branches are able to operate in safety and confidence.

Much of our business is conducted by email but nothing beats sitting down at a table, breaking bread and sharing a jar to keep the lines of communication open. This year each branch, except South Fraser, took a turn hosting a meeting where other branch presidents and the elected provincial BC Executive came to town.

The culmination of 2014 occurred at the Powell River meeting in October. Coinciding with what can only be the first of many festivals of craft beer there, the Inaugural CAMRA BC awards were presented to individuals who have pioneered craft beer appreciation and consumer education in BC. Each branch sponsored one category but the nominations came from the entire membership.

Powell River branch presented the Community Award to Township Brewing.

South Fraser branch presented the Innovations Award to James Walton of StormBrewing.

Vancouver branch presented the Volunteer of the Year award to Monica Frost, communications guru.

Victoria branch presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Carol and John Rowling, founding members of CAMRA BC, the Great Canadian Beer Festival and pioneering evangelists of the Craft Beer gospel.

The Volunteer of the Year award also recognizes a few of those beloved members of CAMRA who are no longer with us. On the obverse of the plaque the names of Suzanne Shaw, Pia Lohin, Dan Small and James Cline are inscribed. They all set a high standard in participation for the rest of us and will be missed.

At the October meeting, Vancouver president Adam Chatburn presented a motion that puts in writing the long standing policy of CAMRA BC to maintain an arm’s length relationship with industry. It has proved a controversial move and Adam is to be applauded for finally putting in writing what executives have always understood in the past, that the rights of the consumer are paramount to CAMRA BC’s mission.

A project started in 2014 and carrying forward to 2015 is the consolidation of all branch memberships into one master database to be administered at the provincial level. The day-to-day work in the trenches of sending out billings and renewals is the hardest, least rewarding task faced by every branch. It makes sense to administer the paperwork from a central position while each branch maintains control of their portion of dues. The remaining work in this area is focused on perfecting the database platform and delineating the role of an appointed provincial chair of memberships.

As you read this, the New Year is well underway and 2015 promises to build on the accomplishments of 2014. I am sure the new provincial executive of CAMRA BC will enjoy the same enthusiastic support I experienced during my year as your president.

Good luck and cheers,
Maureen Blaseckie

Click here for the 2014 Financial Statement

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