The following report was given by Ian Bushfield at the 2012 Annual General Meeting on May 10, 2012. At the meeting Alan Byers, Ian Bushfield, Crystal Catudal, Eric Damer, Mclean Edwards, Kathy Leavens, and Heather McDonald were elected as the 2012/13 BCHA Board of Directors.
I joined the board of the BC Humanists in 2010 and last year had the honour of taking over as President from Annette Horton. Joining me on this year’s board were Dale Jackaman, Kathy Leavens, Colin Crabbe, and new members Mclean Edwards, Steve Grice, and Bob Haxton. Unfortunately, due to other time commitments, Bob had to step down shortly after being elected.
We’ve seen some impressive growth this past year. Using a new Facebook Page, YouTube channel, and Meetup group, we are reaching new audiences, and our weekly attendance at our Sunday morning continues to grow. Every week there seems to be a new face, checking out our group.
Our website continued to grow this year and recently I undertook an upgrade and redesign. This new site now features an online membership database that will allow us to keep in better touch with our members both on and off the internet.
For the second consecutive year, we marched in Pride Parade with other local secular and skeptics groups, this year numbering nearly 30 people. As well, Colin ensured we had an active presence at the Word on the Street Festival and has promised to help the next board with this year’s festival.
Our other activities included a Winter Solstice potluck dinner at the Creekside Community Centre in Olympic Village – cohosted by CFI Vancouver, the proceeds of which supported the Vancouver Food Bank – and the annual September Peace Arch Park Picnic with members of the North Puget Sound Humanists.
At our Sunday morning meetings, we featured a number of local speakers, including Ryan Clayton, Ian Cromwell, and Alan Byers. We also worked with the UBC Freethinkers and SFU Skeptics to bring American journalist Ted Cox to Vancouver for talks on his undercover work in gay de-conversion camps and with the pro-life movement. Many of these talks have been made available on our YouTube channel for those who weren’t able to attend.
After some delays, our application to the provincial government was finally submitted to recognize the BCHA to perform marriages. We are still awaiting a response but we are hoping to have Humanists Officiants available for weddings in the very near future.
Finally, recognizing the potential for growth in the Humanist community and the necessary work, the Board has undertaken a search for our first paid executive director. Applications closed a couple days ago and it will be up to our next board to select a candidate to carry out their vision for our future.
It’s a very exciting time for the BCHA. I want the entire board and everyone who has volunteered in this past year. I especially want to recognize Steve, Colin, and Dale who are not seeking re-election. Thanks as well to Conrad for running discussions on the state of capitalism and to Niels for liaising with the Seniors’ Centre.