Greetings Colleagues,

On Monday, January 21 the branch held our AGM at Long and McQuade. At that time,
reports were read, the financials were presented and many other points of
interest were discussed. Below is a summary of my opening comments, for a full
copy of the AGM minutes, please contact one of the executive members to receive
the login for our new “members only” page. In the future, the AGM minutes,
Financial Statements, and Bylaws will be posted on this page for easy reference
throughout the year.

If you have been keeping an eye on email notices and the website, you’ll know that
it has been a busy year for both the executive and our branch. There’s been a
learning curve for me as president but the executive has been very supportive
as well as efficient. I have appreciated their abilities to come forward with
new ideas and to provide different perspectives in the discussions.

Here is a summary of the meetings in 2018:

January was an intense month
with the closed auditions for our BC Piano Competition candidate. The
adjudicator was Ellen Silverman and the winner was Annie Cao, a student of
David Vandereyk. Annie went on to win the Competition in September and we will
be presenting her in a Young Artist Recital on May 25 at the Immanuel Baptist
Church, free admission. She will then go to the National Competition in
Winnipeg in early July. Also in the month, we had the Winter Student Recital
and of course the AGM.

There was no meeting in February as the new executive needed time to
organize the schedule.

In March, we hosted the Celebration of Excellence recital at the Shadbolt centre.

April  featured former Branch President John Dupuis on “Schubert in Vienna” at Showcase Pianos and the Spring
Student Recital at the Shadbolt.

In May, we welcomed Elizabeth Munro who gave a workshop on “Introducing Keyboard
Harmony” at Showcase Pianos.

The bi-annual Luncheon was held in June at the Whitespot in Oakridge
and we broke with tradition to add a final workshop at Tom Lee on “Marketing
and Social Media” at their downtown location.

In September, we were back at Tom Lee with a presentation on piano ensemble works with Winn
Rompf. This event had a book/music exchange. Teachers brought music they no
longer needed and were welcome to take whatever they liked home. We plan to do
this each year going forward. The subsidized Alexander Technique Lessons also
started this month and continued every two weeks into November.

Jessica Somers gave a presentation on “Tax and Small Business”  in October,
tailored specifically to music teachers. Afterwards she aadvised the executive
on financial matters, her comments are reflected in the changes to bylaws
concerning finances.

In November, the CMW Festival was launched at the Canadian Music Centre in downtown
Vancouver. The event was very successful with 57 students from the studios of
15 teacher performing a wide range of junior, intermediate and senior works.

The year closed in December with the winter luncheon, again at the
Whitespot in Oakridge and a week later the Winter Recital at the Unitarian
Center in Vancouver.

Various projects have been initiated and/or completed in the year:

At the 2018 AGM a motion was passed to investigate the purchase a piano for the
branch and a subcommittee was formed wth myself, Kathryn Rowe and Gloria Wong.
After preliminary enquires, it became obvious that this was not the best use of
the branch’s surplus funds or time. The logistics of where and how to house the
instrument as well as monitor it’s use plus other issues made the idea
impractical. It was decided to put the $50,000 initially voted on towards other
projects that would benefit the members more directly.  To this end, the
executive voted to: lower the branch fees, subsidize Alexander Technique
Lessons, initiate the CMW Festival, create a Professional Development Bursary,
fund a festival/recital website (including online registrations and payments),
and sponsor an annual workshop with an outside specialist. In 2019, this event
will be a 4 hour session on Body Mapping with Cynthia McGladrey of

On the advice of Jessica Somers, the executive has developed a “10 year surplus
plan” to help the branch disperse the accumulated funds in an equitable and
responsible manner. This plan will help to fund the afore mentioned projects
over the next decade, leaving the branch in 2029 with 2 years’ operating budget
in reserve as well as approximately $15,000 in the general account.

There were a few projects we were not able to complete in the last year, but they are
on the agenda and we hope to get going on them soon. These include the
reinstatement of the Pedagogy Award as well as the Memory Project, more on this
item under the archives report.

The branch has started using an online RSVP system for meetings and events. This
allows the executive to plan seating, refreshments, and handouts so please do
use the link to help us out. We’ve also begun to use a check-in table where
members can sign in and guests/non-members can register and pay a nominal fee
of $20 for events.

I would like to take this opportunity to again thank the Executive for a very
exciting year. Together we have built on the successes of the past and we will
continue to work to create sustainable programs for the future. Hats off to
Hailey Wong - Vice President, Karin Wang - Treasuere, Drema Lam - Recording
Secretary, Jammy Smith - Past President, Cindy Leung - Social Convenor, and
Kathryn Rowe Member-At-Large. I would also like to thank Haiwa Ye - Recital
Convenor, Carol Hung - Bursary Chair, and Carla Dodek - STA Liaison for their
efforts on our behalf.

Have a great year,

Barbara Siemens

Vancouver RMT - Branch President