It’s a Wrap!
30th Anniversary AGM recognises thirty years of community and begins the next chapter
Recognising the anniversary of an AIDS service organization is, of necessity, bitter-sweet. On the one hand you have the tremendous achievements, the daily miracles of helping people impacted by HIV, and the heart-warming stories of a community coming together to help friends and neighbours. This is sharply contrasted by grief for generations lost to HIV/AIDS, of the people who have come and gone, and the knowledge of the work that is left to be done.
Bruce House began its 30th anniversary Annual General Meeting by recognizing the thirty years of history with a presentation from Mayor Jim Watson with Councillor Catherine McKenney. Khaled Salam, Executive-Director of the AIDS Committee of Ottawa spoke of the shared history of our two agencies. Joel Harden, MP for Ottawa-Centre, was unable to attend but sent a staff member with his congratulations and a certificate.
Next on the agenda was a presentation for Jay Koornstra, who retired after 18 years with Bruce House. Jay received a framed print from Bruce House, featuring his portrait which hangs on Bank St. as part of The Village Legacy Project. Former MPP Yasir Naqvi was on hand to speak of Jay’s many years as a passionate community advocate.
The first half of the meeting wrapped up with a remarkable keynote by Debbie Barton (Director, Rental Department) of Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation (CCOC) and Catherine Boucher (former Executive-Director of CCOC). They spoke with eloquent passion of the early days when CCOC partnered with Bruce House—then the AIDS Housing Group of Ottawa—to establish the original transition house on Arlington Ave. using a home purchased by Janet Bruce. CCOC was also there later providing apartments for the start of the “apartment program”, now known as the Supportive Independent Living Program (SILP). Reminiscing about the challenges, the people, and the accomplishments Debbie and Catherine brought the audience to tears and laughter in equal proportions.
Regular AGM business included recognising the outstanding work done by volunteers, who contributed some 10,000 hours to Bruce House in the past year. The new Strategic Plan was presented to members; this three-year plan was conceived to guide Bruce House through a renewal process, examining changing client needs, reviewing programs, and identifying priorities. New by-laws were approved by the membership, in keeping with requirements of the new Ontario Non-Profit Act.
In stark contrast to the previous year, Bruce House finances greatly improved. The audited financial statements showed a slight surplus for the past fiscal year, a great reduction in the remaining deficit, and confidence that the deficit will be entirely eliminated by the end of fiscal 2018-19.
New members have joined the Board of Directors, with recruiting efforts ongoing. A new Client Advisory Committee will ensure PHAs have an active voice in governance.
Together these changes have created a solid foundation for building the next chapter of Bruce House’s history.
Our thanks to:
AGM 2018 Photos