Perhaps it was Winnipeg's latent pre-Spring energy, but you couldn't help but be pulled along by the vibe of dozens of designers getting together from across the country to swap stories, help move the profession forward and get organized for the coming year.
The run-up to an AGM always has an element of frantic preparation: finalizing agendas, responding to queries, collecting reports and data, completing presentations, conference calls and skype meetings, administration, getting to the airport and finally setting up the AGM room and technology the day before the big day. There was an air of excitement and expectation, and everyone seemed keen to participate, or for some of the new-comers to simply observe.
The message from the president this year was that in spite of our personal concerns with business, family and health, GDC members seem to make the time to volunteer time and energy to raise the standards of the profession and individually as designers. The bond from coast to coast to coast seemed to be growing stronger.
Some of the highlights—aside from the incredible projects, events and activities happening at a Chapter level from virtually every region—was the representation of the Members at Large (MaL) contingency by Adrian Jean MGDC. A long time in coming, this group has seen explosive growth especially in Ontario which now rivals many Chapters in numbers.
Among the many National activities and initiatives, included reports from the Ottawa office of increased efficiencies through the website, which has helped escalate growth and revenue, and the implementation of bringing bookkeeping in-house, generating monthly statements and reporting to enhance our real-time management capabilities and responsiveness. For the first time in the GDC's history the previous year’s Audited Financial Statement was provided to the national council 30 days prior to the AGM, contributed in part due to a switch to a new accounting firm.
A number of amendments and motions were made, significantly the new Sustainability Principles and Values definition, and an Environmental Best Practices document.
Not lost in the action was National's commitment to support the Icograda 2010 Design Week in Vancouver, BC, echoed by the various Chapters. This is a massive undertaking for the Chapter, with the ongoing participation of National.
A national call for applicants had gone out for the position of National Web Chair. Applicants were vetted by the National Web Committee, from which they recommended one applicant. A motion was made and approved for Steve Fisher MGDC, to take the position of National Web Chair.
The National Sustainability Committee was created last year at the 2008 AGM, but a slight matter of protocol was overlooked — a committee chair was not officially nominated. A motion was made and approved that Valerie Elliott MGDC to the position of National Sustainability Chair.
In the early evening of Saturday, the AGM was wrapped up. Our national president, Rod Roodenburg MGDC, thanked Melanie MacDonald, our national administrator, for all her hard work organizing the AGM, and the Manitoba Chapter for hosting it. National Past-President Dean McNeill MGDC, thanked Rod for taking over as National President and recognized him for all his hard work.
(AGM minutes and details of motions, amendments, etc. will be available as part of Chapter Resources at GDC.net. Notification will be provided when documents are posted. AGM delegates may also review interim information, discussions and projects at GDC's Basecamp location.)
[Photo: graffitti in Winnipeg warehouse district, near Space Cadet Design; location of this year's GDC Scholarship judging. RR]