Maybe I’m crazy, but I’m probably one of the few people that do not mind attending AGMs. Sure, they’re replete with hours and hours of lengthy presentations, drawn-out discussions about constitutional amendments, and buckets of lukewarm coffee. But AGMs also provide a chance to reconnect with colleagues, listen deeply about organizational shifts, and help develop new solutions to seemingly intractable challenges.
All of that is to say that the GDC AGM, held in Regina this year, was a rewarding and engaging event. Presentations were excellent, most amendments passed muster, and the coffee was hot and dark. As a member or soon-to-be member of our chapter, I hope you’ll find the following brief summary of interest.
First, national finances are in better shape than usual. National membership dues were about $150,000 and expenses mostly went to administration and events. The Gibson Fund, which was established to support design and typography education and innovation, now stands at over $100,000 and some moneys are being dispersed to various projects throughout Canada. GDC MB was fortunate to have received one of the first disbursements to help us bring Kevin King to Winnipeg a few months ago.
Next, CGD certification is an important element of the GDC mandate and we will soon be using updated processes and applications. There are now 784 members nationwide, with 43 FGDCs, 324 CGDs, 182 Members, 11 Affiliates, and 224 Students. These numbers are about the same as last year’s. The GDC Foundation now has over $50,000 in its accounts and is actively working to get to $100,000 with the help of chapters. GDC MB (represented by Aquila Samson, Doug Coates and me) provided a big check of $618.38 to the Foundation.
This year, the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) was also in attendance during the business-focused first day. RGD’s president and executive director provided input on various items and questions throughout the day. The GDC National executive is making a concerted and purposeful attempt to create new conversations with the organization and the two organizations are developing a common online certification process for designers across Canada.
Overall, the 2017 AGM was quite different in spirit and substance from many previous AGMs for me. There was a sunnier, brighter outlook overall, in part because of the very large and committed national executive at the head of the table. There are a number of new initiatives that will be rolled out this year, including a new Graphic Designer Journal (an education-focused periodical that has not been published for many years), new partnerships at the national level, and an updated national website that promises huge usability and legibility improvements and a much more compelling designer directory.
I’d be happy and to talk with you at any time about the GDC, the direction and opportunities for our chapter, and any ideas you have to support design and designers in our province. Please write me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Wishing you and yours a very happy and healthy start to the summer!
Photo by Doug Coates CGD
Pictured, from left to right: Peggy Cady, FGCD; Aquila Samson, CGD; and Andrew Boardman, CGD