Note to the RLCA Board of Directors on the Fall 2017 FOCA Meeting – held at the Boulevard Club in Toronto on November 4, 2017
I was privileged to attend the 2017 Fall FOCA Meeting held on November 4, 2017. Terry Rees, the Executive Director opened the meeting with a short update on the current work being undertaken by FOCA. This includes climate issues, such as the flood events in cottage country, a workshop and report on climate change in Muskoka and invasive species monitoring and prevention programs. New signs were made available at the meeting which direct boaters to clean boats before entering from other lakes to avoid transfer of invasive species. Terry also spoke of organisations FOCA is working with, such as NSERC Canadian Network which is conducting in depth sampling of over 700 lakes in Canada to assess the health of our lakes.
For me, the highlight of the meeting was the presentation by Alex and Tyler Muffin, who call themselves “The Water Brothers” ( http://TheWaterBrothers.ca ). Alex has a degree in International Development and Environmental Studies from Dalhousie University and Tyler is a grad of UBC with a major in film production. He is an award-winning videographer and director. The brothers work together and have produced several series for TVO over the last five years. They grew up cottaging on Georgian Bay and now chose to work on fresh water issues. You can catch their work by going to their website and the TVO website. Here is some information from their presentation that made me stop and think:
The balance of the day was spent talking about how to increase membership in Lake Associations, how to engage younger members and what gaps there are in skills that are preventing Associations from achieving these goals. Group discussions occurred at each table and the discussions were summarized and presented to the entire group. The summaries are available from the FOCA Event Summary posted on the FOCA website at https://foca.on.ca I will print and bring the lists to the next board meeting so that the board can be sure it is doing everything it can reach our membership goals.
A panel discussion with 3 analysts who described specific experiences in engaging younger members and optimizing volunteerism in their organizations followed.
The day ended with the presentation of a FOCA video project called “Lake Associations” made by a graduate student Chelsie Xavier-Blower. Here is the link to the video: https://foca.on.ca/lake-associations-a-video.