2016-10-15 Fall Report with November Update

Ottawa New Horizons Band Steering Committee

Report to members, Fall 2016

As most of you will know, it has been agreed by the ONHB Steering Committee that matters discussed or decided at the Committee’s meetings, insofar as they may be of general interest to band members, should be reported in summarized form following the Committee’s meetings. The ONHB Steering Committee meets at least three times a year – in January, May and August/September. At the meeting held on August 31, 2016 the following matters were dealt with:

  1. The Website Development sub-committee provided an update on the project to replace our existing website with one that better reflects our organization and is easier to maintain and update. A professional consultant has been engaged and the sub-committee has made decisions on home page, colours and design concept, structure of menu and dropdowns, etc. The content will be able to be maintained by administrators instead of requiring a technical webmaster, as was previously the case. Among other things, there will be better management of email lists through MailChimp, an embedded link to PayPal, a Calendar and a “for members” menu item where band directors can post band notes. The new site will be available in time for the next registration period.
  2. A Facebook group has been created for members to post things such as Trading Post, concerts by clinicians, former band members and others of interest. However, any information that is crucial to the activity of bands will continue to be either shown on the web page or sent directly by email. Everyone is encouraged to join Facebook so that it can become a really effective means of social communication.
  3. Online payment of registration fees through both PayPal and email transfers is now in effect for members and seems popular.
  4. The Spring Extension Concert Band raised a substantial amount of donations at its June concert and decided to provide some useful musical instruments for the elementary school in Attawapiskat. The total amount raised was substantially augmented by donations in lieu of flowers for the funeral for Don Laver, as requested by his family. Cathy contacted the school to discuss what would be helpful and purchased a quantity of instruments from Empire Music, the shipping costs being generously provided by Empire Music. At her own expense, Cathy also prepared videos of her classes using the instruments so that the Attawapiskat teacher could see how to present them to the children. Hopefully this project will be an encouragement for a hurting community.
  5. The Steering Committee is investigating the possibility of incorporating the ONHB as an independent organization. A sub-committee has been formed to look into what would be required and, in November, there is to be a full Steering Committee meeting to hear from an experienced former CRA official specifically on the tax considerations.
  6. Daphne will be retiring as administrator in December and her responsibilities will be taken over by Anna Tessier, who currently works part-time for the church. Anna is, herself, a musician (trombone) and manages her band; also, for some years, she was administrator for the Ottawa Children’s Choir. She will be a valuable addition to ONHB.
  7. The church is considering a potential sale of their building to an outside organization. Discussions are still at an early stage, but the Steering Committee has been advised that the present arrangements for band practices and concerts may not be available past July 2017. More details may be known by December of this year. Alternative sites will be investigated.


Hello Musicians – here is an update to the Steering Committee report,

The Ottawa New Horizons Band (ONHB) began in 2008 as an outreach program of Dominion-Chalmers United Church (D-C). Fast forward eight years, and the flourishing ONHB program includes 7 band programs, 2 held at Merivale High School and 5 held at D-C, all operating from D-C. The congregation of D-C has been considering its options over the past year, given that the beautiful heritage building is no longer within its means to maintain. Looking forward, this will probably mean some changes in the future of the ONHB at D-C.

I am very confident that the members of our New Horizons Band Steering Committee (made up of band reps, church reps and band leaders) will pull together to make the most of the opportunities that always present themselves during times of change, and that ONHB will continue to grow and thrive, wherever we may be based. We met on Sunday, November 13 in the afternoon for an excellent presentation on the pros and cons of incorporating, and what that would entail. At our next meeting in January, we will hopefully have more information on the future of D-C, and will be discussing our own options further. To assist ONHB with this time of transition, we have formed a small committee of long-time members who have experience and connections in the community and in corporate matters, including Steve Snell, Dan Delorey, Leslie Scott and David Chaplin.

Rest assured that our winter session and spring session will be at D-C, as usual!

Warm regards,