At the end of the last two AGM’s I promised that that would be my last year. This year I am topping off my report by officially announcing my departure on this very day. I’m excited for what that means for the future of the club, and we will get to that in due time, but first I’d like to fill you in very briefly on the past year. We of course had very different goals when the year began and we were inching towards those goals with relative stability. Unfortunately, the plans set forth at that time have little to do with how the club moves forward now. I think it is however worth noting,that if it had not been for the steady work of board and staff in recent years, we would likely not be moving forward at all.
We are in treacherous times for the arts, however the Tranzac has aspects which we hope will allow us to weather this storm. We are so grateful to David Walsh and the Community Counts foundation for providing us the mortgage funding which has been our key safety net in our efforts to stay afloat. Although the prospect of owing money to a lender is daunting, it is unfortunately necessary. We are lucky however to have the best possible situations that meet our values and that is financially prudent. Leveraging our mortgage is by no means the only way we are weathering this storm and we have approached this with caution and restraint. We have and continue to seek out other sources of funding. Thus far, we have received a CEBA loan of 40k of which 30k is to be repaid by 2022. In addition we have taken advantage of the government wage subsidy program (CEWS) to re-hire our GM Paul Woodly as well as some hours for Sarah Greene who handles our social meeting account and Adam Bradley who handles booking along with Sarah. We also received a Canadian cultural spaces fund grant through Canadian Heritage which has already been put to work. As it stands today we have mostly completed the sound proofing project, the drywall is nearly complete and our new doors will be installed soon. As part of this endeavour repairs or upgrades have been done to our electric, plumbing and Hvac systems. Maybe the best part for me, is that it won’t look all that different but rest assured a lot of necessary work was done very competently.
We have also completed demolition to the upstairs shower room. This project will ultimately result in a functional space where previously a dilapidated shower room stood. This will be completed over the next few months.
We will be starting repairs on the roof. Re-doing one section (basically half) that was assessed to be most critically in need.
Other projects that are slated to begin imminently are:
The replacement of the front door with a new automated one
The replacement of the front door ramp
Improved fire exit signs
Additionally we are in the process of purchasing gear to equip ourselves with a live stream set up
Most recently we received the Factor administered Canadian Heritage Phase 2 emergency support fund in the amount of 40K, these funds will help us outfit the club with pandemic sneeze guard upgrades as it’s deemed appropriate to do so. The rest of these funds will be used for up to 10k in operational costs as outlined by the funder and to put towards some kind of artistic programming when the pandemic situation allows
Our most difficult challenge is the skyrocketing insurance rates that are being offered to venues during the pandemic. The threat of barring our doors has been avoided for the moment as we refrain from public activity and selling alcohol but at some point a reasonable solution will need to be found. All hands are on deck for this and the board is researching all available options and closely watching as the coalition of Toronto venues looks at ways to enact realistic change. This may require that you the community help lobby for insurance assistance from government bodies. So please pay close attention to this issue.
As it stands right now, we’ve got lots of money in the bank and upgrades are in process. In those ways, the Tranzac has never been in a better position. On the other hand however, the course of this pandemic is so uncertain that I cannot paint you a picture of what the next weeks and months will look like. I can however assure you that lots of people are combining their efforts to make sure that we do have a future.
That brings me to my gratitude portion of my report. So many people have brought the Tranzac to this moment in time it could fill volumes, and I hope someone writes that story someday. I however would like to take a moment or maybe two of gratitude for all the people who are currently keeping the ship sailing.
Firstly thank you to all of you who have joined us here tonight. There would be no point in any of this without you. Thank you for being here and I hope you continue to engage with us. Someone expressed the possibility that the Tranzac may be one of the few venues able to weather this crisis. I hope that’s not true but if it is, it means it is up to us to keep the embers of art, culture and community stoked so that we can re-light the torches when it’s possible to do so. Dear friends it’s up to you to keep the community together in these isolated times. I know you will do this and that it is why I love this community so much! I look forward to being a part of that too.
Next I would like to thank the staff. Each and every one of you who have been the feet on the ground of the Tranzac. Some of you have continued to contribute your talents to keeping the Club breathing and some of you have sadly been set adrift for now as we remain closed, but all of you are loved and appreciated and we can’t wait to welcome you all back. For my part, it was great to work with such a caring, smart and creative bunch of people and though it is no longer up to me, I hope that the board continues towards its commitment to being not only a good employer but an employer that sets a model for others in always striving to make things better for their staff. We have a long way to go but I know that the remaining board members continue to care very much about this.
Finally I’d like to also express gratitude to my fellow board members however there isn’t enough time to really go on about all of their many contributions without making you all run screaming from yet another zoom meeting. So instead I decided to honour each of them, and the spirit of fun that is the tranzac, with the briefest summation I could think of in the form of haiku. My apologies if some are cryptic but that provides you an excuse to ask them about it and get to know this awesome group of people all of whom are staying on for the coming term. In no particular order my Haiku’s
Tranzac always shouted loud
My beloved big bro
STP committee leader
Tiki room vegemite toast
How Deep is your love?
Takes things on smiling
She is part of the NAGS troupe
Never does she nag
A brand new member
So level headed and smart
He once worked for RUSH
He's like our mascot
See him re: silent auction
He's in his office
On top of all things
Not just a gifted artist
You know she gets it
What do you need done?
She's already been on it
Her dog has one eye
A frontline worker
Probably in all she does
I expect big things
On that note, recently I made a recommendation for my successor to the board and it was unanimously and enthusiastically embraced. Before I present them to you, I do want to say that it has been an honour for me to represent this membership as president for the last 5 years. With the help of the board, staff and this fantastic community we have achieved all the things on our to-do-list of items that once seemed like impossible dreams. This is how I know we are going to make it through this current crisis.
So please let me present to you the board's candidate for Presidency, Samantha Peck. She comes to us as one of the organizers of a very popular event at the Club, nerd night. As described in my haiku, she is working as the executive director of her not-for-profit organization which helps families navigate long term care. So yes, she has her hands full currently but has still been very active in moving the club forward. She is a natural leader who is both passionate and compassionate and her knowledge of board operations is far greater than I ever really care to know. More importantly however, she gets the DIY nature of the Tranzac and shares the values of its community. It is with great relief that I tell you that you are being left in great hands!
So without further ado, I present to you Samantha Peck who will talk to you about the future direction of the club.
- Collette Savard