2013 ANNUAL REPORT
Our focus this year has been on building the foundation and framework of a renewed Friends of the Canadian War Museum; a renewed organization with the people and the tools to embark upon exciting new avenues and approaches to accomplishing its mission and meeting its objectives. It is gratifying to note in this regard, that the Board has increased both its Francophone and female representation again this year.
The Friends has maintained its ongoing commitment to the Museum to assist behind the scenes in the Library, the “Tank Room” and elsewhere, and to serve the public in the galleries. In addition, increased numbers of volunteers are devoting substantial time to the programs and projects of the Friends.
The committee reports found on the following pages document the many activities undertaken this year and include numerous in-year innovations. Among the innovations are numbered the creation of a research committee, an expanded emphasis on outreach through several initiatives and the clear establishment of our own public education programming.
In August 2013, we were among the first federally incorporated charitable organizations to be granted a continuance under the terms of the new governing statute. Linda Colwell, Charles Gruchy, Helen McKierman and Bill Reed worked hard to make this happen. As part of the exercise we have revised our by-laws and made them available for the first time in both official languages. We have negotiated and are concluding a Memorandum of Agreement with the Museum defining our working relationships and our respective responsibilities. During this period, Museum management has been open and helpful to the Friends and good working relationships have been established between our committee chairs and department heads.
A tangible commitment to the future of the FCWM was the complete redesign of our website, the launch of our Facebook page and the automating of our membership donations and finance systems. The new system was put in place under budget and with a huge commitment of time by the ad hoc technology committee, chaired by Bob Farrell, which had numerous contributors among whom Joe Bedford, Mike Braham, Mike Bedford and Victor Vaivads deserve special mention.
Julia Finn, our office manager, and our other office volunteers are deserving of thanks for their efforts to make the Friends office and its services more accessible to our members and to the general public.
I wish to thank the members of the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, our volunteers and indeed, all members, for the assistance and support they have provided me during my tenure as President.
THE FRIENDS OF THE CANADIAN WAR MUSEUM
The Friends of the Canadian War Museum (The Friends) is an all-volunteer organization founded in 1985 with the goal of contributing to a more fitting setting for the Museum's priceless art and artefacts. This developed into a national “Passing the Torch” campaign which, by 2005, had raised nearly $18 million. In addition to the “Passing the Torch” campaign, the Friends have made annual contributions to the Museum, now totalling over $1 million.
The Friends share a passion for preserving and sharing the legacy of generations of Canadians who fought for their country. Volunteers among them provide a wide variety of services to the Museum behind the scenes, in its galleries, publicizing events and restoring heavy equipment. While most of these volunteers live in the National Capital Region, the Friends organization has truly national appeal. Approximately 40% of our 700 individual and corporate members live outside the NCR and Friends can be found resident in all of the provinces and territories. Programs are being developed to provide these non-NCR members with opportunities to volunteer from their own homes and communities.
The Friends is managed by a Board of Directors. Most of the directors live in the Ottawa area and include a cross section of men and women, retired from or still working in the private and public sectors. All share a common cause: preserving and making known Canada’s military history by supporting of the Canadian War Museum. For a list of the current Board members, see Annex A to this document.
The Friends organization has no paid staff. It relies entirely on volunteers to accomplish all its activities including manning the Friends office, managing second hand book sales at the Friends Office within the Museum and at special venues within the Ottawa area, developing and managing fund raising projects, identifying volunteers and matching them with volunteer opportunities, and operating a relatively sophisticated communications and research program all focused on assisting the CWM.
In 2013, under the leadership of the President, Douglas Rowland, and facilitated by Helen McKierman, a volunteer having significant experience as a Strategic Planning Consultant, the Friends developed a five-year Strategic Plan. The Plan includes strategic objectives and in-year priorities and as a living plan, is reviewed 2-3 times a year against evolving criteria and measures of success.
Mission: The Mission of the Friends of the Canadian War Museum is to promote and support the Canadian War Museum by:
Vision: Within five years, the FCWM will be a national organization of 2,000 members, will be prominent in social media, will have an effective and interactive web-site, an efficient internal administration, a continuity plan (succession plan) and will be recognized as the pre-eminent military museum support organization in Canada.
2013-14 Priorities and Status Report
Continuance, By-Laws, Succession Plan and Organization Structure
Continuance, By-Laws and Organizational Structure are complete. Succession planning is a work in process.
|Identify Volunteer requirements and responsibilities and improve relations with Museum Clients||
Additional volunteers and opportunities have been identified. The Executive and appropriate Committee Chairs meet regularly with key members of the CWM leadership
Membership drives and ongoing communications are in place. New opportunities to connect with current and potential members are being pursued
Books sale opportunities have increased and some special projects will be implemented shortly. Work to de-conflict CWM and Friends fund raising initiatives is ongoing
|Marketing Plan, Translation and Website||
The website and other communications media are now available in both official languages. The new website is up and running and a number of links with organizations sharing common interests with the Friends are in place. Work on the Marketing plan is ongoing.
|Executive Measurement of Progress||
Work to produce a quantitative and qualitative measurement system is ongoing.
|Key Events and Projects||
A calendar of events has been produced and monthly e-mails are used to provide updates. New events such as bi-monthly lunch meetings in Ottawa have been added.
One regional committee has been established
Minutes for Board and Committee meetings are available in the Friends Office. These with various reports will be available to the general membership once the membership page has been established on the new website.
Projects and Activities
Each year, the Friends undertake a number of continuing and one-off initiatives designed to support the CWM. For ease of review, the current projects are listed by categories below.
Publications and Travel
Souvenir Exhibition Catalogue - Presenting The LeBreton Gallery Of The Canadian War Museum: The LeBreton Gallery: Vehicles and Equipment of War at the Canadian War Museum, by Jeff Noakes (Historian, Second World War). The Friends contributed $25,000 to pay for the publication of what will be the official Souvenir Catalogue of the updated and reorganized LeBreton Gallery. The catalogue opens with a foreword from the President of the Friends of the Canadian War Museum, followed by an introduction to the Gallery, its purpose, and its own history. It is designed and published for general distribution across Canada and internationally. Available in September 2014, it will provide a reference for those who have visited the LeBreton Gallery and a glimpse of the Gallery for those unable to physically visit the Canadian War Museum.
Travelling Exhibit: This year’s travelling Exhibit, in recognition of the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, featured Korean War photos.
Adopt-a-Book: The "Adopt-a-Book" Program is an ongoing and very successful project. Friends’ sponsored campaigns over the past 10 year have provided over 430 new titles to the Hartland Molson Library of the Canadian War Museum's Military History Research Centre (MHRC).
Each year the MHRC provides a list of titles and prices of the books it would like to acquire. This information is made known to the individual Friends through the Torch, normally in the spring. Interested members provide their contributions to the Friends along with the title of the book(s) they wish to sponsor. As funding is received, the Friends notify the MHRC of the books, which have been sponsored and the MHRC makes the purchase. Books are inscribed with the name of the sponsor.
Book Title Purchases: In addition to the member sponsored books, the Friends annually provides up to $2,000 for the purchase of additional titles. Each of the books is suitably inscribed to indicate that it was sponsored by the Friends of the Canadian War Museum.
Rare Book Collection: For a number of years, the Friends organization has provided $2,000 annually for Rare Book Conservation.
Book Sales: The Second Hand Book Outlet, which is situated within the Friends Office area, acquires and sells military history and related books. Book sales accounted for approximately $8,330 in 2013 all of which is used to support Friends’ initiatives. Friends and Museum visitors have responded positively to our new book sale signage and traffic to the outlet has picked up significantly since the signs were put in place.
Community Education Projects
Gunter Awards: The Colonel Douglas H. Gunter History Awards are financially supported by the Friends of the Canadian War Museum. The awards were instituted to support and encourage senior secondary school students to pursue studies in Canadian military history and the effects of war upon Canada and its people. The total value of the Awards consists of five prizes of $1000 each, distributed to five winning students. Students may produce Text, Visual Art, Web Design or Audio or Video Products. The Canadian War Museum manages the program and each year the Friends provides at least one member of the adjudication team
The 2013, applicants of the Colonel Douglas H. Gunter History Awards were asked to submit an original work considering “Canada and the Korean War“. The five winners follow:
Gerrit Van Dorland
Blyth Academy: The Friends assisted Blyth Academy in offering its grade 9 and 10 History course by appointing speakers with expertise in some area of military life to speak to the students and/or allowing the students to interview veterans on a mutually agreed upon subject either at The Academy or the War Museum itself. This connection proved beneficial to both students and members of the Friends and will be re-offered in 2014.
The Torch: The Friends Newsletter, the Torch, is produced and distributed in both hardcopy and electronically via the web site four times a year. It serves both as an instrument for educational outreach and a mechanism for informing members of Museum and Friends’ activities. This year, in recognition of the Centennial of the Great War, the February Torch included a supplement which highlighted the Canadian entry and participation in the war during 1914. Future years will include similar supplements to commemorate the successive years of the war.
Web Site and Social Media
The FCWM Web Site: After much work and preparation, the Friends launched a modern, inter-active web site to replace the former site. The new site is almost entirely bilingual and the information is kept up to date. The presentation of the information is more attractive, easier to access and amenable to innovative approaches such as the inclusion of video clips. Check us out at https://www.friends-amis.org
E-Bulletin: The E-Bulletin provides a timely update on activities of interest to members. The monthly e-bulletin fills in the gaps between editions of the Torch with regular updates on ongoing FCWM activities.
Social Media: 2013-14 saw the introduction and development of a timely, relevant and interesting Facebook site that is drawing increasing interest from outside the Friends’ community. A Twitter site has been less successful in terms of ‘hits’. However, it is hoped that as we gain experience with this medium the overall impact will improve.
Personal Treasures: The Personal Treasures project is designed to allow members and the general public to display various items of militaria. Stories and photographs that evoke memories of an individual’s own military past or that of the career of a relative or friend are welcome. The exhibition is virtual, that is, it is only available online through electronic FCWM sites, including our website, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr pages. To contribute, send an electronic version of a photograph of the person, event, or artefact to be displayed along with a brief description of 500 words or less to , Attention: Michael Braham. We will be pleased to add it to our “collection”.
Volunteers: Volunteers provided in excess of 15,000 volunteer hours to support Friends and Museum activities. Activities included work within various parts of the museum from the library to the exhibits, to the Tank Shop and the Friends offices. Volunteers served outside the Museum at various book sales, membership drives and other activities.
Veterans’ Parking: The Friends contribute $5,000 a year to provide free parking at the Museum for current and former members of the military and RCMP.
Having no paid staff, the Friends must undertake all activities through its volunteer Board of Directors, Board Committees and other volunteers. The following diagram shows the relationship of the various Board committees. The reports of the various Board Committees follow.
Governance Committee: In 2013-14, the Governance Committee focused on developing the Friends Articles of continuance and applying for continuance as required under the new Canada Not-For-Profit Corporations Act. The resultant Certificate of Continuance effectively replaces the Friends Letters Patent and Supplementary Letters Patent issued in 1987 and 2006 and assures the legal standing of the Corporation under the new legislation. Other areas of activity included reviewing the Friends Board Committee Structure and committee Terms of Reference.
Communication Committee: The Communication Committee’s 2013-14 accomplishments included, producing and publishing the Torch; overseeing the translation of existing and new documents to ensure all communications are produced, as far as possible, in both official languages; engaging a volunteer videographer to produce material for the new website; assisting other committees with key communications activities; and, liaising with the ad hoc Technical Committee on the new website development and transition. As part of that transition, the Communication Committee prepared bilingual extracts for existing Fact Sheets and managed the translation of a good part of the legacy primarily English-only materials to produce what is now an almost completely bilingual website.
Membership Committee: In 2013-14, the membership Committee was focused on managing the Friends’ current members including member renewals, maintaining communications links with members and seeking new members.
The Committee has devoted considerable effort to establishing a Membership Module within the new FCWM Website. The module, when launched in mid- 2014 will allow on-line membership applications and renewals. The main focus in 2014-15 will be reaching out to current members and seeking new members as part of the campaign to increase membership in general and to better link members, regardless of where they live, with the activities undertaken to support the CWM.
Events and Outreach Committee: Events and Outreach activities in 2013-14 were focused on linking with the community at large to better ‘tell the Friends’ story” and to provide opportunities for members of the Friends to come together for social and educational activities. Events and activities this year included widening the Friends’ reach through establishing a link with the Council of Heritage Organizations, setting up promotion tables for Col By Days, Wings Over Gatineau, the Militaria Show, and Veterans’ Appreciation Day at Billings Plaza and supporting the Veterans’ Recognition Day in conjunction with the Ottawa 67s.
In late 2013, the Committee launched a new and popular lunch event. Open to Friends members and their contacts, quarterly luncheons include a meal, a guest speaker and lots of conversation. The first lunch took place in November with guest speaker Mark O’Neil, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of History, at the Orleans Legion. In February 2014, the group gathered at the Ottawa Army Officers Mess to hear his Excellency, Dr. Ray Bassett, the Irish Ambassador to Canada.
As a means of expanding the Events and Outreach activities, the Friends established a Regional Committee in Nova Scotia through the initiative of Jim Muckle, a serving director who moved to that area. Activities include pursuit of partnerships with local Legions and establishing links with Friends members in the area. While the Eastern Regional Committee is still a trial, initial feedback would indicate that the concept could prove an important tool in further developing a sense of belonging and participation among Friends who live outside the National Capital Region.
The Committee’s 2014 focus includes participation in ongoing and new events to recognize Canada’s Military history, working with the Museum on events to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the beginning of World War I, establishing additional activities to bring Friends members together and to provide individual Friends opportunities to invite non-members to ‘come and see’ what we are all about, and pursuing ways to enrich the museum visit experience by better preparing students for school visits to the CWM .
Resource Committee: The Resource Committee works to identify volunteer opportunities and to match volunteers with these opportunities either within the Friends organization or in direct support of the CWM. It provides advice and assistance to the Board and other Friends entities on activities and elements of their programs involving resources (human and financial) and manages Friends projects such as the Coin Box/Pool donations, the Adopt –A- Book Campaign, Book Sales, etc. As well, the Committee works with the Museum to identify projects that would require Friends financial support, to establish funding sources and to identify volunteers who could contribute to supporting the projects with their time and talents.
Research Committee: The Research Committee is the newest Board Committee and has been pursuing the following lines of activity:
- An Enquiries Function provides assistance to the CWM researching questions from the public.
- The Oral Veterans Interview Project seeks to identify and interview veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces to expand the archival fund of recorded voice interviews to be held for future use by the CWM.
- A project to research the people behind the medals so that we can tell their stories and help the museum prepare their medals for on-line display. The Great War Medals in the Museum collection are the first priority.
- Miscellaneous Research conducted by a Team established to provide a web of researchers available to assist in data and information collection to support The Friends, the Museum and individual Canadians.