2016/03/31 VIMS Council Minutes

VIMS Council Meeting Minutes

Thursday, March 31, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

Sandra’s home


Brock, June, Sandra, Bruce, Rhonda, Wei (guest)

Absent with Regrets:


Agenda Items:

  1. Review and Approve Council Meeting Agenda:

Request to add the matter of Coast Capital member voting (in the election of a new Board) to item 4 of the agenda. Motion from Rhonda to approve the modified agenda.  Carried.

  1. Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting (February 26th, 2016):

There were no changes to the distributed draft minutes from the February council meeting.  Motion from June to approve the minutes.  Carried.

  1. Business arising from the Minutes and Updates:
  • Brian has changed the wording for the dana section of the online registration page.
  • Sandra with input from council sent a response to the person from Margo’s February retreat who had concerns about doors being open at Goward House.  Council felt positive that we had responded and the awareness of discomfort would make a difference to the way we operated the next retreat.
  • Joyce agreed to be the co-manager for Pascal Auclair’s retreat on March 25/26 after one of the assigned managers wasn’t able to fulfill the commitment. Thanks go to Joyce for stepping in at the last minute.
  • Reflections on Pascal’s retreat: There was a great reception for Pascal from Victoria (see attendance statistics in item 8 below). There was some feedback related to overcrowding and the managers thought we should perhaps consider lowering the max we accept for registration. June asked Council’s opinion and the majority of members feel we should keep things ‘as is’ for now bearing in mind the standard cancellation/no show rate we usually experience. Overall, it was an amazingly successful weekend.
  1. Finances:
  • Wei agreed toattend the Council meeting to go over the 2015 Financial Report. Council reviewed and discussed the Balance Sheet as of 31 December, 2015 (for handout at the AGM in May). Motion by June to accept the 2015 Financial Report. Carried.
  • Advice from Council on what external reviewers of the 2015 Financial Report should review for the 2016 AGM. Council agreed that this should be just an overview. Wei will be available to answer any questions the reviewer may have.
  • Coast Capital member voting: Council was agreed that we should cast a vote in this matter. Bruce to take care of it.
  • Report of month-end bank information for March (figures as of April 1st as there is a monthly interest paid out on the first of the month (accrued during the previous month)):

Account Balances as of April 1st, 2016:

Chequing:         $3,493.97

Savings:           $3,756.42

TOTAL:            $7,250.39

  • Wei’s preliminary report for the period beginning January to the end of March was presented and reviewed. Motion from June to accept the report. Carried.
  1. AGM in May 2016:
    • Proposed date for the AGM: May 12th has been suggested and the meeting is tentatively set for this date.
    • Status of Summary Reports for the AGM:
      • Retreat Operations (done) – June to send council members copies for review. This document has been reviewed and approved by Isy House, the Retreat Operations coordinator.
      • Financials (done) – council has received a copy of this report.
      • The following reports are still to be compiled and distributed for review. The deadline for completion is mid-April:
      • Communications – Bruce.
      • Sunday Night Sit – Sandra and Margo.
      • Study Group – Bruce.
      • Beginner Drop-in – Brock.
      • Changes in Council – Bruce.
  1. Communications:
    • Newsletter:
      • A reminder about the importance of getting essential information from the council meetings to Margo for inclusion in the newsletter.
    • Website:
      • Bruce noted that there has recently been some difficulty in loading audio files to the website. Bruce is in discussion with Rod and they will investigate and try to rectify the issue.
    • Constant Contact mailing list issue (as described in the minutes from the Council meeting on 26th February): there is nothing further to report on this issue.
  2. Sunday Sit
    • Reminder list for facilitators (Council has suggested that a number of items be mentioned regularly at the Sunday night sit – volunteers needed as co-managers at retreats; everyone to turn off their phones, pagers and other technology; length of break; silence in break; lending library; etc). Sandra to discuss with Margo.
    • Heather Martin has been scheduled (confirmed) to facilitate the Sunday night Sit for May 8th, July 10th, September 18th and November 13th, 2016. As we have retreats planned for the weekend of September 17/18 and for November 13 we will see if some adjustments can be made (particularly the September weekend which is Steve Armstrong). The attendance at the Sunday night sit is often lower than usual on weekends when there are retreats. Sandra to discuss with Margo
    • Other potential facilitators for Sunday nights: No further developments.
  3. Retreat Operations:
    • Pascal Auclair’s retreat in March (25th/26th) was the largest retreat that we have held at Goward House. 102 attended on Friday March 25th and 90 attended on Saturday March 26th.  Thanks to the retreat team of: Brock Brown – Coordinator; Brian Chapel – Registrar; Joyce Elliot and Lise Bernard – co-Managers; Bruce MacRae – Sound; Brock and June – hospitality.  Thanks also to the many people who helped with set-up and close on the two days and to those who offered rides to and from the retreat.
  4. Upcoming retreats for 2016:
    • May 20 – Ajahn Sona with Margo – public talk (Jataka tale) – Goward House.
    • May 21/22 – Ajahn Sona – acknowledge in the text of the online registration page that Ajahn Sona will no longer be travelling to conduct retreats.
    • June 26 – Ajahn Sudanto (Abbott of the Pacific Hermitage).
    • Sept 17/18 – Steve Armstrong.
    • Oct 15/16 – Christina Feldman.
    • Nov 13 – Brock Brown
    • Other possibilities for 2016:

*Ajahn Tiradhammo (possible visit in July)

*Arinna Weisman – talk/Sunday night facilitation – June provided an update: Arinna’s hosts from 2015 will be away this year.  June will speak to some of the people in the sangha to see whether someone else might be able to host Arinna this year.

*Solwazi Johnson – Brock will contact Solwazi.

Brock suggested that we think of having a social gathering in the fall. Council will discuss further at our next meeting.


  1. 2017 Programs:
  • Jan 21/22 – Heather Martin – confirmed – Goward House.
  • February – Margo possibility – Brock to discuss with Margo.
  • March 18/19 – Howard Cohn – confirmed – Goward House.
  • May 27/28 – Ayya Medhanandi – confirmed – Goward House.
  • Aug 19/20 – Ajaan Geoff – confirmed – University of Victoria venue.
  • Sep 16/17 – Adrianne Ross – confirmed – Goward House
  • Oct 14/15 – Steve Armstrong – confirmed – Goward House.
  • Nov 4/5 or 11/12 or 18/19 – Brock – to be confirmed.
  • Other possible teachers:
    • Ajahn Tiradhammo.
  1. 2018 Programs:
  • Carol Wilson has agreed to come to Victoria the first or second weekend of November 2018.
  1. Meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

Next Meeting

April 21, 2016
Sandra’s home