2020/08/20 Council Minutes

Victoria IMS Council Meeting Minutes (approved)
Thursday, August 20th, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.
Online meeting
(facilitated by Brock Brown)
Brock Brown, Rhonda Duncan, Bruce MacRae, Brian Chapel, June Fukushima, Sandra Joy
Absent with Regrets:
Agenda Items:

  1. Review and Approve Council Meeting Agenda:
    Motion from Sandra to approve the agenda. Carried.
  2. Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting (May 21st, 2020):
    There were no changes to the draft minutes from the May 21st, 2020 council meeting.  Motion from June to approve the minutes. Carried.
  3. Business arising from the Minutes and Updates:
    A number of impromptu council meetings were held in June and July (specifically June 18th and 29th) due to the decision to move the balance of our 2020 retreats from an in-person model to a virtual (online) model. There were a number of decisions that needed to be made regarding hiring a Zoom Technical Support person, acquiring the Zoom software for Victoria IMS and setting up automated banking for online dana. No formal minutes were taken at these meetings but details of the decision-making can be found below.

    Council held an online meeting with Wayne Shelley and Sandy Dowling of BCIMS to learn from them how they offered virtual retreats using Zoom Meeting. They shared some of their documentation ahead of time and were very helpful in answering our questions and concerns. In appreciation, Council agreed to send a donation to BCIMS of $100. June mailed a cheque to them and we received a note of thanks.

    Council agreed to purchase a Zoom Pro account (basic with up to 100 participant capability) with payment to be made on a monthly basis. Sandra Joy holds the account on behalf of Victoria IMS and is reimbursed for the monthly expense on receipt of the invoice from Zoom. June mails a cheque to Sandra for $22.14

    Council agreed to set up e-transfer capability with Coast Capital as well as a Victoria IMS PayPal account for receiving dana. June set up both accounts. PayPal is held in the name of [email protected]
    Bruce MacRae and June Fukushima have access to PayPal and the [email protected]

    Council agreed to enter into a contract with Suzan Denis (Salt Spring Island) to act as the Zoom Technical Support person for Tuere Sala’s retreat. In addition she would provide training for the Victoria IMS Zoom volunteer team at no charge. June has been the main contact with Suzan with regard to her contract.

    Brock Brown contacted Tuere Sala to see if she could teach a one day online retreat for us in August. This was to be the first online retreat for the Victoria IMS Zoom team (a trial run). Tuere was available and planning began.  Several practice sessions were held with Suzan leading the VIMS Zoom team and as well, a number of one-on-one role-specific sessions with various Victoria IMS volunteers.

  4. Finances
    The May to July financial report from Wei Wu was circulated to all council members by email prior to the meeting.
    Account Balances since the May 21st, 2020 council meeting:
    Reporting Period May 1st to May 31st, 2020:

Chequing:         $2,645.59
Savings:           $6,821.26
TOTAL:            $9,466.85
      Reporting Period June 1st to June 30th, 2020:

Chequing:         $2,650.81
Savings:           $6,822.10
TOTAL:            $9,472.91

Reporting Period July 1st to July 31st, 2020:

Chequing:         $2,443.87
Savings:           $7,323.00
TOTAL:            $9,766.87

June motioned to receive the May, June and July Financial Report. Carried.

New ways to receive dana:
PayPal Account: Bruce MacRae and June Fukushima have passwords to PayPal so that there are two people monitoring the transfer of donations within PayPal to the Coast Capital account. After receiving PayPal donations related to Tuere’s retreat, Bruce and June checked the PayPal account. June then emailed Bruce that she would be transferring donations in PayPal to Coast Capital.
E-transfers: E-transfer capability with automatic deposit to [email protected] has been set up. June Fukushima and Bruce MacRae have passwords/access to this gmail account
Request for Access:
Given that dana deposits must be recorded individually by our bookkeeper Wei Wu for bookkeeping within Quickbooks, June has asked Kiko Brown for assistance to enter the online deposits into a spreadsheet to be sent to Wei. It would be easier for Kiko to do this if she had access to the [email protected] account as each transaction is reported in this email account.  No one who has access to the [email protected] account can take action with any of the donations (e-transfer is automatic and PayPal transfers to Coast Capital are done through PayPal).
June requested to give Kiko Brown access to the [email protected] account for the purpose of logging all online dana.  This data will then be passed to our bookkeeper. June and Brock recused themselves from this vote.
Motion from Rhonda to give Kiko Brown access to [email protected].  Carried.  Thanks to Kiko for assisting with this task.

 Budget Considerations:
June is recommending that we discontinue offering scholarships for the balance of 2020 due to the uncertainty of Victoria IMS dana/income.
Motion from June to suspend scholarships. Carried.
Bruce will change the website to reflect this decision.

Contract with Suzan Denis (Zoom Technical Support):
Victoria IMS has entered into an arrangement with Suzan Denis to act as our key Zoom Technical Support person for the forthcoming retreats. We will pay her on receipt of her invoice. Council discussed the retreats in general, roles, training and volunteer staffing.  It was agreed that we’ll manage things retreat by retreat and see how it goes.

Insurance: June recommends that Victoria IMS cancel the event insurance policy until we need it again. Council discussed the pros and cons of doing this e.g. premiums may be higher when we want to take it out again (if we cancelled). Brock motioned for June to look into cancelling the policy or getting a discount of some kind. Carried. 

  1. Tuere Sala Retreat
    Tuere Sala retreat update (August 7/8, 2020): There were 58 participants on Friday evening (7th) and 53 participants on Saturday (8th). This was our first online retreat and was very well received. Appreciation was expressed by a number of the participants. Thanks to all those who supported this retreat: Coordinator: Brock Brown; Manager: Metta VanderVliet; Registrar: Kiko Brown; Zoom Support Team: Suzan Denis (Consultant/Zoom Host), Brian Chapel (Q&A Chat Host), Bruce MacRae (screen share, recording, audio), Rhonda Duncan (Communications).
    As this was our first online retreat there were some issues that need to be resolved for future retreats (e.g. PayPal payments on the US accounts, feedback questions in the post-retreat reflection letter, use of the Zoom spotlight feature during Q&A). Dana for Victoria IMS was given by approximately 50% of participants.
  1. Future Online Retreats:
    Council discussed the various things that need to be considered for future online retreats including: volunteers with some knowledge of Zoom, Suzan’s role ongoing, the possible use of purchasing Zoom add-ons such as Webinar and additional participant numbers (greater than 100), the use of breakout rooms, etc.
    The Zoom Technical Host or Manager need to check in with the teacher ahead of the retreat to determine their needs/preferences such as Screen Share, use of Gallery View, handling of Q&A (questions direct to teacher via chat/use of raised hand feature), etc.
  1. Sunday Night Community Sit:
  • Council discussed the Sunday Night Sit and decided that there will be no in-person sitting at the yoga studio for the balance of 2020 and the early part of 2021. In light of the pandemic we will review the situation again in the spring of 2021. There are also no plans to provide an equivalent in the online model.
  1. Communications:
  • Newsletters went out on June 26th and July 31st, 2020. The August retreat with Tuere Sala was highlighted in both.  Thanks to Bruce for his consistent, ongoing work in producing this monthly newsletter.
  1. 2020 Programs:
    • Upcoming retreats/events:

The remaining retreats of 2020 will be held online (in the virtual model using Zoom Meeting).

  • September 19 – Brock Brown
  • October 17/18 – Christina Feldman.
  • November 14/15 – Carol Wilson.
  • Completed retreats/events:
  • January 18/19 – Heather Martin.
  • February 29 / March 1 – Margo McLoughlin.
  • April 11/12 – Pascal Auclair – CANCELLED
  • May 23/24 – Ajaan Geoff – CANCELLED
  • July 18 – Howie Cohn – CANCELLED
  • August 7/8 – Tuere Sala – Online
  1. 2021 Programs:

The teachers and dates listed below are confirmed for the Victoria IMS 2021 retreat schedule.  Due to the pandemic, the retreats in the early part of 2021 will likely be held online. As the year progresses the situation will be monitored to see if it’s feasible to begin holding in-person retreats again at Goward House and the Sidney Shoal Centre.                           .

  • January 23/24 – Heather Martin.
  • February 27/28 – Margo McLoughlin.
  • April 17/18 – Tuere Sala.
  • May 22/23 – Adrianne Ross.
  • August 13/14 – Ajaan Geoff. (at Sidney Shoal Centre)
  • September 18 – Brock Brown.
  • October 16/17 – Howie Cohn.
  • November 13/14 – Ajahn Candasiri.
  1. Other:

Grateful thanks go to the entire Victoria IMS Zoom team of volunteers: Rhonda Duncan, Kiko Brown, Metta VanderVliet, Sandra Joy, Brian Chapel, Bruce MacRae and June Fukushima, whose sterling efforts supported the successful launch of the Victoria IMS virtual/online retreat process.
An extra special ‘thank you’ to June, Bruce and Brian for all the additional work they did during the months of June and July to set up and test financial/banking protocols, develop and send out newsletters, modify our website and develop and test invitations/notifications in Constant Contact for registration, reminder and post-retreat feedback notices.


  1. Meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.

Next Council Meeting

September 24th, 2020 – 6:00-7:30p.m.

Weather permitting, the meeting will be in Rhonda’s back yard otherwise it will take place online.