Questions and Answers: The Equestrian Canada Annual Convention and Awards
pictured: Eva Havaris, CEO of Equestrian Canada
Date: April 7-9, 2017 Location: Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, 1088 Burrard St., Vancouver, BC V6Z 2R9
The Gaitpost is looking forward to attending the Equestrian Canada (EC) Convention coming up soon in Vancouver. Apart from the many presentations and sessions by world class speakers and experts, and apart from the chance to applaud the deserving at the Award Ceremony, this opportunity to ask questions and have input into the future of our national federation is a golden one, particularly for those of us here on the west coast. Social media is a huge disseminator of information, but the full context is needed to answer many questions adequately. The convention is where we can network with our peers and access the people that are holding the future of the equestrian sport in Canada in their hands.
“Building a Unified Canadian Equestrian Community” is a frequently stated aim on EC’s website. It doesn’t take much research on the internet to realize that EC has hit some serious bumps on that road. The Gaitpost has been in contact with Eva Havaris, CEO of EC, in advance of the convention, in the effort of finding some balance in information, and coming to our own conclusions after the convention.
The first two days of the convention are largely about “hearing the voices of the equestrian community, and to start talking about problems and their solutions” said Eva Havaris. With representation from the provinces as well as the disciplines, this is an ideal opportunity to learn about the complete process and get those questions answered.
Victor Rosansky is the keynote speaker, a sought-after international speaker and consultant. He is currently President and co-founder of LHR International, has co-authored three books, and was the Founder of Organizational Dynamics, Inc., helping it grow to a global consulting company with several hundred employees. Victor’s professional background has been focused on supporting entrepreneurial startups. Victor holds an M.A. in Economics from Boston University, an M.A. in Psychology from Brandeis University and an MBA. Victor is also currently active as a trusted advisor on governance issues for non-profit Boards across various industries. As a System Alignment specialist, Ms. Havaris believes his input will help clarify EC’s changes, and the issues with the Not For Profit structure as a result of the Act changes, in particular.
The High-Performance Commission Review session will share the findings of an independent 3rd party that collaborated with athletes, staff, and organizers, reviewing the last four years, identifying gaps in services as well as opportunities. Get informed!
There is also an Information Open Session on the EC governance process, and the various roles and responsibilities involved, with the General Meeting of voting members at 2:30 on Saturday. This is another important opportunity to gain some clarity into the workings of EC.
Much of the swell of dissatisfaction seems to arise from the changes made to meet the requirements of a National Not For Profit organization, one point being that the voting members are fully elected, and not named reps from different areas and disciplines. The definition of a member has changed directly because of the corporate act, and this seems to have caused a lot of uproar. 90,000 members are now “Registered Participants” and only 27 people are actually Voting Members. That being said, apparently at the last open election, only 1500 of the 90,000 potential votes were cast… One of the many questions to be answered will be how this situation came to be – was there adequate consultation? Was the general public aware of the decisions to be made, their gravity, and the options?
No doubt, EC has a huge job, developing parity for provincial members, the Industry, and sport license holders. A long-term picture must be held by someone for the future governance of our sport. The path to that goal can take many turns, and solid information is the only way that all people involved or affected will feel that the direction taken will have the hoped-for results. Changes without disclosure, and criticism without consultation are both ineffective and unproductive. Let’s get together at the Conference, let’s ask the questions, support our own views, and help EC get some traction in developing our fabulous sport. Use the Convention to get together with likeminded individuals and present a cohesive front to the EC, and get (and give) the information required for sensitive decisions.
The Gaitpost would like to hear from people, regarding their relationship with Equestrian Canada. If you have serious reservations about something, and cannot attend in person, let us know, and we will try to find your answers. If there was something particularly good that EC did for you and your group, then let us know, and we will tell the appropriate person responsible! Communicate. Let the Gaitpost help.
Eleanor Klawer, Editor
photos courtesy Equestrian Canada