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Board Meeting Reports 2014-12-16

Communications Committee Minutes (Presented as the Report on Dec. 16, 2014)

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014- 6:30 pm

  1. Social Media Update
    • Facebook/Twitter engagement
    • We had some successful posts, Shop Your Local Talent post reached 520 people (Appendix A). The Winter Program Guide post reached 451 people (Appendix B)
    • Board has approved $200 budget to boost posts.
      • One post (normal), one boosted, one demographic + boosted, one final boost day of registration.
      • We will evaluate how much engagement we get on the different posts and compare reach.
      • We will create a bit.ly link to add to an email reminder, this will help monitor how many people go to the website. 
      • $200: $75 and $75 and $50 ($50for an ‘urgent’ post, sometime during registration).
      • Amanda and Aletha will look into bit.ly and tiny.url
  2. Social Media: December plan for posts
    • Work on consistency of language
    • Add OSCAR deadlines as well as notifications about Between the Bridges on Thursdays
    • Promote subscriptions to the e-newsletter.
  3. Registration Platforms- re-cap from E-register meeting
    • ASAP wasn’t as good as expected, there are concerns about customer service
    • Reg Packs: we would need to enhance our website in order to use their system.
    • Drupal- Chris will look into extensions such as shopping carts etc.
    • Joomla- Nick raised the possibility of a “course manager”.
    • Allen LeBlanc has agreed to research further options for the task group
  4. Content Audit of Website- update
    • There has been significant clean-up of the website, currently working on upgrading to Joomla 3.
    • We should wait until the next Joomla level is installed/upgraded before running another content audit.
    • The possibility of a Think-Tank to assist with improving the website was discussed.
  5. Communications Strategy update
    • Conduct a think tank to explore current procedures and get new ideas on usability and intuitive interfaces.
    • Offer a tool to various groups to audit content from different web pages. Give options for content: Toss, Keep, Store. 
    • Look in to giving Amanda and Aletha full permissions to post directly to the website. Amanda will e-mail Chris login info used by admin.
  6. Support for other committees
    • Program Committee: Major project is new registration system. Target new and existing audiences. Specifically younger and older audiences.
    • Planning and Zoning: May eventually want to engage with the community.
    • Membership: we need to reach out to the community to grow OSCA membership. An OSCAR insert could be helpful. Or a membership drive.
    • Generally; Committees need to be informed of the resources available to them.
  7. Appendix A : “Shop Your Local Talent” Post , November 26th, 2014
  8. Appendix B: Winter Program Guide Post, November 22nd, 2014

OSCA Program Committee December Board Report

  1. After 4
    1. There has been much staff training and onsite mentorship. Former Senior staff have returned to the Firehall to assist with training and overall mentorship. An intensive workshop was held in late November and changes in programming are expected.
    2. Senior staff will be mentored more closely with short term intensive goals to ensure they take more overall leadership with regard to staff training, and programming.
    3. Programming at Southminster was discussed. The goal will be a different program introduced there in the Fall involving workshops from local partners (dance etc) as well as Firehall instructors. Some of the workshops and programming will be slowly introduced in January with a comprehensive program hopefully launched in the Fall of 2015.
    4. Space for storage will also be negotiated with Southminster.
  2. After 4 payment policy
    1. We continue to have many clients in arrears. A notice was sent home in backpacks in late November. To date 33 people have not paid. Many think their payments are automatically withdrawn or that the original payment of first and last month was the entire payment needed.
    2. The Firehall team will come up with possible payment options and present these to the Program Committee in January for approval. The goal will be to ease the process for Firehall staff having to collect unpaid accounts, as well as motivate clients to pay regularly and/or in advance.
  3. Surveys
    1. The surveys for After 4 and Programs were launched at the beginning of December.
    2. A review will be presented in January. The idea of survey fatigue was raised. Essentially surveys are sent out twice annually. In the Summer Spring and Winter programs are assessed, and in December the previous Fall’s programs are assessed. This was not deemed to be too much.
  4. Firehall Fitness Centre (FFC)
    1. Christy, Ian and Alex met with Advantage Fitness to assess the FFC
    2. A treadmill will be removed and rower introduced. Also some of the heavier weights will also be removed. Finally, a number of posters outlining different free weight exercises will be mounted throughout the FFC to assist members. All told this will result in a $400 credit with Advantage Fitness.
    3. Advantage fitness also proposed a more detailed trade up with additional machines including a stack. This was not deemed appropriate, after consulting with the Fitness Centre Attendants and Personal trainers who noted the lack of demand for such, and the need for more floor space. The committee supported the input of the Attendants and will not be purchasing this new equipment.
    4. However, there is the possibility of looking into a wave machine, dip station and chin up bar.
    5. Christy will ensure the proposed posters are approved by the attendants and personal trainers first.
  5. Registration system update
    1. The E-Reg task force had second demos with Regpacks and ASAP and did not feel that the programs would be adequate. Allen Leblanc researched 4 more companies. The Firehall staff will research those companies. Additionally Legend, a company from the UK who Dovercourt are hoping to bring to Canada, have initiated the steps to be available by applying with the Competition bureau. If the local community centres purchased as a group discounted fees could be a possibility. Legend also will need to ensure that the future of the Community Centre’s is somewhat guaranteed before making these steps.
  6. The Firehall team will investigate all options.

Special Events Report for OSCA Board

Dec. 2014

  • The Shop Your Local Talent Christmas Show and White Christmas at the Mayfair were successful and well attended.
  • We had more people at the Shop Local event than last year. There were a few less people at White Christmas at the Mayfair, but we still project to break even.
  • Facebook was very helpful with the Shop Local event in that for the first time artists could post photos of their work ahead of time.
  • Breakfast with Santa will be on Dec. 14th , we will update verbally at the board meeting on the 16th.
  • Next up we have a Valentine’s Day Skating Party at Windsor Park.
  • There has been discussion about a Women’s Day event and we will be meeting in the new year to confirm .
  • Still some discussion on OOS Amazing Race, it is felt by a majority of the group at this time that there is not enough time to plan this event for 2015, but that spring 2016 might work.

Board Meeting Reports 2014-11-18

Communications Committee Report

Wednesday October 29th, 2014 6:30pm 

1-      Social Media Analytics

  • Both Facebook and Twitter follower numbers are up. Photos and special events seem to generate the most engagement.
  • Twitter should be used as more of a daily communication tool. The Committee would like to promote OSCA’s twitter account as a way of getting important current updates.
  • Communications Committee would like to ask the board for money to boost posts on Facebook each year to line up with special dates/events to increase likes & engagement. The Committee would like to consider boosting posts strategically to promote programs that are low or to promote upcoming events.
  • The committee would like to try boosting posts for the winter 2015 program guide in November/December.
  • It was suggested to include a URL to know if people are finding out about the guide through the boosted post.
  • The Committee would like to consider creating an advertising budget for social media.
    • Decision: Christy will bring a decision item to the Board to give Communications Committee funds to boost some posts for the winter 2015 guide.
    • Two of the same links will be posted, one that is not boosted and then a few days later one that is boosted, to see which gets more engagement.

2-      Website analytics

  • There is the ability to get very specific information on the analytics of the website.
  • There are several hundred hits every day.
  • The Committee would like to keep getting updates on website analytics each month.

3-      Content Audit of Website- update

  • Chris and Kathy have been steadily streamlining the site content and layout, particularly of the front page.
  • Christy will ask Special Events Committee leads to add a description for special events when sending posters and/or photos to Kathy.

4-      Communications Strategy update

  • The Communications Strategy is coming and will be able to go to the board soon.
  • The Strategy will go back to what was covered at the strategic planning retreat. There will be attempts to tie it in with OSCA’s other priorities.
    • Decision: Nick will hold a meeting in mid to late November with those who signed up to work on the strategy. They will create an initial draft.

5-      Registration system

  • Demos for two registration systems, ASAP and RegPacks, will probably happen within the next month. Christy will arrange and invite members of both Program and Communications committee.
  • It was suggested that actual tests of programs could be conducted as well.
  • Mike Tait of Dovercourt is working on having Legend come to Canada. Allen, Christy and others on the e-Reg subcommittee feel it may be too expensive and more than OSCA needs.

6-      Mail Chimp Update

  • Mail Chimp could not integrate with E-reg so it has not been used.
  • Constant Contact is also another possible mail sender.
  • The Committee would like to wait to choose a mail service until OSCA has switched over to a new registration system.


  • Non-communications related promotionsOSCA is going to be getting on Hopewell’s E-newsletter. This will be a way of promoting OSCA’s programs to the school community.
    • Book marks, calendars or other paper formats would be helpful to promote special events and new program guides.
  • OSCA could reach out to Westboro Academy as well to be part of their newsletter.


Program Committee Report 

  1. Program Guide Winter 2015
    1. 1  There has been a focus on two main areas of programming for the Winter 2015 program guide; mom and baby programs, and 50+ programs.
    2. 2  Christy will give a verbal update as to the status of designing the guide.
  1. Registration Systems
    1. 1  There will be registration demos for Program Committee and Communications Committee on Nov 17th of ASAP and Reg Packs registration systems.
  1. After 4
    1. 1  There is a new After 4 policy on late payment of fees:
      • Payments made after the 15th of the month-$25 fee.
      • Payments two months behind-$25 + $25 + all arrears settled. Plus- advance payment necessary for all future registration.
      • Further late payments may result in loss of spot in After 4.
      • 2  OSCA staff have been concerned with the quality of the After 4 program. To address this issue:
        • OSCA coordinators and senior staff will be meeting to brainstorm how to improve the program.
        • Overall investment in staff training is imperative. Training and team building workshops will begin regularly to increase staff knowledge and engagement.
        • There will be increased focus on recruiting new staff to ensure appropriate hiring.  
        • Programming will also be a new focus
        • Separate consideration will be made for Southminster.  
  1. There will be a survey in December of OSCA’s programs. There will be a separate survey for After 4, child programs and adult programs.
  1. The new Administrative Coordinator of Programs and Communications has been hired. Amanda Bednarek started in the position on Monday November 10th.


OSCA Special Events Committee Repor

Nov. 16th 2014

  • The Halloween Party was a great success. Bylaw did come and give a warning, but the windows were open and as soon as they were closed bylaw felt the noise was fine. We will make sure the windows are closed at future events and that at a courtesy neighbours are given a flyer with date and time information of upcoming events. We would like to make this an annual or semi annual event. Check out the Facebook photos to see what an amazing party it was.


OSCA Shop Your Local Talent Christmas Craft Show.

  • Nov. 23rd
  • 10-3
  • All of our tables have been sold. We have 42 local artists and artisans and their one of a kind creations. Not to be missed

White Christmas at the Mayfair

  • Dec. 7th
  • 4 p.m. door open at 3:30.
  • An unofficial sing along and a great chance to see a classic movie on the big screen. Tickets are 10 dollars and can be purchased online, at the firehall or at the Mayfair the day of the event. Door prizes and the Hopewell Glee Club will perform before the show. This is a family friendly event; so bring the kids (probably best suited for those over 6)

Breakfast with Santa

  • Dec. 14th, 10:30am-12:30pm
  • We can still use volunteers to help with this event and we also have a Santa, but he does have a family affair he would like to attend. If anyone would like to be Santa please let Christy know.


  • We have decided that with so many events we need some help with postering. We would like to ask committee members and board members to consider taking a few posters with them for each event and to put them up in their neighbourhood. Bank St. take down is on the 1st and the 15th of each month if you are putting them up on Bank. St. Many hands make light work, and if everyone took 3-5 that would be wonderful.
  • We had a discussion about the upcoming Spring Dance and so far Dance Icons theme to beat.
  • We also had a brief discussion about a new event, the OOS Amazing Race. More TBA.


Traffic Committee Report - November 2014

A Dazzle of Zebra Stripes

By Winnie Pietrykowski

This last month they seem to be popping up everywhere:  zebra stripes at Aylmer & Bank and lately Sunnyside & Riverdale and yet another dazzle a little further south at Cameron & Riverdale – the latest arrivals in a series of recommendations originally endorsed by OSCA in 2012.

We seem to be on a roll!  The Annual Report of the Lansdowne Transportation

Management Operations Committee (LTMOC) is due in April 2015 and now that “big event” planning and the Redblacks season is under control, “everyday operations” will attract more of the limelight and the attention of the City and LTMOC (not all our traffic recommendations come under the Lansdowne Monitoring Plan, some sit squarely with the City and its response to increased traffic in OOS).

By now you may have noticed that the lights at Bank & Sunnyside have an advanced pedestrian signal.  This same option is under consideration at Sunnyside & Riverdale.  Also under review is the automatic activation of pedestrian crossing signals when the light turns green at all traffic intersections along Bank.  And yes, maybe more dazzles: east-west crosswalks at Willard and Fairbairn (close to the Firehall).

Recently, OOS residents, the Traffic Committee, the Executive Director of OSCA and program coordinators met with Kerry-Lynn Mohr, a Traffic Specialist with the City of Ottawa to address some of the more immediate concerns along Sunnyside between Bank & Riverdale. 

Some of the proposals include: changing parking hours on Willard from 3 to 2; moving permissive parking on Willard from the west side to the east side of the street, allowing for more drop-off room for the daycare further down from the corner of Willard & Sunnyside where both the stopping and the parking is proving hazardous; maintaining a no parking zone on the west side (again on Willard) to allow for better visibility for north bound traffic; relocating the existing No Parking sign at Bellwood & Sunnyside another 6m west (to improve visibility for north bound cars turning left on to Sunnyside); and a parking permit zone for the Firehall on the west side of Fairbairn Street.

And the list goes on, including a painted bulb out on the south east quadrant of the intersection of Glen & Seneca, and the installation of “Stop Ahead” warning signs on both sides of Riverdale as cars approach Cameron Street.

So stay tuned. We continue to work on traffic recommendations developed by you and endorsed by OSCA. We plan to be included in LTMOC’s Annual Report in 2015 and to make a guest appearance at the Transportation Committee where the Annual Report will be presented.   


Board Meeting Reports 2014-09-08

OSCA September 2014 Board Reports



Program Committee Report


September 8, 2014

1.      Program guide update

1.1.    OSCA has now produced a full year of program guide; fall, winter, spring and summer editions. The  Fall edition was a significant undertaking for a number of reasons:

1.1.1. Changes were made to the layout of the guide and full-colour was introduced.

1.1.2. The fall program guide is used to introduce new programs. Many new programs were introduced in the fall guide. This requires finding instructors, and creating new program descriptions.

1.1.3. The Administrator of Programs and Communications, hired to oversee the production of program guides, left OSCA in early August with the program guide behind schedule.

1.1.4. In August, Christy worked 16+ hour days to ensure the program guide would be ready on time.

1.1.5. The graphic artist that creates the proofs sent to the printer returned work to OSCA that had spelling mistakes, and content from previous versions of the program guide that were not present in the work sent. This required Christy and other staff to re-edit their work to ensure it matched what had been sent.

2.      Space and programs

2.1.    Long-time instructor Zina Richards has contemplated leaving OSCA because her Wednesday night class was moved from Michael Jenkin Hall to the dance studio by the previous City of Ottawa program coordinator. The space is not ideal for an adult fitness program.

2.1.1. OSCA has made contact with the Glebe Reggio Centre (276 Sunnyside) to rent the space on Wednesday nights.

2.2.    The Program Committee would like to explore the possibility of working closely with the Glebe Reggio Centre to use their space in the evenings and weekends for programs

3.      Status of Lily Pepper and her replacement Aletha Philips

3.1.    Lily Pepper, hired as the Administrator of Programs and Communications in early June left OSCA in early August. Aletha Philips, who has worked for OSCA in various program related roles and has recently finished her B. Ed has agreed to replace her on a temporary basis.

3.1.1. Aletha has agreed to stay until the end of October, or early November. This will depend on OSCA’s needs and Aletha’s availability

3.2.      In the coming days the role will be posted on a number of job posting boards on the web. The role description will specify the anticipated start date as late October.

3.2.1. Ian, Matt, and Dana will look at the top 10 applicants.

3.2.2. The ideal candidate is someone who is willing to learn, has a strong attention to detail, and a positive, outgoing attitude.

3.2.3. When the role is posted board members are encouraged to share it across social media, and with friends and family that may be interested.

4.      Preliminary assessment from Summer camps

4.1.    Traditionally Campquest Camp has been for Grades One to Five. A new camp was created for 2014 called Sunquest for Grades Three to Five.

4.1.1. This was successful and will be done next year.

4.2.    Tweaks will be made to optimize speciality, youth and Sunquest camps for next year to ensure they are run at the high level clients have come to expect.

4.3.    Focus on Youth is a program run by the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) and the Ottawa-Carleton Catholic School Board (OCCSB) for “at-risk” youth to help get them work experience, co-op credits and volunteer credits. The students are placed with camps across the city, receive training and a wage from the school boards. Ultimately the students report to their supervisors with the school boards. OSCA receives free use of Hopewell School and Immaculata High School in exchange for taking the students.

4.3.1. The Focus on Youth students are placed under the same rules as volunteers when with OSCA due to their experience and levels of training. However, the school boards have told the students they are full “counsellors” with the responsibilities to go with it.

4.3.2. This past summer there were problems with two Focus on Youth students from OCDSB. OSCA was placed in a difficult position as it didn’t have ultimate authority over the students and had to defer to the school board.

4.3.3. The program committee would like the students to complete OSCA’s staff training in the future and look for ways to help the students integrate with OSCA’s staff and volunteers. These opportunities will be explored with Focus on Youth Coordinators.

5.      Survey results After 4, Winter, and Summer

5.1.    After 4

5.1.1. Exceptional coordinators (especially communication), would like a homework club option, some communication issues with junior staff, difficulty identifying who is a staff Will create nametags for all staff to wear

5.2.    Winter/Summer programs

5.2.1. Some rooms will have dirty floors, noise in the halls during Hopewell programs, accurate write-ups in the program guide, request to bring back Saturday yoga  Saturday yoga has been re-introduced

6.      Cost estimators

6.1.    These estimators are used to determine how much money to charge and the number of registrants required to break even. Direct program costs and overhead are used. Overhead allocation is 20 percent of total costs.

6.2.    With the introduction of two new full-time salaried employees overhead allocation will likely fall somewhere between 20 to 25 percent.


The next meeting will be October 6th, 2014 @ 6pm.



Special Events Report for Sept. 16th OSCA Board Meeting

A quick recap of our planning strategy meeting in June.

We broke into groups and planned out events for the upcoming year. Each event will have one committee member or more as a lead, thereby lessening the load on all members.

Our events will be
OSCA Porch Sale  ( Sept)
OSCA Old Ottawa South Studio Tour ( New) ( Sept)
OSCA Cardboard Challenge (Oct. )
OSCA Fall Fest (Oct)
OSCA Hallowe’en Party ( New)  (Nov)
OSCA Shop Your Local Talent Christmas Sale (Nov)
OSCA Breakfast with Santa  ( Dec)
OSCA White Christmas at the Mayfair (Dec)
OSCA Valentine Skating  Party (New)  ( Feb)
OSCA Spring Dance ( April)
OSCA Lobster Fest ( new) ( May)  ( this one is not confirmed as we are looking into it still)
OSCA Windsor Park Art Show (June)
OSCA Tea Party in the Park ( New) (July)

There was also some interest in Staff looking into a January event at Landsdowne and perhaps a March Food event organized as well.

Highlights from our Sept meeting.

We had hoped to have a complete budget for each event for the board in Sept. However Lily Pepper (OSCA Executive Assistant) stepped down from her position this summer and Christy was charged with much more responsibility as a result, including developing the Program Guide. We plan to address budgets in Oct or Nov of this year.

We have discovered that the loss recorded in the previous OSCA budget under Special Events has some  organizational issues we would like to bring to the attention of the Board. Our records did not show the loss recorded and after some research we have discovered that some items added into Special Events are not ones that have been run by our committee. We ask the board to consider ways to separate the two so that a more accurate representation of our committee’s finances can be recorded.

The Windsor Park Art Show (in its third year) was a moderate success. We had a profit of 91 dollars, but did not have as many tables as we had hoped for. We had hoped for 30 and we had 21. We feel that the event is still growing and has potential, the artists are happy with the organization of the event and even a small profit is a profit, so we will run it again.

Porch Sale BBQ
Finals are not in, but despite the rain there were many people who showed up for the event and we ran out of hot dogs and sausages. All in all, a success.

OSCA OLD Ottawa South Studio Tour.
This is our first year and we had hoped for 10 artists. We have twelve. We will break even with this event and we hope it will become a tradition.

OSCA Cardboard Challenge.
Once again we offer up a wonderful chance for children and adults alike to imagine, build and have fun with cardboard!
Budget attached.

OSCA Fall Fest
We are in the midst of planning our Fall Fest. Budget attached.
We project a loss, but feel this well loved event is important to the community and as many of our other events run at surplus we feel this will cover the loss on this event.

OSCA Hallowe’en Party
Our first ever Hallowe’en party for those 19+.  Budget attached.

Our next meeting is Oct. 2nd at 7:00 p.m. at the Firehall.

Proposed by Brenda Lee ( OSCA Special Events co-chair) that the OSCA board accept the budget to the Cardboard Challenge.

Proposed by Brenda Lee  (OSCA Special Events co-chair) that the OSCA Board accept the budget for the Fall Fest.

Proposed by Brenda Lee ( OSCA Special Events co-chair) that the OSCA Board accept the budget for the Hallowe’en Party.



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