Category Archives: Uncategorized

Looking to 2016

An update from the Centre’s Board on…

  • Hosting and Programming for April 2016 – Please share widely
  • Winter staff
  • Planning long term – report available and more news to come
  • Sponsoring Refugees
  • Continued Financial Support Needed
  • New Contact email for the Board:


Open in Spring for Hosting and Programs – spread the word!

Your Board has been working hard. We have reached a place where we feel optimistic about the Centre’s future. Although we have closed the physical site for the winter, the Centre will be open for programs and hosting from mid-April to November in 2016. We have already received bookings for hosted events and are in the process of exploring what Centre programs might be offered in 2016. We hope to have the Centre’s own program schedule out in March. Please broadcast through your networks that the Centre is alive and well and is very interested in providing hosting for groups starting in the spring. They should contact us for bookings now!

Winter Staff

Throughout the winter there are staff people working at the Centre. Katja Burtis is in the office on Mondays. Lisa Pollard continues until the end of January. The staff of BTS (Jackie McVicar and Lisa Rankin) and Peace & Friendship (Joe Michaels) are still working away at their respective tasks. The buildings are checked daily and we have made arrangements for plowing and snow clearing.

New Staff: The Board would also like to introduce you to Heather Allen Johnson who has been hired as the Centre’s bookkeeper and is in the thick of completing our 2015 financial accounts for our annual audit. Heather is also taking steps to ensure we have good financial management systems in place as we move into 2016. Heather lives in the Westchester area and, in addition to being very capable, has already proven to be a joy to work with. Welcome Heather!

Planning for the Centre’s Long-Term Future

A number of people met on November 21, 2015, to talk about transformation – looking at long term possibilities for the Centre. Many questions were raised and many ideas where shared. A key question became “Has the purpose of the Tatamagouche Centre changed? Can we do what we have been doing in a sustainable way? If not, is there a radically different way to do what we have always done – inspire, inform, and engage people in profound transformation?” We clustered our ideas and divided ourselves into four groups to begin the work of researching the viability of those ideas. The report from that day, facilitated by Brian Braganza and Darren Brown, can be found on the Tatamagouche website under the link “Tata Transformation”.

To further facilitate this process the Centre is investigating contracting a coordinator to lead this process to assist the volunteers and to integrate their work into an effective sustainable strategy for the Centre. Look for more news on this in our next update.

Supporting Refugees

Last November the Board offered Tatamagouche Centre to the Province of Nova Scotia as a possible hospitality site for incoming refugees. So far there has not been a need. Last week the Board was approached by the North Shore Refugee Sponsorship Group with a request to rent Steven’s House for the refugee family they hope to sponsor in the near future. We were delighted by the request and look forward to working with the North Shore Sponsorship Group.

We Need Your Continuing Financial Support

Last year, as we are all aware, was a very challenging one for the Centre. It became apparent part way through the year that the current operational model was not financially sustainable and that an infusion of funding as well as significant operational changes were going to be necessary for the Centre to move into the future. Fortunately for the Centre many of its supporters came to the table with significant donations, a special thanks to Kenley MacNeill who worked diligently and successfully on this cause. The resulting generous financial support has put us in the position where we can plan opening in the spring, and further, plan for the longer term. However we still need your ongoing financial support. If you have provided financial support in the past please consider renewing it or perhaps contributing for the first time. The financial contributions from the Centre’s supporters are one of the key building blocks for a stable long-term sustainable future. If you would like to discuss a donation or ongoing support please contact the Board at  and a Board member will get back to you.

Thanks for giving this request your consideration.


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Filed under Board, Finance, Staff, Uncategorized, Visioning

Report on the October 3rd meeting of the Society

The latest meeting of the Society of Tatamagouche Centre was held on October 3, 2015 beginning at 10am. Because there was an encouragingly large number of youth attending a Youth Forum event at the Centre itself, we met at the Tatamagouche Fire Hall. Nineteen people were present. Several others were unable to attend as the meeting date coincided with the funeral of Thomas Turay in Antigonish. Thomas was a good friend of the Centre and our deepest sympathy goes out to his friends and family – he will be missed.

Board Member Karen MacNeill gave a brief statement with regard to our finances. We are essentially in the same position we were in last June. It is only because of the wonderful generosity of several key people coupled with an additional grant from General Council that we have been able to run programs, meet pay roll, and pay our suppliers throughout the summer. We are so very grateful for that generosity.

Board Member Lori Crocker offered the image of a square transforming into a circle as a metaphor for our present situation. We are right now in the movement from one form into another, and if we do not pay keen attention to this in-between time the hoped-for future cannot emerge. It proved to be a helpful image as the meeting progress.

The Board Members then tendered their resignation as a group, feeling that they had brought the Centre as far as they could and now needed to pass the task onto others. The meeting accepted their resignations with thanksgiving and gratitude. David Hewitt spoke with appreciation for the tremendous personal commitment the Board has shown and acknowledged that the work of the past few months has taken a tremendous personal toll on the Board members. They have done well through a difficult time.

David Hewitt, as Executive Secretary of Maritime Conference, then took the position of Chair and called for nomination of a new Board. The new Board is Peter Hough, Dwayne Semple, Jim Wicks, and Karen MacNeill. This is the bare minimum number of Board Members allowable under our By-laws. We are looking for another 6 people to join us. If you have any interest in becoming a Board Member please speak to either

Kathryn Anderson at or Karen MacNeill at

If you know of someone you think would make a wonderful Board Member, please speak to them and encourage them to have a conversation with Kathryn or Karen.

The proposed terms of reference for a Future Planning Team were distributed and discussed then referred to the new Board for action. We are presently recruiting people for this work as well.

And finally, we are looking to form a team around fundraising – for immediate needs and for long term planning. We have one or two committed folk already but they need technical support and other help. If you have gifts in this area we need you! The fundraising team will meet on November 7th, 1pm at the Centre. If you are interested, just come along – although it would be nice if you let Katja know you were coming. If you would like to help out but cannot make that date then please let us know so we can be in touch with you after the meeting.

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Filed under Board, Community, Event, Uncategorized

Notes from Community Meeting

Tatamagouche Centre hosted a community meeting on August 29, 2015. It was a chance to share information on the current financial situation of the Centre, allow for sharing of feelings and hopes for the Centre, and generate ideas and commitments for building the future of the Centre.

Community Meeting Notes 29-Aug-15, amended 8-Sep-15


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