Community Meeting August 29 Full Details


Dear Tatamagouche Centre supporters,

The August 29 meeting of the wider community of the Tatamagouche Centre, A Day of Voice and Choice, is taking shape.  The Centre needs your help and we hope you will be able to attend the meeting because your voice is important.  Please share this invitation widely to help us reach as many people as possible.  You can share this event on Facebook at:

Register now at

Date: August 29, 2015

Time: 9:30 am gathering, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm meeting

Purpose of the meeting:

  • To share information on the current situation and discuss decisions that have been made so far. For background information please visit “Happenings” at
  • To create a space for people to express feelings, ideas, concerns, and hopes
  • To generate ideas, foster action and commitment for moving forward

We know that these are ambitious objectives for our time together. We also believe that this is the first step to engaging our community and supporters, and there will be other steps to come.  We are all working from the best of intentions to create a productive and meaningful day, that reflects the Centre’s core value, in which we can look to the future of the Centre.

Lunch: Please bring your own lunch. We will have snacks available along with tea and coffee donated by Just Us!

Accommodations: Overnight lodging can be reserved at your own expense. Please provide your own breakfast.

Childcare:  We are hoping to provide childcare, and are in need of volunteers to do so! Please let us know when you register if you need childcare and/or can volunteer your time to help care for children.

Carpooling: Please let us know when you register if you are interested in carpooling.

Meeting planning:  We would like to hear from you to help guide the preparations. Please take a minute to answer the following questions:

  1. What would help you participate in this meeting?
  2. What do you hope to learn?

Please send your responses to Paula Gallant by email at as soon as possible, at the latest Wednesday, August 26, 2015.


Please register online at  (Go to and click on Programs, then All programs by date)


In collaboration,

Paula Gallant

On behalf of the August 29th Planning group and the Tatamagouche Centre Board


Posted: August 20, 2015


Leave a comment

Filed under Board, Community, Event

Today the Centre received a remarkable gift

Today the Centre received a remarkable gift in response to its Big 6-0 campaign, and in response to its current financial challenges  


Dear Friends,

It is with great joy that the Centre announces today the receipt of a most remarkable gift from a family with a long connection to the Centre. Responding to the present need of the Centre, the family has come forward to offer a matching gift incentive for the Centre’s current “Big 6-0” fundraising appeal.

The Big 6-0 Appeal was launched at the Centre’s AGM in June. The goal of the campaign is to raise $60,000 for the Centre within the next six months by challenging 10 individuals or groups to each give $6,000, with the funds from the campaign going directly to bolster the Centre’s operations today. The family will match all gifts to the campaign up to its $60,000 goal, doubling the impact of every donor and every dollar given.

The family, who wishes to remain anonymous, shared their sentiments in a letter. “As a family we are delighted to be able to offer this gift to the Centre. In reflecting back on what the Tatamagouche Centre has meant to us, we all can point to the Centre as one of our most influential sources of transformative learning, spiritual growth, and awakening to the call of justice in and for the world. The setting of the Centre, the programs it offers, and the wonderful community which has grown up around it have become part of our family DNA.” The letter continues, “As a family, we offer this gift in gratitude for all we have received from the Centre. Our prayer is that all in its far-reaching community will give generously. Such giving would be a way of expressing confidence and encouragement to the Tatamagouche Centre, and enabling it to find new and sustainable ways to continue its life-giving and life-changing work for people everywhere.”

This truly amazing gift is a testament to the donors’ love, affection, and hopefulness for the Centre.
“The Board of Tatamagouche Centre is extremely grateful for this wonderful gift and inspired by the commitment to the Centre which it represents,” says Berta Gaulke, on behalf of the Board of Directors. “Donations such as this will go a long way toward meeting our current financial challenge and making it possible to continue the work which has had such a profound effect on so many in our community.”

Prior to this announcement the campaign was progressing well. Thanks to the efforts of Campaign Co-Chair’s Kenley MacNeill and David Stevenson, donations from five donors have already been confirmed and pledge commitments from two others have been received.

“Signs of the Spirit are awesome when we see them,” said Kenley MacNeill, Campaign Co-chair. “Sharing signs of the Spirit always brings us to think of the best we can do. I believe that this gift will help us recognize how we can express our DNA, since it comes from an expression of the DNA. Thank you for the sign, and thank you for the permission to share it.”
“Sometimes our light goes out
but is blown again into flame
by anencounter with another human being.
Each of us owes the deepest thanks
to those who have rekindled this inner light.” – Albert Schweitzer

For more information on the Big 6-0 Appeal, or to find out how you can get involved please contact Organization & Outreach Director Michelle Ferris,


Posted: August 14, 2015

Leave a comment

Filed under Fundraising

Notice of Community Meeting August 29


In July, the Board of Tatamagouche Centre had to share some very difficult news regarding the financial position of the Centre. This news had significant and dramatic impact on the Centre’s current operations, with changes in store for the remainder of this year. To read the full message from the Board click here {insert link}.

On Saturday August 29  there will be a  day-long meeting of the wider  community  of the Tatamagouche Centre.

The meeting  is a call for all  who are concerned about the present  crisis our Centre is facing to try your best to be present.  This is true  whether you be staff, Board,  member , PDT, PRG,  committee volunteer, local community member or simply someone who loves the Centre and wishes to see it continue to offer its witness of faith, justice, transformation and inclusion to the world.

We hope that this meeting will be an opportunity to explain our situation to the community, discuss the decisions made so far, give people a chance to express their feelings, and then start seeking commitment and interest as move forward.

We are in a critical situation, which developed over a number of years.  We don’t expect one meeting to solve everything, but we hope that this meeting will result in a number of individuals and groups committing to working together to help the Centre survive and transition to a more sustainable future.

Please plan to come to this meeting. It will be held at the Centre.  The planning team for the event is at work but starting and ending  times for the meeting have not been pinned down yet.  We do know that it will  most likely need to be an all day event,  perhaps starting mid morning and finishing mid afternoon.

We will be sending further updates as our planning work progresses.

In the meantime, we are encouraging people  to become involved in any way they can.   We know that not everyone will feel comfortable or want to attend a meeting and yet we need to ensure that all Centre related groups and partners are represented. We encourage people to meet ahead of time with groups they care about and want to see represented at this meeting. We are working to prepare information packets to support those who want to gather and host their own conversations and meetings both before and after August 29th

If you have questions or want to be involved more directly in the planning process please be  in touch with  either  Andrew Jantzen or Lori Crocker  

Still further details about this meeting will be forthcoming so keep an eye out for them.

With appreciation for your attention to this opportunity and with gratitude for your support,

Lori Crocker,

for the  August 29th Planning group and the Tatamagouche Centre Board

Leave a comment

Filed under Board, Community, Event

Update on the financial situation from the Board

Dear Members and Friends,

During the AGM on June 19, 2015 the financial situation of Tatamagouche Centre was presented through the Audited Financial Statements. At that time, we were already struggling to meet our monthly payroll. The Board advised you that we were going to pursue more detailed information regarding our Cash Flow Projections for the remainder of the year, information we felt was necessary for informed decisions. During that meeting, you, the members of the Society, directed the Board to keep you informed and to share what information we had as it became available.

The Board engaged the services of Angus Bonnyman to confirm the exact financial situation of Tatamagouche Centre as of June 30, 2015, and to provide cash flow projections for the remainder of the year. Angus is a Chartered Accountant who lives in Tatamagouche and teaches at Saint Mary’s University. We are very grateful to Maritime Conference who provided the money to do this work.

On Wednesday evening, July 8th, 2015, the Board received the report from Angus Bonnyman. As of June 30th, 2015, between our line of credit with Scotia Bank, deferred revenue (grant money we received to support programs we have not yet run) and money owing to endowment funds or organizations associated with the Centre, our current indebtedness is between $275,000 and $300,000.

Further to this, Angus Bonnyman’s work with the cash flow projections indicates that even if everything this summer and fall went as planned we would increase our operational deficit to $380,000.

This means that Tatamagouche Centre is insolvent, unable to pay its debts in a timely manner.

There has been some good news. The Spirit of the East Hootenanny did very well – thank you to Av Singh, our Staff, and our Community, and to Scotia Bank who matched all the proceeds up to $5,000. We raised $12,000 and cleared nearly $10,700. And money has been coming in from the Big 6-0 Appeal – the project undertaken by Kenley MacNeill and David Stevenson to find 10 donors, or groups of donors, willing to make a donation of $6,000 each.

It is good to see such support for the Centre. Yet the Board cannot deny the weight of our financial indebtedness. We met with the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) on Saturday, July 11th to share the report with them and to talk about some of the hard choices before us. When an organization is insolvent, the law has some very clear instruction as to which creditors get paid first. To protect our staff and to comply with our responsibilities, the Board has taken control of the cheque book and the General Ledger. During the past week we have been seeking legal advice regarding laying off staff. Again, thank you to Maritime Conference for their referral. Salaries are our biggest and most relentless expense and we do not want to reach a point where we cannot pay our staff for work already completed.

The Board has had many conversations and meetings within the Board, with Maritime Conference, and with legal advisors. On July 16th, 2015, the Board has made the decision to lay off all staff effective September 30th. The staff were informed of this decision on July 17th and the notices will be delivered in person at the Centre on July 27. Any viable program or event will go forward between now and September 30th. We have already identified some programs and events in October that we want to see proceed. It is our hope to set in place a skeleton staff so that this can happen this fall. This means it will be October before we see any change in our operational expenses. We would have liked to have engaged in broader discussion with the staff and community but time has pushed us to act according to our best wisdom.

We have also begun to get Real Estate quotes for the sale of Stevens House and Reid House. It is very likely we will need to sell one or the other in order to redress our present financial challenge.

We do not do this lightly. Our line of credit with Scotia Bank is secured by Stevens House. If we cannot stay within that line of credit, the Bank is within its legal rights and obligations to foreclose on the property. We would rather sell it ourselves and perhaps realize a bit above what we owe. This is also something that takes time as we would require discussion with the community and permission from Maritime Conference before we could proceed.

We know that most of you already financially support the Centre. Your support is needed now more than ever – not for visioning or programming or mission but to pay our staff and manage our debt. We need your support and engagement. The staff  have prepared a letter to go to all PAR donors and a message for our website to ensure that people understand how their gifts will be used.

There are possibilities on the horizon. The recently approved application to the Catherine Donnelly Foundation would see us engaged in a 5 year program. The proposed changes in the United Church would mean an urgent need for lay leadership development and training, something we do very well! We have our business plan for increasing hosting as a revenue stream. We are re-evaluating how to make the most of our program offerings. We have just begun to wonder and explore common purpose with organizations within the First Nations Community. We are reaching out to neighbours, building partnerships, linking our efforts to similar efforts within the local community. But none of this addresses our current losses, our struggles to find money to meet our monthly payroll and expenses.

The future holds promise. It is the present, this moment now, which needs our care and our commitment.

It is our intention to call a general meeting of the membership early in August. We are trying to find a good facilitator for that meeting and will set the date as soon as we have one. In the meantime, below is a list of Board members with their contact information. Please feel free to contact us.

With deep concern,
The Board of Tatamagouche Centre

Jennifer Graham, Co-Chair, (902) 453-1776
Theresa Halfkenny, Co-Chair, (902) 660-2780
Daniele Hart, Secretary, (902) 835-8267
Lori Crocker, (902) 329-2227
Berta Gaulke, (902) 657-1135
Andrew Jantzen, (902) 483-8899
Karen MacNeill, (506) 943-0204
Jim Wicks, (902) 368-3207


Posted: July 21, 2015

Leave a comment

Filed under Board, Community

Report from the 2015 Annual General Meeting

On June 20, 2015 the Annual Gathering of Members and Annual General Meeting took place. In addition to wrapping up the business of 2014, the meeting agenda was focused on the work of the financial sustainability task group, which had been struck in January, as well as other initiatives for financial sustainability that have been initiated by Board and staff.

Below are documents from the event, which you may download:

Thank you to each of you who has participated in these conversations and who has offered their care and support. We continue to be awed and heartened by the wisdom of this community.

If you have comments, questions or feedback please get in touch:

Michelle Ferris
Organization & Outreach Director
(902) 657-2231 |

Daniele Hart
Secretary, Board of Directors


Posted: June 25, 2015

Leave a comment

Filed under Board, Community, Event, Fundraising, Meeting Minutes