Spring update on ACA activities

On behalf of the ACA Board, I'm pleased to be able to pass along news about its most recent work and that of the association's many committees. As President, I'd personally like to convey my deep appreciation of everyone's remarkable work. (I would apologize for the length of this message but won't because it demonstrates just how much we have going on!) What follows is a synopsis of ACA's activities.  

The Board for 2016 consists of:

    President: Kathryn Harvey (U of Guelph)
    Vice-President: Jordan Bass (U of Manitoba)
    Treasurer: Jennifer Roberts (Yukon Archives)
    Secretary: Patti Harper (Carleton U)
    Director-at-Large: Krisztina Laszlo (U of British Columbia)
    Director-at-Large: Ian Burnett (Yukon Archives)

It meets monthly and currently is now working on the upcoming year's budget for presentation at the AGM in Montreal. It continues look for ways to make the best with the resources we have, and you will hear more about this in a later message specifically on the ACA's financial situation and at the conference in the Members' Input session. 

The President and Executive Director have represented the ACA at Library and Archives Canada's Stakeholder's Forum--in particular contributing to discussions about Copyright and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (thanks to Jean Dryden for her expert counsel in this regard!). ACA also participates alongside Library and Archives Canada, Association des archivistes du Quebéc, Canadian Council of Archives, and Council of Provincial and Territorial Archivists as the new Steering Committee for Canada's archival system becomes established. We were especially pleased to pass along the excellent work of ACA's Special Interest Section on Aboriginal Archives as a new Steering Committee Task Force is struck. The archival community will be hearing more about this from the Steering Committee itself.

ACA has a number of active committees, and they have agreed to share some of their recent accomplishments. I'd like to name individually all those who volunteer, but as you can see from the complete list of volunteers linked to our Governance page, we're some 70+ strong!

Conference Planning
The 2016 ACA Host Team chaired by Shannon Hodge (Jewish Public Library) has worked hard to bring a slate of social activities for this year’s conference that reflect Montreal’s diversity, past and present.  Montreal is heading into its 375th anniversary so the city will be buzzing with additional events, activities and festivals; even more so than normal!  Over the next month we will be communicating plans and tips for your visit to Montreal over ACA’s social media accounts – follow #ACA2016 to catch all the news.  If you have questions about Montreal and planning your trip here, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your Host Committee.  You can reach us through Shannon Hodge at archives@jplmontreal.org

The Program Team chaired by Rodney Carter (Religious Hospitallers of Saint Joseph) has put together a stimulating series of plenaries and member presentations under the general theme of  "‘Futur proche’: Archives & Innovation," including keynotes by Peter Van Garderen, Christiane Barbe, and Kate Theimer.

As incoming General Editor, Jennifer Douglas' work has been on getting the first issue of Archivaria (81, Spring 2016) through the production process; this process is nearly complete and the newest issue will very soon be available to members and subscribers. Jennifer thanks Heather MacNeil for her continuing guidance, and is especially grateful to Jeremy Heil, Managing Editor and Julia Armstrong, Copy Editor, for all their help. Additionally, the Editorial Board has been engaged in strategic planning and will share more information after the strategic planning working group, chaired by Bob McIntosh, has completed its work.

ACA Foundation
The Foundation recently awarded bursaries to three students presenting at ACA this year. Elizabeth-Anne Johnson (U of Manitoba), Domenic Rosati (Dalhousie U) and Allison Mills (UBC) will be joining us in Montreal this June.  A big thank-you to all the Foundation donors who make these bursaries possible.  In other Foundation news, the Board is working on criteria for a $1200 annual scholarship thanks to the recent sponsorship agreement between ACA and Ancestry.  We hope to be able to announce details about this exciting award in Montreal.  And lastly, the Foundation also set a campaign goal to raise $10,000 in 2016 in part by increasing the number of new donors. 

Standing Committees
The Communications Committee chaired by Amanda Tomé (U of Toronto Scarborough) continues to manage ACA's social media accounts and the online Bulletin and is also currently reviewing the ACA's website with a view to improving its functionality.

The Governance Committee chaired by VP Jordan Bass recently completed a new Nominations and Elections Policy which received Board approval at our March 2016 meeting and will appear in the policies and procedures area of the ACA website shortly. For members unable to attend the 2016 AGM, a proxy vote form will be available for download from the members' only website prior to the conference.

The Membership Committee chaired by Raegan Swanson (Council of Archives New Brunswick) ran a successful mentorship program in fall of 2015 with 39 students and new professionals registered for this program but only 31 mentors signed up, leaving many to mentor more than one mentee); reviewed gaps in membership, and created lists of groups to target for future membership; solicited donations for the 2016 Membership drive and had a successful early renewal draw; and participated in Online Learning meetings regarding next steps. The committee will be running the conference orientation in Montreal and will seek to further expand our mentorship program--particularly involvement of more mentors.

Throughout 2015 and continuing into 2016, the Outreach Committee chaired by Lindsay Osmun (CIBC Archives) has been committed to promoting archival events across Canada on our Events Calendar and building new tools for members, such as the Consultant’s Directory and the Outreach Toolkit. We currently have two entries for the Toolkit completed and are working on completing ones covering the use of social media, creating online exhibits, and organizing tours. We are hoping to post the completed entries to the ACA website within the coming months. We’ve also welcomed a returning member to the Committee, Melissa McCarthy! We look forward to working with her in 2016.

The Professional Learning Committee chaired by Karen Buckey (U of Calgary) is pleased to announce the success of the March 4th workshop on “Modern Information Carriers” and is looking forward to the successful delivery of the pre-conference workshops in May.  Following the conference, the PLC will begin reviewing some options for offerings outside of the conference.

The Online Education Committee chaired by Cheryl Avery (U of Saskatchewan), assisted by the President and chairs of Membership and Outreach submitted an application to the Documentary Heritage Communities Program grant for funding to assist development of the first phase of its proposed online education courses. The committee will be sending out a RFP for potential content development/delivery.

On behalf of the Board, I want to wish everyone a pleasant spring. We hope you will join us in Montreal this summer and look forward to your participation in the association's work throughout the upcoming year!