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--May 17, 2012.

larger_img_9175.jpgThe 2012 Annual General Meeting of the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network, held last Saturday at Champlain Regional College in St. Lambert, in conjunction with QAHN’s “Young Heritage Leaders Fair,” broke previous AGM attendance records.

Over 50 delegates, members and guests from as far away as the Gaspé, the Outaouais, the Eastern Townships, Quebec City, and elsewhere, attended the business portion of the AGM, where annual reports were presented by QAHN President Kevin O’Donnell, Treasurer Dick Evans and Executive Director Matthew Farfan.

Other issues discussed included the need to update QAHN’s bylaws, recently announced federal government cuts to its archive funding program, and the election of new members of the board.

larger_marian_phelps_award_0.jpgThis year, three veteran board members – Sandra Stock, Doreen Lindsay and Heather Darch – bid their farewells, and each was presented with a dozen roses in appreciation for their long service.

Four new directors have joined the QAHN board, however, and each of them brings a different perspective to the organization. The new faces are: Steven High of Concordia University’s Centre for Digital Storytelling; Dorothy Williams of the Black Community Resource Centre; Grant Myers, who is Provincial Development Officer with the Community Economic Development and Employability Committee (CEDEC); and Carol Meindl of the Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations.

Following the business meeting, participants congregated in the college cafeteria where they were served a delicious lunch, and where the presentations of the annual Marion Phelps and Richard Evans awards took place.

This year’s Phelps recipient was long-time heritage volunteer and educator Michael Cooper, who gave a Powerpoint presentation of the restoration of the Fairbairn House in Wakefield, and the ongoing conversion of this historic house into a heritage centre for the Gatineau Valley area.

This year’s winner of the Evans Award was the Gatineau Valley Historical Society, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. On hand to accept the award for the GVHS were Louise Schwartz and David Yuill.

img_9202.a.jpgSerenading the guests during lunch with old-time fiddle tunes from the Gaspé coast was surprise visitor Glenn Patterson, whose recent articles on Gaspé fiddle traditions appeared in Gaspesian Heritage WebMagazine and on the cover of the spring issue of Quebec Heritage News.

The “Young Heritage Leaders Fair,” which was coordinated by InHerit Project Manager Dwane Wilkin, and which was the culmination of QAHN’s year-long InHerit project, proved to be a major draw to this year’s AGM. About 35 students, educators, school administrators, and volunteers spent the day at Champlain showing off recent student heritage projects, networking with AGM attendees, and participating in workshops on community-based learning (given by the CLCs); partnership building (by Lise Palmer); and youth engagement (by Ilona Doherty).

With the help of Tortuga Films, students learned about conducting interviews, editing film clips, and crafting stories.

larger_img_9185.jpgThroughout the day, high school and elementary students showing off their school heritage projects included contingents from schools in the Magdalen Islands, the Lower St. Lawrence (Métis Beach), La Tuque, and Otterburn Park. School projects were interspersed with displays by QAHN member-organizations, including the Fairbairn House, Heritage Gaspé, and others.

larger_img_9240.jpgWith close to 90 heritage group delegates, educators, students, and guests in attendance at this year’s AGM and Youth Fair, the day proved to be a great success.

Following the event, a number of participants said how pleased they were with the day’s activities, and with the opportunity for networking that the event afforded them. Summing it up most succinctly of all, Jim Caputo of Heritage Gaspé reported that, “We are pleased to be associated with QAHN.”

To visit the 2012 AGM photo gallery, click here.