Thirty Marquis members gathered on a rainy Thursday night in the Elephant Room at Brandon University to attend the annual meeting and to celebrate the 35th anniversary of The Marquis Project. Marquis President Al Friesen provided a brief overview of Marquis since it was founded in 1979, and drew attention to the display of historical documents and artifacts lining the walls of the meeting room. Al also reported on a very successful year of school programming and community engagement, continuing partnership with a local organization in Tanzania, and on exciting financial developments.
The Marquis Education Program Facilitator, Samantha Dellezay, reported that Marquis had exceeded its goals by reaching over 1500 students through presentations in Brandon and western Manitoba schools. Mireille Saurette, Marquis Vice-president, reported on the very successful Fair Trade initiatives that culminated in the recent declaration of the City of Brandon as a Fair Trade Town, only the second Manitoba city to achieve this recognition.
Marquis members register and mingle at the 2014 AGM
Treasurer David Gamey provided a very encouraging financial report. He reviewed the positive impact of restructuring a year ago resulting in a great start in repaying a long-standing loan and being able to avoid reliance on a reduced line of credit. He also reported that a bequest of approximately $18,000, designated for education, has been left to Marquis by the estate of former member Cristine Winkler. Finally, David shared the exciting news that a former Marquis member, who wishes to remain anonymous, has offered to match up to $10,000 of funds raised by December 1, 2014 to pay down the Marquis debt (currently at just over $17,000).
Following the business portion of the meeting Zack Gross, former Executive Director, and Curt Schultz, former President, co-facilitated an interactive session of member reflections “Highlights, Cautions & Dreams: A Look at Marquis at 35″. Small group discussions went well beyond nostalgia and past lessons learned to expressing renewed optimism and excitement about the future of Marquis beyond 35 years.
Part of the historical display celebrating Marquis’ 35th Anniversary
For further news from the AGM, including the new Board of Directors, please check out the July Newsletter in the Library tab.