Category: News & Events

Winterfest 2021

With the current Covid 19 restrictions extended to January 8th and the uncertainty about what will happen after that, we have made the difficult decision to cancel Winterfest 2021. We look forward to welcoming everyone to another amazing Winterfest in 2022. Stay safe & healthy!

Director Update

The Bridge River Valley Community Association Board of Directors met on December 7.  The meeting was positive and constructive and filled with good will, good questions and some good laughs.

The Board was so very pleased to approve the addition of a new committee, the Marshall Valley Community Association.  The Marshall Lake group had long had an informal group but needed some official status to undertake a variety of projects and decided that the umbrella model of BRVCA with its shared bookkeeping, insurance and other costs would work the best for them.  They will soon have a web page on the BRVCA website and their Terms of Reference will be linked to it.

Based on the challenges BRVCA has been undergoing since September 2019 with certain parties creating information about the BRVCA finances that is not based on any factual information, the Board of Directors committed $4,200 to do a Review Engagement set of financial statements for the 19/20 year.  The Board will ask the accountant to move as quickly as possible to produce this Review Engagement in order to ensure our members and community understand the BRVCA finances are open and above board.

What is a review engagement?  Most societies in the Bridge River Valley either do not use an accountant to prepare their financial statements or they have their statements prepared to a Notice to Reader level (a basic compilation).  By completing a review engagement of our financial statements, the accountant will perform more analytical tasks and will provide a statement of assurance there are not misstatements in the financial statements. This is not an audit (which might cost BRVCA $10,000) but will provide a moderate level of assurance on the accuracy of our financial statements. In taking this step, our Board is applying good governance by addressing the risk associated by the ongoing inaccurate statements being made in the community.

The BRVCA Board determined after a reasonable analysis that it is impossible to move forward with planning Winterfest in February 2021. There are just too many variables and possible outcomes, related to COVID19 and restrictions, to invest the time and money planning the event. With regret, and with full intent to come back bigger and better in 2021, the board voted to cancel this year’s event.

Finally, the BRVCA board endorsed in principle the development of a Respect in the BRV program.  Last year we all experienced the uptick in visitors sometimes with not good outcomes.  The board will work on a response for the expected greater second wave of similar visitation next year, combining education initiatives for visitors as well as encouraging the use of our businesses in the Valley.  First step is to get a workplan and costing in place in order to get needed funding to implement the program.

We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in these difficult times.  It will be different and we hope everyone will find ways to celebrate the joys of the season.

Statement re: Demares

Debbie and Sal Demare have asked us to provide the following information to the community.

It relates to their financial involvement with the Bridge River Valley Community Association and various rumors regarding it.

The basics are as follows:

1. Albi Enterprises, the consulting company they had up until late 2012, has had no payments from BRVCA.

2. Sal Demare has never been on an employment/labor/consulting contract with BRVCA, payouts to him are reimbursements.

3. Debbie Demare has never been on an employment/labor/consulting contract with BRVCA and payouts to her are all reimbursements and some personal loan repayments.

The links are below:

Letter re Debbie: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RYYxoz0z_A5FZ_h3oCNztxHhlRGg7O5u/view?usp=sharing

Letter re Sal – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YGki3JaqbadSC87fzvU3B-1mWS11RBoH/view

Sal’s blog post as Regional District Director , scroll to bottom under Personal Concerns: 
https://saldemare.ca/2020/05/24/slrd-area-a-directors-report-may-24-2020/

Bralorne Church Project:  Invoice and Cheque to Sal Demare (materials and travel only, labor was volunteered by Sal)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZX5ob0b_mOyyP4TgQf1UEHP2CzuFoyAC/view?usp=sharing

In order that the community have the facts which are contrary to statements being made in the community, it should be noted that the labor contracts (2) on this portion of the Church Project went to Steve Oakley:

Steve Oakley Payment for Labor/Equipment (1):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HXGx8jYHI2Gfr_etybkYIYHsfOIsgifQ/view?usp=sharing
Steve Oakley Payment for Labor/Equipment (2)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_nZwzQVKyqi_MH857jAw69ONvH3p0E08/view?usp=sharing

Additionally, we have included the Project Expenses Spreadsheet for the Entire Project which was submitted to NDIT.  We have redacted other contractor’s names for privacy.  Link Here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/11mOUgnArJ0Jiz-HShS_Fl3k0ambjbm-l/view?usp=sharing
There are no other payments than what is listed here and all reports to NDIT have been verified and final payment to BRVCA made.

It is estimated that Sal Demare volunteered approximately 50 hours scoping out the problem, doing research and talking to previous renovators. During the project Sal worked along side Steve Oakley (paid contractor) as a volunteer and put in another 40 or so volunteer hours. Sal also donated material to the project for example the tiles in the bathroom. Following the project Sal compiled a report on the Church as a volunteer and also met with the Heritage Committee to present his findings. The link to that report is here:  
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1czSE61qDXYrFPDFlHaCLm38Lpd43Fqxu/view?usp=sharing

BRVCA wishes to once again thank Sal for his enormous committment on this project, were it not for him, the Church would not have been fixed. 

Sal and Debbie are very committed to our community and the Bridge River Valley Community Association.

We thank them for their thousands of hours of volunteer service and their financial support in many different ways over the last ten years.

Talisker Info Session

Society Act Information Request

In February 2020 the Bridge River Valley Community Association Board of Directors took action to address human resource issues with a member that began in September 2019. The BRVCA’s direction taken in this matter was a decision made by the board as a whole and it took into account the board’s legal responsibility under various provincial acts and workplace regulations to protect its staff, volunteers and organization.

The Bridge River Valley Community Association has since received requests from Steve Oakley and Terri Smith, for extensive lists of documents through the BC Registry Services. The BRVCA is working to furnish the requested material in such a way that satisfies all the legal requirements, respects privacy obligations, and provides complete transparency.

The Bridge River Valley Community Association has also sought advice as well as specific direction from the Registrar of Societies. The direction from the Registrar of Societies was to engage a lawyer to provide the needed advice to determine how the privacy of our members and staff (payroll) is affected by providing that information.

The BRVCA Board has given much consideration to the need for transparency and has put together a google drive folder for members to view that contains much of the material that has been requested, what has been left out is the material which is deemed to be sensitive personal and or private information and is under review.

At the link you will find the following documents that form part of the information request for documents through the BC Registry Services:

  • Constitution
  • Bylaws
  • Dir. Sal Demare’s Resignation Letter from BRVCA Board of Directors prior to swearing in as Director, Area A SLRD
  • Minutes of Meetings 2018-2019. As per Society Registrar letter. Any Sec. 56 disclosures are included in minutes as Directors identify the conflict and excuse themselves from the meeting, this is recorded.
  • Financial Statements 2018 – 2019. As per Society Registrar letter.
    Click here to view the documents

Other parts of the information requests were the membership lists including contact information, accounting records from 2014 to 2019. These have not been included until we receive legal advice (as per the Registrar of Societies) regarding privacy issues, and clarification as to how the information may be used (i.e. can it be made public?). The Board of Directors determined the BRVCA will update this post once we have received the legal advice. The BRVCA Board of Directors wants to thank the community for their support and understanding.

BRVCA and Bralorne Pioneer Museum Society AGM

The Annual General Meeting of the Bridge River Valley Community Association and the Bralorne Pioneer Museum Society was very successful and well attended.

27 members attended which represent 28%  our membership to date this year.  Our total membership is 101 members and grew 38% in the period before the Annual General Meeting.   

The total members, the high number of renewals and the growth prior to the AGM show loads of sustained support for the BRVCA .  The membership is from every part of the Valley. Zoom AGM’s are interesting but we made it through very well and with a lot of good will. 

A highlight of the meeting was reviewing the Financial Statements in their new format.  Based on last year’s input our accountant worked with the Board Treasurer and came up with a new, but still standard, format which better reflects the financial activity of each of the committees as well 
as the core operations of BRVCA.

The following will be on the 11 member board of directors.  It can be noted that the majority of our director’s are returning.

2020-2021 (one year, first year of staggered elections)

Pat Dahle – President
Michelle Nortje – Treasurer/Secretary
Benno Chapman
Vanessa Abbott
Scott Mackenzie
Dave Sharpe

2020-2022 (2nd part of staggered elections)

Debbie Demare – Vice President
John Robins
Terri Smith
Shayne Selluski
Norris Girling

A short and very constructive board meeting was held following the Annual General Meeting.  Our board is looking forward to working together.Big thanks to everyone who gives their time to this board and all the others in the Valley. 

September Community Advisory

Bear Safety Day Saturday, Sept 5th
11:00 – 3:30 pm, Haylmore Heritage Site

Lydia Koot of the Hope Mountain Centre will be there to share her extensive knowledge of co-existing with black bears and grizzlies.   A bear spray clinic will be available.  This is a great opportunity to practice your “quick draw” with an inert spray.  Phil Branca, author of “Miners, Trapper, Hunters, Packers”, will also be on site to sign copies of his new book.  All activities will be outside, socially distanced and a Covid-19 event safety plan will be made available prior to the event.  Social distancing is in effect.

Public Meeting on Heritage Topics – 6 pm, Wednesday Sept 8th   
Zoom meeting id:  826 3502 6353

Area A Official Community Plan & Heritage Permit Area (Bralorne); Community Heritage Register, Local Government Heritage Status 4 buildings.

New Book! Miners, Trappers, Hunters, Packers and other tales from the Bridge River Valley by Phil BrancaWe have a new book for sale by original BRV resident, Phil Branca.  It’s a great read with fantastic history about the Bridge River Valley.  Available at the Bralorne-Pioneer Museum and Haylmore Heritage Site this summer and on-line here www.bridgerivervalley.ca/store/

Mountain Telegraph subscription

A great way to stay in touch with community news! A subscription includes 10 issues, digital or print available here …www.bridgerivervalley.ca/shop/

Employment Opportunities

www.brvca.ca/category/job-opportunities/

The Public Health Nurse will be in Gold Bridge on Sept 24th

Please call 250-256-1318 to schedule an appointment for immunizations

 Open for Business!

Both the Bralorne-Pioneer Museum and Haylmore Heritage Site are open to visitors.  Strict covid-19 protocols are in place at both sites for everyone’s safety www.bridgerivervalley.ca/covid/

Haylmore Heritage Site – Fridays & Mondays 12 – 4 pm / Saturday & Sunday 10-4 pm

Bralorne-Pioneer Museum  –  Friday thru Monday 10-4 pm

Community Resource Building remains closed to the public (too small for social distancing).

Membership Update

Membership update –  July 2020

A General Membership Meeting was held, via ZOOM, on June 29th.   Membership participation was 40% of the total eligible voting members and new by-laws were approved for both organizations.  While the new sets of by-laws differ slightly for each organization, the new version is an updated, progressive version with modern and succinct language. 

Key features for each organization include:

-A new on-line voting system for directors so all members can be easily included. 

-Staggered elections for directors

-Updated criteria for membership:

      1. Property ownership or resident

      2. Resident for one month minimum

      3. Someone with heritage/history here

Along with the by-laws a whole set of new policies were also created to ensure that operations and Annual General Meetings run smoothly and in a fair manner.

With the new staggered elections for the board, the 2020 elections will include the Vice-President position and 4 directors.  Due to the Memorandum of Understanding between the Bridge River Valley Community Association and the Bralorne Pioneer Museum there will be a mirror process for the Bralorne Pioneer Museum.

Nominations for Directors

If you are interested in serving on the board of directions, you can email Pat Dahle, Nominations Chair, at bridgerivervalley@gmail.com.  Your nomination must be received by: August 28, 2020 11:59 pm

Your term will be for two years.  Board policy on expectations of directors will be provided upon acknowledgement of your nomination along with detailed instructions on how to proceed in the campaign period.

Online Voting

Elections can still be by acclamation if there is not a need for an election.

If there is a need for an election, online voting will occur between August 31 12:01 am to September 13 11:59 pm.

The Association is committed to ensuring that all voting members are able to participate in the Election of Directors. To promote active participation in voting measures from Individual members across the province, country, and around the world, the Association uses an electronic voting system that can be accessed from any Internet-enabled device in any location. On request the Association will make available the Association office computer to those that do not have access to one. The Online Voting System is confidential and secure.

All members and organizations that are eligible to Vote, will receive an  e-mail link to the Online Voting program.

 The announcement of the successful candidates will be announced at the AGM.

Membership Cut Off

As per the bylaws, no memberships related to the Election of Directors or the Annual General Meeting will be accepted after August 30, 11:59 p,

Annual General Meeting

Will be held on September 21, 2020. Due to COVID 19 it will be a ZOOM meeting, no in person. You will need to request a link to the Zoom meeting.    The agenda will be as per normal for an AGM.  This is a membership meeting and membership status will be verified prior to being admitted.  

Special General Meeting

Tyax Adventures Update