Presidential Update #3!

Hi folks! I hope you’ve all been having a great summer! It’s been a busy time for CAMRA BC with so many great events, but now that September’s almost here we’re ready to ramp things up for BC Craft Beer Month.

Powell River’s Oktoberfest is happening on October 3rd and the BC executive has decided to hold its second summit in Powell River on October 4th. CAMRA Powell River has done an incredible job working within its community and gaining memberships, so I’m looking forward to my first time visiting in an official capacity to experience their signature event. The summit, as always, is open to all members in good standing, so if you’ll be in Powell River for their famous Oktoberfest consider sitting in while nursing your hangover! 

In our efforts to integrate our memberships and web systems, we’ve encountered a fair number of hurdles. Vancouver, as our largest branch, was beta-testing a system for the last year, but after listening to their feedback we’ve decided to try out some other options for a comprehensive membership system. It means our integration won’t be happening within the time-line we’d initially been working with, but we’d rather have something that suits everyone’s needs. The website and domain integration was originally hinging on our membership system, but now that we’re taking it in a different direction we’ll be better able to move forward on the websites. Vancouver’s amazing new website is setting the standard that we hope to roll out to all branches.

A lot of what CAMRA BC does is very much behind the scenes, and for every successful project there are a handful of ideas that just didn’t pan out. I mentioned earlier this year that I wanted to facilitate branch creation in the province, and we’ve been looking into five (yes, you read that right, FIVE) new branches. So far CAMRA South Okanagan has been a great learning curve for all of this year’s new executive members, and we’re seeing how much problem solving still needs to be done (although they already have close to 60 members)! My priority right now is making sure CAMRA SO gets the leg up it needs for its first year, and perfecting our branch creation. The other five are works in progress but none of them are quite ready to get up and running. I, and the rest of the executive, are committed to making sure we can get a new branch started the right way. That means things are going to take a bit longer. Similarly, CAMRA South Fraser is a young branch, and they’ve had more than a few challenges in their first years, and I’d really like to see them come into their own and grow.

If you were to go to CAMRA BC’s website, you would see that we have our bylaws posted for our membership. A quick read would show you that our current bylaws are confusing, not comprehensive, and frustratingly vague. The BC Executive has elected to go forward with a new set of bylaws that address more issues found in CAMRA, and smooth out all the wrinkles. With the help of a society act lawyer, I hope to present the new bylaws at the summit, seek board approval, and then have them voted on by you, the members, at our AGM in January.

So whether you’re going to GCBF, Whistler Village Beer Festival, Beerlesque, Powell River Oktoberfest or the BC Beer Awards make sure you swing by the CAMRA BC table! We always love to hear from members – you’re the reason we do what we do!



Ari Dressler
President of the Campaign for Real Ale Society of BC

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