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IT4YOU-computer-image.pngThe atmosphere at the office is distinct right now as we are deep into the transition from one IT system to the next.  For those of us that have become so dependent on IT throughout our day, we can forget how our lives have been changed by technology.  Debit machines, online news, GPS and more have made daily tasks and routines faster and more convenient.  So, it may be surprising to say that CKC’s new IT system has generated a variety of mixed emotions ranging from trepidation, nostalgia, optimism and relief.
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Leila-3.jpgOn August 16, the staff at CKC had the pleasure of celebrating Leila Bahorie, Director Registration and Membership Services, as she marked her 45thanniversary at CKC. This major service milestone offers a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the many positive contributions Leila has made throughout the past 45 years. 

When Leila started with CKC, she was a teenager and new in Canada from Guyana. She found a job with an organization that recognized her talents and ambitions without having local work experience. One might even say that CKC took a chance on her- Leila flourished in that environment. 
 
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_MG_9544.jpgCertainly, a prevalent theme from my side of the desk over the past several months has been canine health and wellness.  This is something inherent in CKC’s purpose, mission and strategic plans - and the discussions, commitment and actions on the subject lately have been very encouraging. 

At the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Winnipeg this past June, there was opportunity to exchange information and ideas, recognize long standing members of merit and generally celebrate the purebred dog fancy.

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Diane-1.jpgThe staff at CKC had the pleasure of celebrating a major service milestone at CKC.  Diane Draper, Manager Regulatory marked her 40th anniversary at CKC on February 7. 

For those that don’t know, Diane has worked much of her career in the area of Regulatory meaning that she oversees the development and maintenance of our by-laws and policies and procedures.    She also oversees a contentious side of CKC; complaints, and discipline and appeals files.   

In comparison to 40 years, I’ve only been here for 6 years but over that time, I’ve worked with Diane through a lot of interesting challenges and cases and projects, many of which were unique, not only for me but also for Diane after 40 years.   I’ve heard her say may times, “we’ve never had this happen before”.      
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CR136425-BENNETT,-JOAN-2484-PORTRAITS-2019.JPGThe final meeting of the Board of Directors that took place earlier this month was a tumultuous one for many reasons and perhaps a fitting representation of the ups and downs that were the year 2018.
 
The first order of business was to elect a Chair for the remainder of the 2018-2020 term.  Life member, Joan Bennett from Zone 11, BC South West was appointed.  Joan hit the ground running in order to complete a full agenda including items carried over from the September meeting.  Joan’s background in the dog fancy as well as the legal profession will ensure an efficient and open decorum at the table.  Congratulations, Joan!

With a large gallery in attendance, the meeting commenced with a moment of silence in memory of our good friend and past Chair, Larry Kereluke who continues to be sorely missed.   
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SprinterImage.jpgAugust is now over and I’ve noticed a few of those first dry leaves that drop to remind you that summer will not be around for much longer.  In defiance, we ignore them and continue to enjoy the outdoor shows, events and patios.  So far, the summer has been eventful in a lot of ways.  

Ottawa was the location of the Annual General Meeting in June that brought many members together for an event that provided opportunity to recognize the contributions of several renowned members that were also in attendance.  I encourage you to view the video recording of the AGM. Watch for more AGM highlights over the coming months that will include interviews with recipients of awards at the Member Recognition Reception. 
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Screen-Shot-2018-04-30-at-8-04-21-AM.pngOne of the four imperatives in CKC’s three-year strategic plan is “Advocating for purebred dogs, The Canadian Kennel Club and All Dogs”.   This includes lobbying all levels of government and all stakeholders. So, where does one begin when there are so many challenges facing the dog fancy?  Restrictions on the exportation of puppies to the US, canine and human health risks associated with the importation of rescue dogs into Canada, horrific cultural ceremonies involving dogs in foreign countries.      
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IMG_1949A.jpgIt has been a while since my last posting, and it’s been a busy time in the world of dogs.
 
Westminster has just wrapped up and the CKC communications team worked hard to expand our coverage of Canadian participants. Our social media specialist had a media pass that provided him with access to the action, which had him madly posting on Facebook during the event, while specialists performed research backup at the office. 
 
The culmination of the 2017 show points allows us to start introducing the Top Dogs in our various disciplines over the next few weeks, then we head straight into our media blitz for the most popular breeds in Canada in 2017.  
 
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construction.jpgWe are now in the beginning stages of 2018.  From my side of the desk, the calendar year might be over but we here at the office in Etobicoke, are putting the finishing touches on renovations that will consolidate floor space at a significant cost savings to the Club.   
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BSL-Logo1.jpgThe year is coming to a close and externally, it was a very strange year from a lot of perspectives, particularly in the political arena. The media must have had a field day with all of the bizarre stories surfacing throughout the year that made watching the news or scanning the headlines like being hooked to the latest reality TV sensation. 

Sometimes CKC politics is also a strong contender to capture the attention of those seeking intrigue, titillation or even shock.    

I know that politics and government are two different things but sometimes it’s hard to separate the two.  And government politics can be tough when it comes to the policies and mandate of the CKC. But with the support and collaboration of my fellow members, the Board of Directors, and other involved parties, I’ve learned a lot about navigating the halls of government administration.  
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The latest meeting of the CKC Board of Directors was held  the weekend of September 9 and 10.  By now, the Facebook summaries, the meeting synopsis and the detailed meeting minutes have all been posted online as a permanent record of the meeting. Hard work goes into ensuring an accurate account of the proceedings is documented, both for those in attendance for future reference and for those that weren’t in attendance for full disclosure.

This blog posting is a completely unofficial, editorial account of the proceedings as I witnessed it.  The agenda for the meeting was typical in that it was almost four pages in length and the supporting materials were hundreds of additional pages.  
 
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DSC_4690_Final.jpgAt the risk of sounding as if all I do is travel and attend shows, I want to share my experience from this year’s Junior Handling Nationals Championships.  I had the privilege of receiving an invitation from the Conception Bay Kennel Club to attend the Junior Nationals held during their show in Bay Roberts, Newfoundland last month.  This was my 3rd Junior Nationals as ED of the CKC.

One of the things I learned is that a small club can certainly put on a big show!  Granted, the club had a head start with traditional Newfoundland hospitality, the club created an environment of organized chaos and positive spirit.  When it was time for the Junior Handling Finalists to compete, the show stopped and the entire focus turned to the Juniors. You could hear a pin drop by the time the winners were announced.  It was wonderful to see everyone come together to support the Juniors and give them their-well deserved time in the spotlight. Congratulations again to Caroline Holicka (Conformation winner) and Chantal Ratté (Obedience winner)!  I don’t think anyone will be surprised to hear how, every competitor displayed high levels of skill, maturity and professionalism. Their love of the sport is almost tangible...  I recall one competitor that took the time to speak with me and explain the performance of his dog, the nuances of the breed and even some grooming tips.  All the while he was probably anxious about the event he was about to compete in.  
Junior Handling, Junior Nationals, Lance Novak Junior Handling, Junior Nationals, Lance Novak
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Internatinal-Congress-2017-3.jpgThank you to all that took the time to comment on my first posting and for the encouraging words.  One of the advantages of this communication format is that it can be dynamic and address subjects in “real-time”.  Almost every week, I provide an update to the Board of Directors on things happening in the office.  I hope to leverage that report in some of my posts to you. 
 
Having said that, I feel like there is a lot of recent activity to catch up on.  For example, in June I had the privilege of attending an International Congress of Kennel Clubs that was hosted by The Kennel Club in London, England.  When I first heard about the invitation, I quickly nominated our Chair, Bob Rowbotham to make a presentation on behalf of CKC which he graciously agreed to.
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FullSizeRender-4.jpgJust like you, I’m passionate about purebred dogs.  What’s more, I’m particularly proud of our Club’s many programs and initiatives that are dedicated to advancing the interests of purebred dogs, their owners and their breeders in Canada. 

While doing some spring-cleaning earlier this year, I came across some CKC obedience certificates and ribbons in the basement dated in the ‘1970’s.  It made me realize that CKC had a presence in my household for longer than I was aware and before I ever imagined working here.  After more than thirty years with Irish wolfhounds, I tend to still display a bias for the breed but I’ve since been tempted by all of the wonderful breeds I’ve been exposed to through the CKC.          

 
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