The 2016 Annual General Meeting of the BC Council of Garden Clubs was held on March 12, 2016 at the Firefighters’ Banquet and Conference Center in Burnaby  BC.

The agenda includes Board reports, discussion and vote on two amendments (Notice of Amendment #4 and Amendment #5 given at the 2015 Fall Meeting), election of Board Executives (First Vice-President, Treasurer, Newsletter Editor (see Amendment #5), and Scholarship Trust Committee member.

We welcomed the following out of town clubs who attended from Squamish, Powell River, Vernon, Chilliwack, and Gibsons.

A quorum of 40 affiliated members was required; 42 clubs were represented.  A quorum was available.

The Delegates in attendance were reminded that all Board reports were included in the Delegate’s package to take back and share with their individual clubs.

The President, Barbara Puchala, outlined how the Council will be communicating with affiliate members now that the Council has ceased publication of The Bulletin.  Attendees were reminded that the Council’s website contained a great amount of information regarding the Council and it activities.  She took the audience through the various areas of the website and showed where on the website various information could be accessed.

Clubs and gardening organizations are making excellent use of the website’s Events page and have been posting their upcoming special events, plant sales and plant shows.  The President reminded everyone that you do not have to contact the Council to post a club’s events.

The President also reminded everyone that this is her last year as President and under the terms of the Council’s constitution, she is required to step down.  She asked that everyone begin to consider nominations for this position.  Should anyone be interested, or knows someone who would be interested in running for President at the 2017 AGM, please contact the Nominations Committee at

The First Vice-President, Cindy Tataryn, introduced the new Judging Manual.  The Manual was available at the meeting, and will be made available through the Council’s website for a cost of $25 plus shipping.

The Floral Design Judges committee will be organizing a Floral Art Judges course and details will be available when finalized.

The Treasurer, Ruby Miller, presented the Financial Review of the Council’s financial records for 2015.  There were no issues and the books were balanced.  The 2016 Budget was presented and approved.

The Scholarship Trust Committee Chair, Richard Zuk, presented the Committee’s report on the Trust.  Donations of over $10,000 were made during 2016 and our scholarship disbursements for 2016 will be approximately $9,650.  Richard explained how the funds were managed and disbursed, and answered questions from the floor.

The closing value of the Fund as of December 31,2016 was $243,130.36. Richard thanked all the clubs and individuals who made donations to the Scholarship Fund.

Denis Elliot presented a cheque in the amount of $500 on behalf of the Garden Club of Vancouver to the Scholarship Trust Fund.

There were several questions and comments from the members concerning the quorum requirements and what would happen should a quorum not be achieved.  The general consensus was that the Council consider revising the current requirement.  The President agreed to have the Board discuss this and present a Notice of Motion at the Fall Meeting.

Changes to the Constitution:

To adopt a motion that changes the Constitution a majority of two-thirds of the affiliate members present at the meeting is required.

The two motions presented were presented, discussed, seconded and adopted unanimously.

To review details of the motions, please see Amendment #4 and Amendment #5.

Executive Board Elections:

Elections for the Board positions of First Vice-President, Treasurer, Scholarship Trust Committee and the new position of Communications Coordinator were held.

The incumbents for First Vice-President (Cindy Tataryn) and the Treasurer (Ruby Miller) were elected by acclamation as there were no other candidates.

The nominees for the Scholarship Trust Committee were Dr. George Marien and Jillian Davis.  Dr Marien was elected by a vote of 31 to 10 with 1 ballot being rejected.

Amanda Smith was nominated for the new position of Communications Coordinator and was elected by acclamation.


Richard Zuk, Scholarship Trust Committee Chair, introduced the vendors and thanked them for their participation.  Vendor table fees go to the Scholarship Trust Fund.

Thank you to City Farmer, Dahlias Club, Berry Farm, Kelp Man, EZ-Riser, Jennifer’s Soup Mixes, Shade Garden, Marg Nakahara, Ikebana Supplies

Volunteers Thank You:

The President acknowledged the many volunteers who have assisted the Council over the past several years, and presented potted miniature roses to the volunteers who where present at the meeting.

A big thank you to the Council’s volunteers:

  • Draw Table:
    • Audrey Barnes
    • Diane Escalante
    • Lea MacDonald
  • The Bulletin
    • Audrey Barnes
    • Beth MacLaren
    • Emily Budinski
    • Sandra Peters
  • Membership
    • Elaine Senft
    • Lorna Herchenson

  • Photos
    • Vic Froese
    • Keith Harris
  • Parking
    • Lorna Herchenson
  • FaceBook and Nominations
    • Amanda Smith

  • Judging Manual (Horticulture)
    • Cindy Tataryn
    • Emily Budinski
    • Donna Lawson
    • Marilyn O’Neill
  • Judging Manual (Floral)
    • Dorothy Scott
    • Jane Keding
    • Lynne White


David Tracey: 

David is a writer, designer and community ecologist based in Vancouver, Canada. As a keynote speaker, David has addressed audiences in Canada, the U.S., Asia and Europe. Lecture topics include engaged ecology, urban agriculture, food security, environmental design, guerrilla gardening, organic vegetable growing, urban forestry, fruit tree management, community development, writing improvement and media awareness. He is also the author of five books including The Earth Manifesto: Saving Nature With Engaged Ecology; Urban Agriculture: Ideas and Designs for the New Food Revolution; Guerrilla Gardening: A Manualfesto

Dr. Rob Higgins: 

Dr. Higgins is a member of the Biological Sciences Department at Thompson Rivers University doing research on the European Fire Ant which is invasive, aggressive and a prolific breeder, with colonies popping up throughout the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island. In 2014 Dr. Higgins had been given a $100,000 one-year grant from The BC Inter-Ministry Invasive Species Working Group, to develop methods to control the insect. Dr. Higgins first began his research into the European Fire Ant in 2012 after having been sent several samples from the Lower Mainland for identification.