President's Message - April 2009

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by John McDonald

March proved to be a mixed bag for weather but a great month for some welcome news. The British Columbia Gaming Commission has responded to our request to fund two programs with a grant of $40,000. This will allow us to fully fund our outreach activities for the rest of the International Year of Astronomy and to finish making the Victoria Centre Observatory accessible on line. I can't be sure just which aspects of the grant application made the greatest difference but some key factors that likely put us over the top were the following:


A large contribution in volunteer time. BCGC counts volunteer time at a modest value of $15/hr but even at that rate the total was impressive.


The sustained effort in running an excellent and successful school program for many years.


Substantial member's donations to the VCO.


Support from local businesses through "in kind" contributions to the VCO.


Space and financial support from the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory.


A very well constructed grant application.

My thanks to Sid Sidhu and everyone in the Centre whose contributions led to this successful result.

Council will be considering plans for the use of the funds at its next meeting on April 1. As usual, the meeting will be open to any member who wishes to attend.

IYA activities are continuing and it seems that new opportunities pop up every week. Sid has recently signed an agreement with Butchart Gardens that will see us putting on night sky viewing there each Thursday in the summer. Check out the evolving schedule.

A special event in March was the first ever Victoria Centre Messier Marathon. As I write this the forecast for March 28 is iffy but on Wednesday, March 25 a practice session on the hill proved to be very successful. Thanks to Nelson Walker and Bruno Quenneville for organizing the event and Joe Carr for providing a warm RV for use of the participants.

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Last updated: January 29, 2014

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