President's Message - February 2011

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February 2011

by Lauri Roche

Out here in our far west coast bit of heaven, we can often forget that there is a National society in central Ontario that is working away for our interests and it is only when the General Assembly decides to increase our dues that we let our thoughts travel much beyond our island shores. Recently, however, the executive council, made up of representatives from all over Canada, has developed a Strategic Plan that will serve as a guideline for the organization for the next two to three years. There have been meetings, debates, arguments and consultation for several months now. I know that some of you have sent in comments to the council, voicing your own opinions. Our National President, Mary Lou Whitehorne, has recently written to councils to update us on what has been happening and a final statement will be released soon.

The Plan has a Mission statement, a Vision statement, a Values statement and then seven strategic objectives that the RASC will work toward. If you have not seem them or don't know what they are, then I happen to have the summary right here.

Take a quick read; it takes about a minute but will give you some insight into what is happening and will be happening with our society.


The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) encourages improved understanding of astronomy for all, through education, outreach, research, publication, partnership, and community. Founded in 1868, the RASC is Canada's leading astronomy organization with local Centres throughout the country.


To inspire curiosity in all Canadians about the universe, to share scientific knowledge, and to foster collaboration in astronomical pursuits.


The RASC has a proud heritage of excellence and integrity in its programmes and partnerships. As a vital part of Canada's science community, we support discovery through the scientific method. We inspire and encourage people of all ages to learn about and enjoy astronomy.

RASC Seven Strategic Objectives 2011-2013

bulletImplement Centre Support Program by 2011 June 1.
bulletImplement Volunteer Support Program by 2011 June 1.
bulletImprove response time for customer service delivery from one week to three business days by 2011 December 31.
bulletIncrease revenues from present and new sources by 30 percent by 2013 December 31.
bulletIncrease RASC membership to 5000 members by 2013 December 31.
bulletThe Executive Director and MAP Committee will develop a marketing and communications plan by 2010 December 31.
bulletMake recommendations on By Law reform by 2011 December 31.

What do you think? Would you like more information, particularly about the objectives and why they were chosen? Just reading them here, somewhat isolated from the background discussions that brought them forward, might not be too engaging for the general membership but each objective is responding to a particular problem area such as financing, marketing or communication that has needed some revitalization over the last several years within the society. The objectives are positive steps for pointing the organization in new directions. The entire document is available to members on-line at the National site and I can direct you to it easily.

Key points for me are the Volunteer Support Program that already has presented some of its new initiatives to local centers and the increased attention to augmenting membership at the National level. We already have fantastic volunteers here in Victoria but we can always use some extra support and new ideas. We also want to continue to increase our membership at the local level so the initiatives from National will be welcomed.

Please let me know what you think. If you have any comments or suggestions for programs or initiatives you would like to see our Victoria group or the national organization implement just give me a call. Let's see where this new plan will take us.


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Last updated: January 29, 2014

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada is dedicated to the promotion of astronomy and its related sciences; we espouse the scientific method, and support dissemination of discoveries and theories based on that well-tested method.

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