Canoefest 2016 @ Ross-on-Wye was first and foremost a celebration of 60 years of the Open Canoe Association... but as ever, we also held our Annual General Meeting to report on the past year, update our Constitution and Mission Statement, present volunteer recognition awards and elected a new Committee.

The updated Mission Statement reads as follows:

The OCA shall promote the use of open canoes for self-reliant adventure, exploration, journeying and self-development.

  • Members will be encouraged and supported in:
  • Getting out and about, independently, in ways that inspire others
  • Sharing experiences, embracing inclusivity and diversity, and learning from one another
  • Leading trips, and providing assistance to others. who are leading trips
  • Representing canoeists' interests in the wider outdoor community

To this end, the Association will:

  • Provide opportunities for all members to meet up
  • Facilitate training and mentoring, including opportunities to develop leadership skills
  • Offer guidance and resources to members wishing to offer an OCA event
  • Develop a network of national and international opportunities and connections

The Constitution was passed as proposed: see here. One key change to note: we are going over to a rolling membership year - so 12 months from whenever anyone joins.

Following a few years as Events Secretary, Gary Rice stepped forward to become Chairman of the OCA. Alan Mellor continues as Secretary, Rich Wright continues as Treasurer and Paula Fairman continues on the Membership front. 

Vicky and Mark-Jan Dielemans have taken on responsibilities as Welfare Officers, and Mark-Jan continues in his role co-ordinating Event Safety.

Last but not least, we took the 60th Anniversary AGM as an opportunity to that two OCA stalwarts for a lifetime of volunteering. See Lifetime Awards 2016 to discover the illustrious recipients...