Lake Banook during Nationals 2016

Presidents Message – January 2017

Posted on by Banook News in

Happy New Year!   A lot has happened this past year and I thought it would be good to provide an overview of some of last year’s accomplishments and review the priorities for the upcoming year.  I am very encouraged by the work we have done over the past year. As we work to continue building Banook, here are some of the highlights over the past year:

Our Success on the lake

  • Had a successful summer with our new Head Coach Toshko.
  • This success carried over with approximately 50 paddlers attended our fall training program.
  • The club acquired new training equipment including ergs, K1’s, canoe & kayak paddles, life jackets and practice war canoe.
  • We provided summer employment for approx. 30 high school and post-secondary education students through lifeguarding, to canteen services, to day camp, to coaching.
  • Our Masters group took advantage of home field advantage and Won CanMass at the Nationals!  (Canadian Masters Champions)
  • The club was successful securing ACOA, employment & equipment  grants
  • We Co-hosted Nations with the other clubs on the lake.

Member Services

  • We restructured and simplified our membership and paddling fees for the 2016 season.
  • Implemented a web based registration system, that allows members to self-serve for a variety of club programming (Zone 4)
  • Had many successful fund raising events including, pie sales, Christmas tree lot, Master & club dinners, summer BBQ’s  etc…
  • Membership Volunteers Credits. If you have participated in volunteer activity in the past season please ensure you forward the information to Margaret Langley at indicating the event, and the amount of time volunteered as we will be depositing the volunteer cheques in Feburary 2017

Club Maintenance and Improvements

  • Replaced the flat roof over the senior’s room, plus installed gutters to channel the drainage away from the building.
  • Replaced the roof shingles on the Hall.
  • New Red paint on the hall exterior.
  • The swim office mold was removed and walls replaced. The installation of the gutters will help to ensure water doesn’t return.
  • Replacement of the brick retaining wall outside the swim office.
  • We are investing in maintenance and repairs for our war canoes, and small boats.
  • We continue to make measurable progress in paying down the club’s debt.
  • Transitioned our daily book keeping to the popular QuickBooks accounting software.

These are only a sampling of what was achieved this year and it could not have been done without the hard work of our employees, the board and membership support. In addition, we have a number of initiatives underway or planned that I believe will allow us to be even more productive and better positioned in coming years.

  • Over the Holiday break, we replaced the furnace oil tank and pipes for the Hall.
  • We have adopted a cash flow analysis tool to help track our finances 18 months in advance. This will assist us in making better capital & expense decisions.
  • We have developed a plan to pay off $24k to Revenue Canada  this year which will allow more financial flexibility in the future.
  • This spring, we will replace the front stairs and ramp for the Hall – with a building code compliant ramp – to ensure Hall access is fully accessible to members and guests.
  • We will be making a greater effort to communicate to the club membership, through regular newsletters, social media and web site updates.
  • We have started an exciting fund raising effort to purchase a new 15 person war canoe. Rumor is Bear Mountain (manufacture of best in class war canoes) will not be producing any more war canoes after this year. We have placed a deposit to secure a boat. Stay tuned for further details in the coming months and how you can help.
  • We are activity seeking a Club Manager.  During this transition were are committed to respond to all emails and voice messages within 24 hours. If you are interested in the position please forward your resume to
  • Watch for information later this Winter regarding 2017 registration, including times for our annual open house
  • And finally, between now and the start of the new paddling season, we will applying for new employment grants from the provincial and federal governments, contacting organizations who have supported in the past.

Thanks for your help in another great year at Banook. We continue to make steady and encouraging progress towards our vision. I have no doubts that if we continue to work as a team committed to being recognized as the preferred community club for recreational and competitive paddling in HRM we will move closer to that goal. I hope everyone has a successful start to 2017, please stay tuned for more information in the coming months.

Yours sincerely,
Ian Lezama
BCC President