Presidents’ Report

Terry Martinelli and Diane Wallace

This past year has been another great one for CFUW North Bay. 

Our executive has worked together to plan a year of interesting and informative general meetings. Our program committee, with suggestions from many of our members, have ensured that we have been entertained by wonderful and very meaningful speakers. 

The auction in November, our major fundraiser, as always was a great success.  Many thanks to our auction committee, who brought it together so beautifully, and to all who donated items and services. 

During December, we paused to remember the students of the Ecole Polytechnique massacre, assisted so ably by North Bay Police Chief Paul Cook.  In mid December, Gail graciously welcomed us once more into her beautiful home for a wonderful Christmas social. 

January brought the start of our 75th anniversary celebration, with the presentation and flag raising at City Hall and social at the library.  Thanks to the organizers of these wonderful events. 

March was the resolutions meeting.  A huge thanks to our advocacy committee members; the members worked tirelessly to summarize the six resolutions and present them so clearly to us all. 

In April the Lunch and Learn, featuring the Serenity Hospice, was a great success. Many thanks to all who put this event together so well. 

May 1 saw a large contingent of CFUW members and friends joining the Hike for the Hospice.  CFUW members are proud to have raised over $1000 for this worthy cause. 

May will also see our club, so ably lead by our sub committee on GWI, tackle the issue of learning about and voting on the most important issue that our club has been confronted with for many years.  A special thank you to the members of this sub committee for your leadership and hard work. 

Throughout the year, our social committee has served faithfully at every meeting to ensure that we are well looked after. 

In closing, we wish to thank all the members of our executive for performing their duties so capably and for making this past year one full of service, learning, adventure and fun.   We thank all of our members for their enthusiastic participation and support of each of our events.  We appreciate their role in supporting us so well as co-presidents.  We are all blessed to be part of such a wonderful and supportive group of women, sharing the goal of supporting women everywhere.  

Scholarship Committee Report

Sharon Walker, Scholarship Chair

This past year has been a busy one for the scholarship committee.  Our club donated $2500 to Nipissing University for four scholarships and one bursary.  The scholarships were in education, biology, criminal justice, and nursing.  We also gave a memorial bursary award.  A $750 award was donated to Canadore College for a student in a non-traditional program.

École publique l'Odyssée will be receiving the two high school awards of $500 each for math and science.  This amount was increased from $400 this past year.

The scholarship committee also redrafted the Charitable Trust Agreement to better reflect the current needs of students.  It will be presented at the AGM for ratification.

Membership Committee

Marilyn Smith and Lise King, Co-Chairs

As of December 2015, CFUW North Bay has 68 members, the same number as last year.  Five of them are new.  In December, Gail Thomsen invited the new members and the executive to her home for appetizers before the Christmas social.  Information about CFUW was presented to the group. 

Programme Committee

Mae MacDonald, Chair

As my tenure as program co-ordinator ends, I would be remiss in not thanking those members who volunteered to help on the program committee, both in the planning and executing of each month's theme. This past year we had many excellent speakers such as Hannah Bywater, Paul Cook, and Matilde Bazinet, to mention only a few.  I know we all gained from each program.  As well, our annual activities such as the silent auction, Christmas at Gail's, the potluck/resolutions meeting, and Lunch and Learn were enjoyable and helped in our promotion of education both in the community and the club.  The 75th anniversary activities were well received.  A special thank you to those members who organized and presented. Thanks again to all who gave of their time and talents to ensure our programs met with our purpose.


Mary Catherine O'Hagan and Marg Mullan, Co-Chairs

Each month, we notify media about upcoming CFUW North Bay meetings and special events.  We send out emails at least two weeks ahead of scheduled events to local radio stations, cable television, The Nugget, and free publications such as Nipissing Reader.  Notices include time, meeting location, topic, and guest speakers.  An invitation is always included to guests and anyone interested in finding out more about CFUW North Bay.  We also include the club’s website address as a source of further information.


Kaarina Tulisalo, Chair

The new job description for publicity is posted on the website.  Publicity works together with other committees to promote CFUW North Bay and to publicize events.  A roll-up banner was designed, purchased, and unveiled at the 75th anniversary flag raising ceremonies.   Articles and photos were submitted for our monthly newsletter and website.  A window display in the North Bay Public Library in August promoted membership in the club.  In September a notice was posted on Kijiji promoting CFUW North Bay.  A window display in the library in January promoted the 75th anniversary kick off.  Articles appeared in the CFUW Club Action Newsletter, The Nugget, Community Voices, and Bay Today and on air with Cogeco and CTV.  The partnership with the North East Women’s Health Alliance is a strong working relationship with five club members forming the CFUW sub committee.  Meetings are held monthly and updates are shared with over 20 agencies and professionals working on women’s issues. 

The functioning of the publicity committee continues to be a work in progress.

Social Committee

Anne McNutt, Chair 

Helpers: Bonnie Roynon, Bunty Swanson, Lynn Ingham

Venues: Cementation, Holy Name Church, and North Bay Public Library

Bookings are made for Cementation through Brianne Bourke, our liaison. She has also helped with the technical equipment when required.  On October 21 two separate presentations, requiring different set-ups, worked with no malfunctions.

A new arrangement is in place for key fob pick-up.  It must be signed out before 5 p.m. under “assembly room” sign and signed back in upon return to the front desk.

Stronger lights have been installed in the parking lot.  There is a camera also, so drive carefully.

Thanks to Lynn Ingham and others who open the door.

Food and Drink: Each event is different, so it is necessary to “customize” the goods taken to each.

Thanks to all for all the goodies provided.  The pot luck and resolutions meeting with 23 members present was great.  Members brought many tasty ready-to-serve appetizers and sandwiches.  Clean up was easy.

The downstairs room of the library was a good venue for the 33 people who attended the reception following the flag raising.  Cake with very blue icing was served, along with coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.  We managed to blow the fuses twice with all the plug-ins.

Holy Name Church proved a great venue for Lunch and Learn, where 42 members and guests attended.  A beautiful cake with the CFUW logo was served.  

Many thanks to Bunty Swanson for her assistance for all these events.

Expenses to April 30 were $35.07.  Cake expenses came out of the 75th anniversary budget.

Telephone Team:  We may need to use the team for the June 13 dinner at Osprey Links.

Analysis:  Our approach to meetings seems to work well.  We welcome suggestions for improvement.  Members who bring their own mugs have been a big help.


CFUW Liaison

Heather Chambers

I have enjoyed the last two years as the CFUW Liaison.  It is a relatively easy job forwarding the communications from Ontario Council and CFUW National. That being said, it is a wonderful opportunity that all members have to know what is going on in our broader organization and in other clubs.  I remember years ago, when we received a few copies of the Communique, that the president or CFUW Liaison would give highlights at a meeting, and then a few would take the Communique home.  Now we all are getting the information at the same time.  I hope you enjoy reading these communications and feel proud to be part of a larger group that is very much respected.  During a webinar I participated in his month, CFUW President Doris Mae Oulton said that MP’s from “the Hill”  are coming to CFUW to see if they have research material for a bill the MP’s would like to put forward.  With this type of respect and with an organized staff at head office, you can see that we do make a difference.

Advocacy and Issues

Janet Poudrier, Acting Chair

1. Enhancing a Partnership with the North East Women’s Health Alliance (NEWHA).  NEWHA is a group of over 20 agencies, groups and individuals working collaboratively to actively promote, educate and advocate for the health and wellness of women in our community.  Actions included:

  • Attended monthly meetings as a subcommittee of NEWHA.
  • Shared national CFUW advocacy initiatives with NEWHA members.
  • Suggested and assisted the NEWHA Committee to apply for a $1000 grant from the Retired Teachers of Ontario Nipissing District 43 to cover the cost of medical supplies for the Rock Rose Clinic, which provides healthcare on a voluntary basis for marginalized women and their children who do not have access to a family doctor.
  • Shared information with our members regarding community initiatives such as Travel Link, Free Smiles Dental Care, and North Bay and Area Food Charter. 
  • Arranged for CFUW members to continue to support the ACNBA Bathtub Project, Sock It to Us, and the Red Scarf  initiatives.
  • Attended the ceremonies with regard to the Red Scarf Campaign on AIDS Awareness Day, December 1. 
  • Attended a rally to protest the health care cuts at the North Bay Regional Health Centre.

2. International Women’s Day Program Planning and Participation: CFUW North Bay was a member of the NEWHA planning committee for a coordinated schedule of events recognizing International Women’s Day.  CFUW North Bay was responsible for the following:

  • Hosting the pre and post receptions for the “Meet Me On The Bridge” event in partnership with ACNBA.
  • Promoting and participating in a community event, a Celebration of Women, an evening tea “Sharing Our Stories and Nourishing Our Souls,” organized by one of our CFUW members who is the co-pastor at Calvary Pentecostal Church and a NEWHA member.

3. Additional Advocacy Initiatives:

  • Invited Hannah Bywater, a 15-year-old secondary school student, to speak at the October general meeting in recognition of the International Day of the Girl Child. Hannah`s goal is to change the world one project at a time.  She has been working to get clean water to villages in Africa.
  • Arranged to have Paul Cook, North Bay Chief of Police Services, to speak at our Charitable Trust Dinner on Violence Against Women and Domestic Abuse.
  • Promoted and participated in a Gift of Reading event held in a kindergarten class at one of our elementary schools, where our members provide new books for all the children and read to them.
  • Participated in all of the Meet the Candidates Event for the 2015 Federal Election, especially the one which involved the Students` Councils from Nipissing University and Canadore College sponsored by the Retired Teachers of Ontario Nipissing District 43.
  • Met with our MP and MPP to discuss the resolutions passed at our National AGM in 2015.

CFUW hosted a Lunch and Learn on April 20 on the New Serenity Hospice, which will be built in North Bay in the near future. It emphasized the need for hospice care as well as the support of the community, both morally and financially.  CFUW North Bay entered a team in the Hike for Hospice fundraiser on May 1..

Interest Groups

Bridge Club - Helen Manning

Our bridge club meets on Thursday afternoons from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.   Numbers vary as our members are travellers.  We usually have only one table.  Sometimes a fifth person participates and we take turns sitting out.  On the odd occasion, we have had eight people to play two-table bridge.  Although we play duplicate rules from lessons taken at the North Bay Bridge Club, we take time to discuss the hands.  Anyone wishing to join us can call me at 705-495-4271.

Book Club - Caroline Haist

The book club meets every fourth Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. in members’ homes.  Although we have a member present information about the book of that month and lead the discussion, the meetings are informal.

In June at the annual pot luck dinner, members suggest books for the following year - books that they have enjoyed reading themselves and that they feel will result in a lively discussion.  Members then take a couple of weeks to check reviews and then vote by email for the books they would like to read.  The list for 2016-17 will be available as soon as the voting is complete, usually by the end of July .  A list of the books chosen for 2015-16 is still on the website. 

This year there were 35 members on the list, but not all attend every meeting.  Our best-attended meeting was in September, when over 20 members participated.

Heritage Gardeners - Diane Steward

The design team has assisted us with a new look, so we’re in the process of redoing our main bed. 

Our team is made up of four CFUW members and a couple of interested community members.  If you are interested in waterfront gardening, Diane Steward, team leader, can give you information on signing up with the city. 

We garden from May to October most years.  Last year the team met Wednesday mornings.  During May and June of this year, we plan to garden on Wednesday afternoons. 

Gourmet Luncheon Group - Gail Thomsen

This year the gourmet lunch group had 20 members.  We met on the first Tuesday of the month at 12:30 p.m..  Our first organizational meeting was held at the the Ram’s Head in October, when we selected dates and cooking partners.  There were two fall luncheons in members’ homes.  We resumed our regular schedule for the months of February, March, April and May.  The June lunch will be a pot luck.  This is a very active and animated group, and nothing is off limits for conversation or discussion.  We enjoy good food and better friends.

Gourmet Dinner Group - Cheryl Nidd

It has been a very busy season for the gourmet dinner group.  We may be few in number, but we are big on spirit and the desire to seek out the perfect meal.  We did a lot of roaming this year, beginning with our September meeting at the Chicago Cafe's Chinese feast.  From there, our journey continued to include stops at the home of Terry Martinelli for a genuine Mennonite feast and at the Ram's Head restaurant.  When the new year began, we ventured out in the cold to Canadore College's famed 100 Elements.  The meal was amazing, and I think most of us went home with leftovers. Then, we finally got to experience one of Chef Tanya Cross' Full Moon Feasts at the Artisan Café.  It was a spectacular meal, and we recommend it to anyone who has not yet been.  When spring finally decided to arrive, we ate at Churchill's and Average Joe's restaurants.  June will bring us to a meal hosted by Heli and Linda.  It is an event to which we all look forward.  Please consider joining our little group next year.  We are a lot of fun, and we know how to eat well.

Roamers - Kaarina Tulisalo

Roamers events provide excellent opportunities for members to engage in the four descriptors on our new banner: Education, Advocacy, Networking, Fellowship. We alert members about community events of interest through our listings in the newsletter, on the website, and through announcements at meetings. Our participation in and support of community events raise our profile in the community.  Some of the organizations and events included the North Bay Grandmothers for Africa dare-to-dine fundraiser, the North Bay Symphony, the Canadian Club, Near North Voices Community Choir, the Rapport Singers, the North Bay Choral Society, the Gateway Theatre Guild, Dreamcoat Theatre, North East Women’s Health Alliance, The AIDS Committee, and Live at the Met Opera..  Special events included the Hospice Hike, An Evening to Celebrate Women, Stop the Cuts Rally, and Join Me on the Bridge.  The Roamers events provide many opportunities for members to learn, to advocate, to socialize, and to relax and enjoy.  Special thanks go to Caroline Haist who does such an excellent job posting the Roamers events. 

Sunrise Breakfast - Terry Martinelli

The Sunrise Breakfast group met on the last Friday of every month from June through May with the exception of December. We meet at 9 a.m. at Guido and Arlene's Restaurant on Trout Lake Road.  It is a very informal come-as-you can group of members and sometimes friends or family join us.  We talk, network, and catch up with each other while enjoying a great breakfast. Everyone is welcome to join us.