Recent Newsletters| Other News: Letter from the President; Membership Fees; Tax Breaks and Travel Funds
February 10, 2003.
Friends, mes amis, a chairde,
I just want to offer everyone a quick update on what's going on here at CAIS, now that we have some new Executive members, along with a new President (myself!). We have two major projects on the stove right now: the organisation of the Annual Conference, this year in Fredericton, and the re-organisation of our journal, the Canadian Journal of Irish Studies / Revue canadienne d'études irlandaises.
Dermot McCarthy has, as you can see from his report in the newsletter, been doing a bang-up job on the organisation of the conference. This is especially impressive given that he was just elected to the Executive; as they say in the Army, be careful when you volunteer! We're still trying to fit some of the funding pieces together, but it's clear that this is going to be a good event, a unique meeting-place for all sorts of students of Irish life. And it's going to be an important event for CAIS; it'll be the first conference since 1997 to be held truly separately from the Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities (or, "The Conference Formerly Known as the Learneds"). Last year we met separately from the Congress, but we met at basically the same place (we were in Mississauga, the Congress was in Toronto) and at basically the same time. This year the cord will be fully cut (we are in Fredericton, the Congress will be in Halifax the week after we meet), and we will really be on our own. I think most of the membership feels that this will lead to more intense, focussed conferences, and it surely makes sense from a financial viewpoint, with all of the registration fees going right to CAIS. So we are looking forward to having the group back together, and to welcoming new friends. This will also be the first time in some while that we have met in New Brunswick, and we are grateful to Len Falkenstein for getting us set up at the University of New Brunswick. Keep an eye on our website (now at http://www.arts.ualberta.ca/~cais/) for news on the conference as the details finalise.
We are also experiencing some big changes in the Canadian Journal of Irish Studies / Revue canadienne d'études irlandaises. After initiating a major re-design and editorial re-evaluation, Michael Kenneally has had to step down as editor of the journal. After conducting some informal inquiries, we've decided to run the journal on a guest-edited basis for the time being. Brian McIlroy and Dermot McCarthy have already signed on to edit special issues on Irish film and Irish literature, respectively. We'd like to get at least two more issues "into the hopper," and we would sure welcome proposals from the membership. We will continue to have regular features such as book reviews, and we are looking for someone to take over the editing of a section devoted to new poetry from Ireland. And if anyone is interested in taking over the journal, they should get in touch as soon as possible. All of this correspondence can be directed to me, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gary Owens also reports that, after many good years as our newsletter editor, he will be stepping down. So we are looking for new newsletter editor to get underway as soon as possible. If anyone might be interested in that, they should also get in touch.
I would of course like to hear from the membership on other matters than volunteering for stuff, and so if you have concerns or suggestions, please drop me a line. Those who don't have email can write me at Jerry White, Film Studies, 347 Arts, University of Alberta, Edmonton T6G 2E6, or call me at 780.492.0121. Although we have been quiet lately, the Executive has been chip-chip-chipping away at some important projects, and we do think that they will start to bear fruit before too long. We do want to hear from people though, and surely look forward to seeing everyone in Fredericton to talk, among other things, about the future of the Association.
Best wishes all around,
President, Canadian Association for Irish Studies
CAIS MEMBERSHIP FEES
To ensure that CAIS has sufficient funds to maintain the organisation's activities, the Executive has decided that higher fees are essential.
We have compared our situation with other associations and had intense discussions on the possibilities of raising funds for the annual conference and the CJIS. An attractive journal that appears on time is critical and reaching out to new audiences is an important objective. We have also to consider the working of our central office. Currently, the association's administration works on a shoestring and is dependent on the good offices of one person, our Secretary-Treasurer. Jean stuffs envelopes, scrapes pennies from duplicating and postage costs, and generally makes do. We have to make sure that the next group into the offices at CAIS feels not so strapped and don't have to halfpenny pinch. The new rates will also allow us to continue to give a small encouragement to students who represent the next generation.
CAIS has always operated on a narrow margin and it currently needs from $12,000 to $14,000 to survive for the next three years. Its operating expenses are $4-5000 per annum and the cost of our members' copies of CJIS amounts to $7700. With about 200 members, we need an average subscription return of at least $70.
Accordingly, the executive are implementing the following subscription rates:
Regular $75 per year, $200 for three years
Student $35 per year, $90 for three years
Senior $75 per year, $200 for three years
Family $110 per year, $300 for three years
The new CAIS membership rates will take effect for all new members and all membership renewals coming due July 2002. For those who have not renewed for the 2001 year, you may take advantage of the old rates until December 31, 2001.
TAX BREAKS AND TRAVEL FUNDS FOR
At a meeting to consider ways to improve the financial situation of CAIS and the CJIS, it was pointed out that few of our members take advantage of Canadian tax rules to offset the cost of professional activities and memberships in cultural associations like ours. We ask everyone to take advantage of Canadian tax rules that allow tax deductions for membership in professional organizations and the giving of donations to registered charities. CAIS is a registered charity. The CAIS registered Charitable Organisation number is 89050-7643-RR0001.
Because it is registered, we would encourage all
members to consider donations to this organization. The preservation of cultural outlets
and the effort to maintain the arts and culture are increasingly dependent on donations
and the efforts of members.
Remember too that there is a small travel fund available for those who attend the Annual General Meeting at the annual conference. The travel fund is provided by SSHRCC and it amounts to slightly over $3000. SSHRCC rules insist that those funds must be spread among the members attending the annual General Meeting. This provides support for non-academic members and students. If you want to know more about this, please write to the CAIS office.
Editor: Gary Owens, Huron College, University of
Editor: Jean Talman, St. Michael's College,
University of Toronto