Tom Vesey called the meeting to order at 2:30 pm at the Hilton St. Louis Union Station Hotel. He indicated that a sign-up sheet will be passed around for everyone to sign. He indicated the hotel would be doing a walk-through for the 2016 Convention in St. Louis.
MINUTES OF LAST MEETING
Minutes of May 8, 2015 & the Minutes of November, 2014 were electronically sent out previous to the meeting by Sue Spellman. Sue indicated Kevin Furlong would be going over the Financials & he will be proposing a guideline form to the Regions/Branches/Province for expenses & reimbursement of same for delegates attending the Meetings. Provincial Council Voting: - 2 Delegates from each Region & Provincial Council. Make sure officers are up-to-date on the Membership List and that the checks match the membership list. Secretary’s Report - Approval of Minutes by Sarah Johnson, Seconded by Patty Furlong. Motion passed.
Memberships due from the Branches to the Region by February 1st; Memberships due from Region to Province by March 1st
Memberships need to have current officers at the top of their membership sheets.
Kevin Furlong presented the Treasurer’s Report with a handout with an itemized accounting of all expenses. Kevin stated figures from 2014 were from Tom Madden & he took over the position of Treasurer in January/February of 2015. The Provincial Account is in good standing. We had an income of around $55,000 & with expenses presently there is $26,973.78 in the account. Expenses include CCE Tour Expense (will be reimbursed for majority of expenses at a later time from Ireland); Treoir Distribution; Insurance, Computer & Internet expenses; Website; Postage, Telephone & supplies; Travel & Meetings Ard Chomhairle & Provincial; etc. Kevin proposed an Expense Reimbursement Request to accompany bills submitted to the Treasurer for Delegate Expenses that would make accounting easier. Proposed that this form be used by all Branches/Regions/Province of CCE in North America & that bills be submitted within 30 days of events. After an Amended Motion was presented Kevin agreed to amend the form. Tourism Ireland Grant usually posts at a later date & has specific guidelines for which the money is to be distributed. There is no set formula for the Tourism Ireland Grants we follow the guidelines for money distribution. Kevin also indicated that 2 checks were redeposited into Provincial account from the Mid-Atlantic Region, one for Convention $7,500 & Mid-Atlantic Fleadh $4,895. Those pertain to the calendar year 2014. Approval of Financial Statement approved by Helen Gannon, Seconded by Sarah Johnson. Motion carried.
Kevin Furlong proposed Expense Reimbursement Request to accompany bills to Branch/Region/Provincial Treasurers.
SPECIAL CONCERT TOUR
Tom indicated there will be a special Tour called Macella that will have 60 people on stage performing from Ireland in October, 2016. We will get equation funding from Ireland & funding from Department of Foreign Affairs. Each venue would have to guarantee approximately $10,000. Tara Lynch from Boston indicated to host this would need major backing. Major advertising would be needed & possibly professional booking agents. Would need to advertise this months in advance along with booking a good opera hall. There are possibly 6 or 7 cities being looked at to host this, namely: New York; Washington, D.C.; Boston, St. Louis, Chicago, etc.
Helen stated there is very low attendance by delegates from branches & regions for the meetings.
Macella Concert coming to US in October, 2016.
TREOIR AND TOURISM IRELAND
Paul indicated it is at the mail House, the final issue. We hope to have a Convention brochure for the final issue which is what we are waiting on. Ireland is in the process of producing an electronic version of Treoir along with the paper copy which will be more popular in the future with younger set. Tourism Ireland is dedicating about $6,000 to the Echoes of Erin Tour. The Tour is becoming more expensive with housing the Tour in hotels verses homes. The deficit for the Tour is subsidized by Ireland. Helen will put in request for funding for the Convention, Tour, etc. with Ireland on behalf of the Meitheal Committee.
Frankie McCormick gave the Mid-Atlantic Report. We had several competitions & competitors. The Mid-Atlantic Fleadh was a huge success with 300 entries at the Parsippany Hilton which was combined with the Convention. The Mid-Atlantic had winners in the All Ireland competition. For 2016 the Fleadh is the last weekend in June & will not be combined with the Convention.
Midwest Fleadh Report was given by Dan Curtin who chaired the Midwest Fleadh. Meitheal Funding was a great help & the Mid-Atlantic Region for helping with the Ceili Band in transporting them to Cincinnati. There were about 200 registrants of which 70% are CCE members. The Midwest Fleadh netted about $14,000 with a tremendous amount of support. Also there were a couple All Ireland winners from the Midwest. The Midwest Fleadh is scheduled in 2016 for Mother’s Day Weekend in Cincinnati, Ohio.
IRISH OFFICER REPORT
Working on the website with lessons, history, & grammar section with web link application to learn Irish. She is also gathering a list of colleges & universities where Irish Language is presented & hoping to obtain more CCE members. Sarah is currently working with Trinity website on pronunciation along with submitting applications to get funding for more programs. Also starting YouTube & looking for ways to further fund & promote Irish Culture.
Sarah Johnson currently working on projects to fund further interest in Irish culture.
CONVENTION 2016 &
Helen indicated St. Louis, along with her Dream Team, will again host the Convention in 2016 at the Hilton Union Station Hotel. A new venue was chosen & her team has several events planned for the weekend which includes the Sunday Ceili. She acknowledged all the work Cathy Thompson has done in promoting the Convention & working with the hotel to make our Convention a huge success. She is concerned about attendance at the Convention due to the poor turnout at our Provincial AGM Meeting this month. The SCT will be promoted at the Convention.
Tom Vesey indicated Chicago would like to host the 2017 Convention in Chicago & were in the process of submitting their proposal.
Convention 2016 will be hosted by St. Louis.
Convention 2017 will be hosted by Chicago.
YOUTH OFFICER REPORT
Genevieve Robinson gave the Youth Officer Report. She indicated she is working on the 2016 Convention for youth activities with Shannon Flecke & Eileen Gannon. She would like to run child workshops & work with Sarah Johnson on this to bring in the Irish aspect for youths. She is trying to get youth opinion out & get them involved. She is also working on funding to get to the Convention along with funding for some of the projects at the Convention with the youths.
Working on youth activities for the Convention in 2016.
Tom Vesey recommended that all officers get insurance. The Province has looked into the insurance & the cost is $750.00 for a million dollars’ worth of coverage. This was implemented for the Province. Frankie McCormick spoke about officer insurance since he worked with the insurance company/lawyer in obtaining the proper insurance. Tom recommends every branch & region should obtain officer insurance.
Province has officer insurance.
NO BREAK TAKEN
Frankie McCormick is Chair of the Fleadh Committee for CCE North America along with Eileen Gannon & Margie Mulvihill. The Fleadh Boundaries a few years back were reviewed & with the dissolution of the Southern Region certain Regions were given the option of choosing either Fleadh to compete in due to geographical hardship. There was discussion about since the Midwest Region engulfed all but one branch of the South Region, that the competitors would now be Midwest Region competitors & should attend the Midwest Fleadh & not have choice of attending either Fleadh since they are members of the Midwest Region & make a decision relative to competitors. Motion Fleadh Committee investigate by Kevin Furlong; Seconded by Pam Zykan. Motion carried.
Fleadh Rules will be coming up in Ireland at Congress this year. 3rd Place Winners are adding time to competitions at the All Ireland Fleadh. Suggested that the Province put forth a Motion to have 3rd place winners eliminated & Provincial Delegate carry Motion to Congress.
Kell Chole also brought up game playing over Fleadh order at the All Ireland. Propose a methodology & follow the rules relative to competitors in their competition so competitors don’t have the option of competiting last when not present when their name is announced & they are outside the door. Discussion about pictures of competitors being included at competitions but Child Privacy issues come in to play with distribution of child photographs.
Fleadh Committee decide Fleadh boundaries relative to the Regions.
Province submit Motion to have 3rd place winner category eliminated.
Also Fleadh order should be followed by all competitors.
Meitheal money – suggestion that we have a separate Federal ID number for the Meitheal money. There are rules for the grant that accompanies the Meitheal Money from Ireland & guidelines that must be followed. Tara Lynch asked about the Meitheal money for projects. Tara was also wondering what the process is to be communicated for the Meitheal money & if a system could be implemented for the Meitheal Money. Helen indicated that Ireland tells her where the money is going for the projects connected to the Meitheal, namely, 2 North America Fleadhs, Convention, Treoir (mail distribution), Concert Tour, Canada programs, etc.
Helen brought up that she was disappointed by the poor attendance of delegates at the AGM Meeting & recommended that expenses be paid from the lowest level to the highest level. Tara Lynch pointed out that some of the smaller branches have difficulty in funding delegates to the meetings. Helen also pointed out that there were no Regional Delegates from the West Region; Canada West; Canada East (Genevieve Robinson was acting as a Provincial Officer) & only one from the Northeast Region.
Paul Keating gave the 2015 Concert Tour Report. We tried something different with the Concert Tour in the States this year. The Tour was concentrated in the Mid-Atlantic Region. The tour was very much appreciated & there were 15 people with the Tour under Joe Arkins. The quality of the Tour was excellent. Paul indicated we need to find new venues. The Tour is hard to sustain cost-wise & hard to justify but our Meitheal Funding by Department of Foreign Affairs & Tourism Ireland helps us with the funding not only for the Concert Tour but Fleadhs, Convention, Treoir, etc. Housing individuals is becoming very difficult & you can’t count on the branches to house the Tour group. Tom Vesey thanked Paul for all of his work with the Tour & the transportation of the Tour.
Concert Tour was great success in Mid-Atlantic Region.
The NASC Raffle has been discontinued. The “Big Raffle” in Ireland has replaced the NASC with the prize being $20,000.00. The ticket cost was $25 with the Branch being able to keep $17 of the money & sending $8 on to Ireland. Drawing is in December for the prize money.
Helen indicated that we need to train musicians who can play at Feis’.
Feis musicians need to know the sets & it’s a great way of earning extra money. The SCT exams will be offered at the Convention in St. Louis. New 2016 SCT Syllabus is available & can be downloaded at sct.comhaltas.ie or email email@example.com
SCT offered at the St. Louis Convention;
2016 SCT Syllabus can be downloaded at
Sct.comhaltas.ie or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Motion to Adjourn by Rory Chole; Seconded by Patty Furlong. Motion passed.