It has been a busy year as always. Following our very successful trip to Cuba in May last year for the International Youth Arts festival -Romeria de Mayo, with 70 participants including our Satellite groups, NSCC musicians and friends and families, we had our AGM in June and got back to the tasks at hand. We initially deemed it a year to get organized, to get back on track, to raise funds and regroup after such a busy year getting ready for Cuba. So we started with a marketing and communications subcommittee, with an emphasis on getting our web site redone, getting our facebook page more active, and a general plan to improve our ability to get the word out as to who we are and what we do as los Primos society. There was to be a push on getting into the schools to recruit for the Satellite groups, as there are always spots to fill in the fall, and to get a good head start on the raffle draw, our main fund raiser of the year. Meanwhile, Augusto Enriquez and family spent a large chunk of the summer in the area do gigs, clinics and vacationing.
Meanwhile, plans started developing to bring the Back Alley Big band down to Havana in October for another festival and a chance to perform both Latin music and Swing with Augusto Enriquez in a show entitled “Sinatra meets More”. With a few “practice” shows around town to promote the trip and help raise funds, Los Primos supported our Back Alley Big Band in this hugely successful musical and cultural exchange.
Following this trip, work on marketing and particularly our web site continued, meanwhile getting the raffle tickets out to schools and groups all over Nova Scotia. The Rockingham Primos picked up a few new band members to fill out their ranks and under the direction of Dave Burton got going with rehearsals early in the fall, as did the Tantallon Primos, under Alexis Shcurman and Kristen Wells. Both groups have had many gigs and concerts through the year and have been very successful in their growth and improvement as bands. The Preston Primos got going under Jeff Goodspeed’s direction after Christmas. The participants of the Rose St. Primos grew up and went off to university, so unfortunately after many successful years under Rick Waeychesco, that band was not possible this year.
Our board meetings continued monthly, and thanks to the increase in board members to a maximum of 12, we managed to have a quorum in all but a very few meetings so agenda items were dealt with quite effectively.
Our Dance for All Ages was held again in February as it has been annually for years now, with the Satellite bands and the Back Alley Big Band with Augusto Enriquez being the main acts and thanks to Cindy Davis and the Salseros, there was Salsa dancing lessons and fun for dancers of all abilities. Our Cuba trip for 4 raffle was drawn that night completing that fund raising event for the year. Meanwhile, since Augusto was again in Nova Scotia, he was enlisted to teach a vocal group at NSCC and various performances were arranged.
With the improved website, it was determined that our Los Primos t-shirts should be revamped. Without much cost the embroidered chest design was changed from Los Primos to Los Primos.ca .We also started work on a second t-shirt to use a design reflective of the satellite groups and put a list of Los primos accomplishments over the years on the back. Time ran out (and so did money), but we are hopeful to get this new t-shirt printed and ready for sale and gifts in the near future as it will provide a strong promotional, educational item for our group.
Last but not least, the Los Primos society sponsored “13 years of Sunday Jazz” at Stayner’s Wharf last Sunday. This was a fund raising event for our group with 50-50 draws, a raffle on NS Crystal, t-shirts for sale and door prizes throughout the event. It was also a great opportunity to showcase 13 bands including the Rockingham, Tantallon and Preston Primos, many NSCC groupings as well as Jeff Goodspeed and friends in various bands and arrangements. It was also a great event, well attended and very enjoyable for those who were there.
Finally, one further improvement made this year for the Los Primos society was in obtaining the assistance of a Chartered Accountant, Jeff Mullen, who agreed to update all our financials and make us compliant with the requirements of Joint Stocks. As a registered not for profit organization, this was a very important step in allowing us to move forward with our fund raising and music and cultural events. So a big thanks to Jeff.
I would like to take a moment to thank our executive members who are all volunteers and have attended many meetings, worked so hard and made this good work happen. We will be having a few changes in the board so there will be room for a few new faces. Cindy Davis has decided to step down from our board. Dan Goodspeed will leave his title of past president and stay on as member at large and Dale Meuse will step down as treasurer and become another member at large. I will be staying on in my second year as Chair and Paul Barrett as vice chair, Donna MacDonald has agreed to stay on in her second year as Secretary, Jeff good speed will continue as Artistic Director, and our other members at large will continue to be Eric Cestnick, Ken Paul, Jerry Rideout, and Kristen Wells. Michelle Rose has agreed to join us as our new treasurer. We still have room for a few more so if there is anyone from the floor who would like to offer themselves to be on the executive, we would be happy to include you.
Meanwhile, I look forward to another excellent year to come, building on our achievements this year. I expect to have many interesting and worthwhile events in the name of Cuban and Nova Scotian music and cultural exchange.
I respectfully submit this report.
Chairperson Los Primos Society 2015-16