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  • 2023 Information Session 


    1) Acknowledgements and Admissions

    Since we launched paid membership in 2021, there has been a seismic shift in the landscape of Canadian Soccer. Driven by the success of the national teams, interest has surged but the spotlight has also shone more intently. For The Voyageurs, we've tried our best to ride this wave and we certainly have some successes to celebrate. We have planned for more games, secured more tickets, organized more events, hosted more watch parties, and shipped more pieces of merchandise than ever before. People's passions and enthusiasm has at times been both overwhelming and exceeded our expectations, whether that be from membership sales or flag and tifo donations. It's been quite a ride.

    There are many people to acknowledge. Of course, Jamie is an appropriate person to start with ... no one has poured more hours into The Voyageurs than Jamie and most of us are aware of that. Around him we have had an 'admin team' all of whom have put in significant hours: Kristin Knowles, Alex Ho, Nicky Cottee, Matt Serson, James Covey, and Aubrey Lustig. As we move forward, many of these people will continue to play important roles, but as you'll see we will be asking for more help. 

    Additionally, Trevor Dorsay has stepped into the role of 'shipper in chief' and upped the efficiency and accuracy of our merch shipping. Mark Hinkley and Annie Hart have done and continue to do a ton of work on designs for scarves, shirts, stickers, and banners. And on top of that, we've had literally hundreds pitch in for stadium setup, flag assembling, and watch party organization. None of what we've managed to do happens without that whole community. It has all been incredibly gratifying.

    However, there have been areas we've not accomplished what we've wished. When we started this most recent journey we promised members that they'd have their say in an elected board, we'd have a larger more capable organizational structure, we'd have financial transparency, we would have more membership perks, and we would do better on the communications front. We're closer on all of these things, but we are not quite there yet. This meeting is to update everyone and layout our plan and approach to address these outstanding goals.


    2) Financial Report - Aubrey Lustig

    The Voyageurs officially incorporated in 2018. We are registered not-for-profit corporation, meaning that all money earned from business activities are put back into the corporation.  Our main sources of revenue are merchandise (ie scarves, toques, t-shirts) and memberships. Concurrently, our main costs relate to the purchase of merchandise from suppliers, subsequent shipping/postage expenses and gameday related expenses (flags, TIFOs etc). Furthermore, our payment processing platform takes a fee from each purchase made through the Voyageurs website.

    For the first three years of incorporation, there was minimal activity with web hosting fees being the largest cost component.

    With the membership drive of 2021 there was a significant uptick in financial activity. We sold approximately 2,500 memberships during the year, resulting in a cash inflow of just over $50,000. Furthermore, we had successful releases of both the 25th anniversary scarf and special Voyageurs toque.

    As a result, the Voyageurs were cash flow positive in 2021, with a net cash position (which is the year end bank balance +/- amounts owed or owing) of $10,154. This positive balance has allowed us to purchase additional inventory and fund matchday events at the start of 2022. From an accounting perspective, we had a net loss of approximately $12,000 in 2021, but this is just due to the timing of revenue recognition for memberships.

    Furthermore, at the end of 2021 we lost ‘small supplier’ status due to exceeding the required revenue thresholds. Therefore, starting in 2022 we now charge GST/PST/HST on all purchases.

    We are currently working on finalizing the 2022 financial statements as we move towards the June 30 filing deadline, but the net cash position as of December 31, 2022, is expected to be approximately $5,000. The main revenue drivers during the year were another 1,000 membership sales in the first three months of the year, followed by the release of the Qatar scarf and related merchandise.

    We once again find ourselves in a strong cash position to continue implementing our initiatives in 2023, which includes merchandising for the upcoming Women’s World Cup, the planned release of a new scarf, and providing significant support to our WNT/XNT for their Olympic qualifying playoff in September. We have also started the membership renewal process in the past couple of weeks and will release more information about the membership package shortly.


    3) Update on Organization - Board Composition and Elections

    Voyageurs Election Process 2023 Update

    When the Voyageurs began the modernization process a few years ago, one of the priorities of the steering committee was to launch the first Board of Directors election process.

    Like a lot of our initiatives, this process has taken some time because of our busy schedules and the unprecedented amount of necessary work the Vs have undertaken recently.

    Led by a few individuals we’ve started developing the process and tools for our first election.

    The first step was determining the correct size of our board.

    When we spoke to you last, we presented a proposed organizational structure and after careful consideration and research we’re moving ahead with a five member board of directors structure supported by an executive director and multiple volunteer committees.

    The board will be made up of one president, one secretary, one treasurer and two members-at-large.

    The executive director will be appointed by the board and will offer continuity and organizational knowledge as board members are elected and retire.

    Board members and volunteers will lead committees dedicated to specific activities to support the Vs mandate and agenda.

    We believe this structure will offer the flexibility and agility to move quickly as issues or interests arise.

    It will also allow for more engagement with willing members with an expanded volunteer capacity.

    And it will allow for safeguards in protecting who the Vs have organically become.

    The process itself is still being developed but we anticipate holding the first election this summer or fall.

    We’ll be looking to appoint some of the initial board positions and elect some.

    Temporarily appointing positions will allow for the smooth transition from the steering committee to a fully elected board.

    Those who are appointed will have to meet the necessary qualifications just as candidates for elected board positions will.

    The terms of appointed and elected positions will be staggered so that there is always board stability and an easy transition of responsibilities.

    For the initial process we’ve identified five stages of the critical path, pre-launch, launch, collection, assessment and selection.

    During the pre-launch stage, the election process team will identify the positions that need to be filled, the requirements for those positions and develop various competition related materials (poster, nomination forms, etc.).

    During the launch stage, the announcement will be made, most likely via email, and the webpage for the election will be developed and made live.

    During the collection stage, candidates will be nominated and will complete the necessary applications.

    During the assessment stage, the election process team will assess candidates to ensure the minimum requirements for the positions are met and the final candidate list will be developed.

    And finally during the selection stage, candidates will present to members in some form or another, voting will happen and the winners will be determined.

    We intend to do almost all, if not all, of this digitally as we recognize our members are across the country.

    With that, our hope is to have a board of directors that is representative of our members based on gender, geography, language, etc. but we also recognize that our membership is small and there may not be interest from some segments.

    As we continue on the path of modernization our hope is to address any perceptions of inequality in our leadership and foster an environment where all segments of our membership feel empowered to participate.

    So with that we’ll get back to work on the election process and we’ll be coming to you with more details in the next few weeks.

    Thanks very much for your patience and understanding on this and all things.

    If you have any questions please feel free to reach out.


    4) Overview of committees, description of volunteer roles, and call for volunteers.

    Finance Committee - Shawn Mann will be taking over as treasurer and Aubrey Lustig and Alex Ho will serve on this committee.

    Steering & Elections Committee - Matt Serson and Alex Ho will serve on this committee but they might want to recruit one or two reliable people to help. This committee will do everything that needs to be done to keep us legal as a non-profit (filing returns, holding meetings, etc), making sure we are sticking to our own bylaws (and perhaps amending them when necessary), and conducting and holding elections.

    Membership Committee - We need 3-5 people who will be able to reliably check up on membership issues. They will monitor specific email addresses and the website's service ticket system and address membership concerns. They will also help plan and execute the yearly membership drive and membership package.

    Communications Committee - This group will prepare written statements for emails, website, and social media. Right now it is being handled in a fairly ad-hoc way, but Kristin Knowles is doing much of this work and she will continue. But we need 2-5 peopel depending on willingness to commit time.  We have promised membership that we would establish and maintain a newsletter and that would be a very big job in and of itself. We also need to do a much better job of communicating in French as it has been sporadic at best, so people willing to help us on that front would be much appreciated. 

    Awards Committee - We would like to establish a committee who not only determines what awards we should be giving out yearly, when players reach certain milestones, and when players retire, but also what awards we should be giving out to players who we've missed. So establishing what kinds of milestone awards we would want to give out and then awarding them to players who have passed them any time after 1996 would be one of the committee's big tasks. We are willing to commit some of our nest egg of funds to get us caught up with these awards.

    Merchandise Committee - We could use a few people to help us plan for new merchandise offerings, do design work, and research fulfillment and shipping solutions. Currently we manufacture and ship most of the merch ourselves, but it would help for people with knowledge or skills in these areas to possibly present alternatives.

    Local Organizing Committees - We have a loose collection of 'go-to' people in many communities across Canada, but we would like to formalize this. People on these committees would organize watch parties and plan for potential games. Obviously the second one is not going to involve that many cities, but one can dream.

    If you are interested in volunteering please get in touch at


    5) Goals for 2023

    Goal number one will be to fill the positions on the BoD and to fill as many of the volunteer positions as we can. Then we will be trying to get everyone working on the things they should be working on such as sending out the membership packages, creating and putting out a newsletter, establishing and giving out player awards, and including more French language communication.

    We have a number of initiatives that focus on the Women's National Team and World Cup 2023. Membership packages will include a WC2023 themed patch, we have a potential new scarf in the design process, and we are targeting the September home game as our biggest game of the year. We need to show up big for this game. It will be the first competitive match for the Women's National Team on home soil since 2015 (which frankly is hard to believe).

    We have many other initiatives in various stages. Some have to do with merch, others with partnerships and outreach programs. But we will save those details for when they are ready.

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