AGM Report from the President

Dear Members,

Thank you to all who came out to the AGM last night in Cow Bay. The meeting was attended by a strong core of community members and the discussions were productive, inspiring, and exciting. Great things are brewing for 2017. We also screened "Breaking Ice", a documentary film on surfing in Nova Scotia by Mike Rossi. It was really fun to see some of the old footage again, and to see how far we have come, even since the release of this film. Thanks for being our AV man, Ryan. 

Let's take a look at 2016...

Surf-wise, it was a year ups and downs- some nice surprise swells during the summer, leading to a longboard contest at Martinique that was nothing short of epic, showcasing amazing local talent and a wonderful celebration of our surfing community. We got so close to holding a fall contest, with a 6 week holding period and a few hours spent sitting on the bluff all geared up to go, waiting for a swell that didn’t show. We also had an extremely strong year as an organization, initiating some exciting new partnerships to serve and expand the surfing community in Nova Scotia. For example, we had another successful year of Nova Scotia’s first-ever Mi’kmaq surf program, which saw greater participation than ever and for the first time ever, Mi’kmaq youth as junior surf instructors. We also piloted the Cowabunga Kids surf camps which were a success. We hope to deliver this camp again this year- stay tuned!

SANS donated $1000 to SurfAble in 2016, the organization that brings Life Rolls on to Nova Scotia, which was held in August at Martinique Beach. This event was amazing and moving, with many Syrian families as well as other immigrants and refugees attending, and a record number of stoked volunteers. For those who don’t know, Life Rolls on is an organization which gives people with mobility disabilities the opportunity to go surfing.

The year closed with an excellent event hosted by a SANS board member and staple of the surf community, Jill Manos. She organized the Holiday Lady Slide (which actually happened January 2, 2017) in which a record number of surfer women came out to participate on a sunny and cold afternoon. It was slightly magical that the sun came out and the swell picked up, delivering perfect 4 foot waves, and many great rides were had against a backdrop of cheers, friendship, and pure stoke.

SANS was also able to assist local shredders Sam Julien and Sarah Zollinger to attend surf contests in other places. Sam competed in the ISA world Junior Championships in California, and Sarah competed in the Queen of the Peak in Tofino, BC. Currently Logan Landry is off competing on the world stage and doing quite well for himself.

Our coordinator, Beth, recently attended the Canadian Surf Association’s AGM in Tofino, where much of the focus was on building a Canadian Olympic Surf Program in the likely event that surfing becomes an official Olympic Sport in the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo. This could mean greater access to funding for the sport at the junior and amateur level, as well as greater opportunities for the more advanced surfer wishing to complete internationally. We will be sure to keep the community updated as this progresses.

Over the past few years we’ve been quite successful in advancing our 5-year strategic plan, and look forward to another year of core funding from the Province of Nova Scotia. This funding allows SANS to continue to hold contests and events at minimal cost to the broader surf community, and enables SANS to partner with other organizations, governments, and businesses to support surf-related initiatives and programs.

Looking forward to the upcoming year, we’ve got a lot of great stuff planned. We’d really like to get a winter surf contest in somewhere, with rumours of hot tubs onsite, or at the very least hold another video contest, which was just a really fun event. We will participate again in Oceans Week events, leading another annual beach clean up and presentation booth at World Oceans Day. The summer longboard contest will be back in August, followed by the Point Michaud Classic later in August, and of course stay tuned for details on the October Turkey Dip. The Mi’kmaq surf program is holding strong in Cape Breton, and we’re currently waiting to hear back about a funding proposal for the first ever First Nations Family Surf Festival in mid-July. Fingers crossed! SANS is also supporting the Life Rolls On event again in August at Martinique Beach.

As a volunteer organization, we rely on our membership, local businesses and dedicated individuals in the community to help make all this happen. A huge thanks goes out to all the sponsors, organizers and volunteers who provide their time, energy and ideas. If you’ve got a good idea, or some time and energy to contribute…contact SANS and help to make something positive happen for our surf community!

On behalf of the Board, thank-you for your ongoing support and we look forward to continuing to work on behalf of our membership.

Justin Huston
President, SANS

 
The Board of Directors is pleased to report on the following activities:

Strategic Plan

We continue to successfully implement the 5-year Strategic Plan.

Membership

Membership numbers grew steadily in 2016. This was in part because SANS has included our closed Facebook page as membership. We have taken this strategy because traditional methods of gaining membership hasn’t been as effective as we’d have liked.

Communicating with our diverse membership continues to be a bit of a challenge. Due in part to demographics, some like to receive e-mails, some check our website for information, and many use social media as their main form of communication. SANS has made the effort to communicate with our membership through all three methods.

2017 Contests, Events and Programs

- Booth at World Ocean’s Day on the Halifax Waterfront (June)
- Beach Clean Up (June)
- 7th Annual “Why Can’t We All Get A Longboard” contest. (August)
- The Point Michaud Classic (August)
- Cowabunga Kids Surf Camps (July/August)
- First Nations Surf Program (July/August)
- Fall Surf Contest (October)
- Nor’easter Winter Surf Contest (April?)

Online

In 2016 SANS extended its reach as the local source for surfing information though our website, Twitter and Facebook Page. As viewership continues to grow, one of the most helpful tools on the SANS website continues to be our contest sign-up functionality. This streamlined our process, made it easier for people to sign-up, and has helped us schedule heats and keep track of event participants.

Reed Holmes has been instrumental in managing the SANS. Reed continues to give us invaluable advice on new widgets and features to keep things up to date. www.surfns.com

Coastal Access Committee

SANS continues to work with local residents and our governments in order to ensure that we have infrastructure and access points along the coast. This year has been quieter due to a lack of access issues- a good thing!

Outreach

This past year SANS undertook the following activities to diversify and promote the sport of surfing in Nova Scotia:

- Booth at World Ocean’s Day on the Halifax Waterfront
- Holiday Lady Slide
- First Nations Surf Program
- Cowabunga Kids Camps

Sport NS Membership

SANS maintained its full membership in Sport NS as a Provincial Sport Organization.

HPP Core Funding

SANS received its sixth year of core funding from the Government of Nova Scotia. This funding provides SANS with financial stability, and has allowed the Association to maintain a part-time coordinator position. Furthermore, SANS can anticipate another four years of funding before re-applying.