Planning for the Future – June 16, 2020

Hello to all our members.  I hope you are well and staying healthy. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives, and we continue to find ways to cope and to stay healthy.   Over the past three months, the Executive Committee has been discussing among ourselves and with other camera clubs and organizations a path forward for the Trillium Photographic Club. 

Ideally, we would like to resume our in-person meetings as soon as possible because socializing is an integral part of our club’s activities.  However, it appears that a vaccine for COVID-19 will not be available until the new year at the earliest, so we are making plans to transition to an on-line club until such time as we can resume our normal activities. 

It seems likely in this age of information-sharing that we will draw closer to other camera clubs and associations.  We are fortunate in that the Hamilton Camera Club has extended to Trillium the opportunity to join in some of their webinars.  We hope that our application to join the Niagara Frontier Region Camera Club (NFRCC), which is made of 18 individual photography and camera clubs, will be approved this coming August.  The annual fee for Trillium would be a modest $20, which enables us to participate as a club in their activities, and for our members to attend invited talks in all constituent club meetings gratis.  The Ontario Council of Camera Clubs (OCCC) has been most helpful in organizing meetings and exchanges of ideas by constituent camera clubs on the use of technologies and digital platforms to facilitate our meetings, to establish a roster of speakers able to present on-line, and on ways to keep members engaged. 

We’ve chosen Zoom as our platform for our general meetings, Interest Group meetings, and meetings of the Executive Committee.  Why?  Because Zoom is functionally rich, widely used, easily accessible, very usable, and free (for sessions less than 40 minutes).  You will likely have read of early security issues with Zoom.  These have largely been addressed by the company’s system upgrades, proper security settings, not sharing passwords with non-members, and vigilant meeting moderators.  We will buy a Trillium subscription that will allow us to have longer meetings, and for 100 people.  If you have not done so already, we encourage you to visit the Zoom website [type this in your browser’s search window: zoom.us]. You can easily create an account and download the Zoom Web Client.  Remember to check out the tutorials as well as the many You Tube videos that are available. 

We are fortunate in that Andy Langs and Dan Copeland are expert Zoomers.  As well, Orchid Fung has arranged for several members to act as Zoom moderators for our meetings, as needed.  They will be getting the necessary training over the next month.  For those who would like to make a presentation at a general meeting but are hesitant because you feel that you don’t know enough about Zoom, we can arrange that a moderator who knows Zoom can work with you as you make the presentation.  It can be as easy as in olden days when we gave slide shows, and you would say to the person at the projector, “Next slide, please”. 

Our Program Committee, led by Orchid Fung, has done a good job organizing our activities for the 2020-2021 season.  You can see the program on our web site (trilliumphotoclub.org).  It is a mix of talks by invited speakers, clinics, members’ challenges, critique nights and workshops.  The only difference will be that our general meetings will be on-line for the time being.  As social distancing allows, we may also have outings of our Interest Groups.  The program is subject to change, for example in activities in March and April.  Orchid is still looking for speakers and for volunteers to host meetings. 

Orchid has also put a lot of thought into summer activities to keep members engaged.  Such activities are not meant to repeat program events and topics already established for next season, but will be more in the nature of socializing, providing a forum for members to meet on-line, exchange ideas and participate in interactive events such as photo trivia, quizzes and challenges.  She will be scheduling a Zoom meeting for the evening of Tuesday June 30 (details will follow next week).  There will be an opportunity for people to learn about Zoom and ask questions about our club.  tentative schedule of summer activities will be posted on our web site soon.  I’d like to point out that the frequency of meetings, and topics, depends upon your interests and your contributions, specifically in helping Orchid.  This will be your summer program.  She cannot do all this alone. 

A reminder that we have a Trillium Facebook group.  It’s a good way to keep in touch with other members, show your work, see theirs, ask questions and give and get ideas. 

We also invite your thoughts on the future of the Club, as well as suggestions for on-line activities.  Please send them to [email protected]. 

We hope you have a safehealthy and happy summer, and we look forward to seeing you in September if not sooner. 

Sent on behalf of the Executive Committee. 

 

Jim Maguire 

President, 2019-2021 

Trillium Photographic Club