Message from Sylvia Dorosh, the President of the Toronto Vintners Club.
Firstly, I would like to thank members for their support throughout this year. Your commitment to the club is helping to sustain us throughout a difficult time.
Secondly, the current situation has, as you know, significantly affected how we operate. Wine tastings are social events and put people in very close proximity and at risk for the spread of this virus. The board had worked hard to organize wines and speakers for the past four months only to cancel these events to ensure the safety of you - our members - and your guests. We are also affected by the University of Toronto Faculty Club – where we hold our events – as it has temporarily shuttered its doors and it’s not known when it will re-open.
The Board has been meeting regularly in the past few months to analyze the COVID-19 situation and to try and plan for an uncertain short-term future. We are hopeful that this virus will be eradicated; however, it’s likely that daily life will never be the same. We don’t know yet what this will mean for holding wine tastings. But we are certain that wearing a face mask and trying to imbibe wine would be very difficult!
In the meantime, your continued membership support is needed to maintain our core operation – the storage, protection, and insurance of the wine cellar – wines that belong to you, our members, as well as other expenses required to sustain and operate the club such as our Internet presence and so on. Wine storage and insurance are our biggest operating expenses and we have an obligation to safeguard the club’s assets – our wine cellar - even without incoming revenue from wine events to help cover those costs. The board has decided to put all new wine acquisitions on hold except to complete ones that were started in the past year. Our cellar contains enough wines to host several years’ worth of events once we are able to restart activities – which we hope will be this fall. The 2021 tasting schedule has now been posted on our website and we are planning the details of our autumn events.
Another major initiative that the Board has been working on for some time is the roll-out of a new set of Bylaws and Constitution. We are incorporated as a not-for-profit club and Ontario’s new Not-For-Profit Corporations Act (ONCA) has meant a rewrite of our governance documents as well as anticipating changes to how we operate. The changes mainly affect behind-the-scenes operations of our club. Although the legislation hasn’t been proclaimed yet, the Board has been proactive in preparing for it. Members will be sent a copy of the governance document in the next couple of weeks followed by an electronic ballot to vote to adopt the new Bylaws.
Until we resume our regular tastings, the Board is working to organize a few virtual wine tastings. As soon as details are known, members will be sent a notice by email.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please use the contact form on our website. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to thank the Toronto Vintners wine community for your support through this unprecedented time. We will get through this pandemic and we look forward to being able to taste great wines in person as soon as it’s deemed safe to do so.
Stay home and stay safe. Salut! To your health!
May 17, 2020