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Strategic Plan 2014-2019

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STRATEGIC PLAN 2014-2019

Draft approved by the QAHN Board of Directors, Montreal, January 11, 2014.
Submitted to the QAHN membership via Heritage Line for feedback, January 14-February 21, 2014.
Revised Draft approved by the QAHN Board of Directors, Montreal, April 12, 2014.
Draft Strategic Plan approved at the QAHN AGM, Stanbridge East, June 7, 2014.

Table of Contents
Mission & Vision……….3
I: Context……….3
II: Strategic Goals……….4
A: Networking & Outreach……….5
B: Member Services……….6
C: Communications……….8
D: Internal Governance & Funding……….9
III: Appendix……….11

Mission:
The Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN) is a
non-profit, non-partisan umbrella organization
engaged with its members in promoting preservation
of the built, cultural and natural heritage of Quebec.

Vision:
QAHN aims to advance knowledge of the history of
Quebec’s English-speaking communities by informing, inspiring and connecting
people through its activities. Membership is open to anyone
with an interest in Quebec history, heritage and culture.
Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network, 2009.

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I: CONTEXT

Following 13 years of steady growth, the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN) began the process of drafting a new-5-year strategic plan in the summer of 2013. A Strategic Planning Committee, consisting of three members of the board and the executive director, was mandated to study various options related to the planning process.

The Strategic Planning Committee opted to begin the process with a strategic planning summit, where members of the board, the executive director and key volunteers would be invited to reflect upon QAHN's current and recent activities and policy directions, and to share their vision for the future of the organization. Based on the ideas that emerged from this day-long session, the committee would then prepare a draft document which would eventually be submitted to QAHN's membership for feedback and ultimately ratification.

To assist QAHN in the planning process, a facilitator from the Centre for Community Organizations (COCo), Kit Malo, was engaged to conduct a pre-summit survey of participants, to plan and lead the one-day summit, and to assist with follow-up.

The summit took place in Longueuil on September 7, 2013. There were 16 participants in attendance. Several others responded to a pre-summit survey sent out by email. Following a day of exchange, the strategic goals of the heritage network were grouped into four key themes, each of which formed the basis of a sub-committee which then collated its findings and transmitted them to the Strategic Planning Committee for analysis.

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II: STRATEGIC GOALS

Contingent upon government funding levels and other sources of revenue, QAHN will pursue the following Strategic Goals over the next five years:

A. Networking & Outreach
Quebec's English-language heritage community is aware of QAHN and its activities, and shares the network's aims. Effective outreach and networking techniques enable QAHN to expand its influence both within and outside Quebec.

B. Member Services
Organizations and individuals working in Quebec's English-language heritage sector are strengthened as a result of QAHN's activities. QAHN is a strong advocate on the part of the province’s heritage sector.

C. Communications
Through effective use of print and digital communications, QAHN increases awareness of the heritage of English-speaking Quebec among Quebecers and other Canadians of all ages and backgrounds, and is a key actor in terms of keeping Quebec's English-language heritage community abreast of issues of common concern.

D. Internal Governance & Funding
Motivated heritage leaders from a variety of backgrounds and regions participate actively in a well-managed and well-funded heritage network, thus contributing to the preservation and the advancement of the diverse heritage of English-speaking Quebec.

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A: NETWORKING & OUTREACH:
Quebec's English-language heritage community is aware of QAHN and its activities, and shares the network's aims. Effective outreach and networking techniques enable QAHN to expand its influence both within and outside Quebec.

1. QAHN increases its outreach in communities across Quebec.

• Organize “meet and greets” with local civic and heritage leaders and members of the public in diverse communities around the province, to share information, keep participants appraised of QAHN and QAHN-member initiatives, and build the membership;
• Participate in community festivals around Quebec, such as Townshippers’ Day, Joe Beef Market, Irish Days in Douglastown, and so on;
• Participate in professional gatherings such as the annual QPAT convention, university conferences, etc;
• Develop and hold instructional workshops in various cities and regions for institutions and individuals working in the heritage sector;
• Seek funding for innovative projects that expand QAHN’s outreach, and benefit local member-groups.

2. Coverage of QAHN initiatives in local and regional media increases.

• Issue regular press releases relating to all major QAHN activities and selected QAHN-member activities;
• Publicize these activities on QAHN’s websites.

3. Institutional and individual memberships increase.

• Work to expand membership through outreach and by publicizing Quebec Heritage News and other QAHN initiatives among the public;
• Develop a communications plan to more effectively convey QAHN’s mission, goals and activities;
• Find new ways to publicize and market Quebec Heritage News and other QAHN products and services.

4. When possible, QAHN collaborates with, and enhances its connections to, French-language institutions and individuals working in Quebec’s heritage sector.

• Maintain membership in the Fédération Histoire Québec and other networks sharing heritage network’s broad aims;
• Encourage membership in QAHN among French-speaking organizations with connections to Quebec’s Anglophone heritage and history;
• Bilingual services are offered when resources permit;
• Maintain bilingual websites;
• Accept submissions to Quebec Heritage Web in English and/or French;
• Issue press releases and other communications in both English and French, where possible;
• Encourage bilingual activities whenever feasible.

5. QAHN broadens its membership and/or outreach beyond traditional, established cultural groups.

• Compile a directory of organizations active outside of QAHN’s traditional network, for example, groups working to preserve the heritage of English-speaking Greeks, Italians, Chinese, etc., including in that directory information on the activities these groups are engaged in;
• Enhance QAHN’s online Speaker’s Bureau by including storytellers, elders and historians from diverse cultural communities.

6. Implication in QAHN increases among younger Quebecers.

• Encourage school-related activities, including heritage essay and heritage photo contests;
• Encourage usage among students of QAHN websites such as Quebec Heritage Web, Mapping the Mosaic, 100 Objects and others;
• Pursue student internships with English-language universities such as Concordia, McGill and Bishop’s;
• Collaborate on educational projects with organizations such as Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations, the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling (Concordia), the Eastern Townships Resource Centre (Bishop’s), the Community Learning Centres, schools and school boards, and others;
• QAHN publications, DVDs and other products are made available to schools across Quebec and Canada;
• Youth membership in QAHN encouraged;
• Encourage volunteerism in the heritage sector among young Quebecers.

B: MEMBER SERVICES:
Organizations and individuals working in Quebec's English-language heritage sector are strengthened as a result of QAHN's activities. QAHN is a strong advocate on the part of the province’s heritage sector.

1. QAHN keeps abreast of: i) new legislation and funding opportunities for the heritage sector; ii) innovations in the field of heritage preservation and communications; and iii) issues of common interest to the heritage community, and communicates the same to our members and to the heritage community at large.

• Consult regularly with federal and provincial funding agencies, and monitor developments in heritage legislation;
• Issue regular Heritage Line e-bulletins and occasional special news bulletins to subscribers and member-group personnel;
• Write articles pertaining to current developments in Quebec’s heritage sector for Quebec Heritage News magazine and QAHN’s websites.

2. A program of educational events is instituted, focusing on topics such as: i) best practices for small museums and historical societies; ii) fundraising; iii) exhibition techniques; iv) board renewal; v) motivating volunteers; vi) grant-writing; and vii) other themes of interest to the heritage community.

• Workshops and conferences focusing on diverse topics of interest to heritage sector staff and volunteers are held across Quebec;
• Expert speakers are engaged to lead these events.

3. QAHN provides referral service for member-groups seeking information.

• Names and contact information for appropriate resource persons are supplied upon request;
• QAHN Speaker’s Bureau continues to serve as a resource tool for member-groups;
• Regular updates and additions of resource persons, historians, storytellers, and so on, are made to the Speaker’s Bureau.

4. QAHN’s quarterly print magazine, printed and digital handbooks, and regional and project-based websites serve as resource tools for heritage workers across Quebec, and as venues for sharing stories and practical information about the heritage of English-speaking Quebec.

• Publish news items and feature articles in English and/or French on issues of concern to the heritage community in Quebec Heritage News, on QAHN’s webmagazines and on QAHN.org;
• Publish multi-media content, including digital audio and video, pertaining to oral history and other heritage projects;
• Maintain and expand project-funded websites, such as “Mapping the Mosaic” and “100 Objects,” whenever appropriate and feasible;
• Publish and make available practical handbooks, CDs and other resource tools pertaining to heritage conservation.

5. QAHN-sponsored projects contribute to strengthening the knowledge and skills of individuals and associations working in Quebec’s English-language heritage sector.

• Pursue initiatives that involve several partners and a multi-region- or province-wide focus;
• Support activities that help to fund local heritage projects;
• Develop educational programs that increase knowledge and skills among heritage workers;
• Assist the English-speaking community to interpret and promote its history and heritage.

6. QAHN recognizes individual volunteers and organizations who have contributed in a significant and sustained way to preserving and promoting the heritage and history of English-speaking Quebec.

• In advance of annual QAHN convention, Nominations & Awards Committee solicits and reviews nominations for the Marion Phelps and Richard Evans awards to recognize outstanding contributions by individual heritage leaders and community groups;
• Awards are presented at the annual QAHN convention and publicized in regional media;
• QAHN awards program contributes to motivating volunteers in Quebec’s English-language heritage sector.

7. QAHN advocates effectively for better awareness, preservation and funding of Quebec’s English-language Quebec.

• Draft guidelines to govern QAHN advocacy activities;
• Heritage network supports the efforts of local grass roots organizations and/or municipalities in their preservation / publicity campaigns;
• Issue press releases and drafts briefs for presentation to (and/or consult with) various levels of government, concerning heritage preservation, legislation, funding programs, and so on;
• In collaboration with other heritage groups in Quebec, petition provincial and federal government agencies and political leaders for greater support for the work of the non-profit heritage sector;
• Participate in public consultations that could influence government policy and budget decisions affecting investment in heritage.

C: COMMUNICATIONS:
Through effective use of print and digital communications, QAHN increases awareness of the heritage of English-speaking Quebec among Quebecers and other Canadians of all ages and backgrounds, and is a key actor in terms of keeping Quebec's English-language heritage community abreast of issues of common concern.

1. Communications Committee meets regularly to discuss, develop and assess communications strategy, and to offer guidance about issues pertaining to Quebec Heritage News and other QAHN communications tools.

• Communications Committee meets 2-3 times per year;
• Communications plan is drafted to guide network communications;
• Formulate and implement strategies to streamline network communications;
• Formulate and implement IT policy for QAHN and QAHN-sponsored projects.

2. Websites Sub-committee oversees consolidation of regional web magazines and project websites.

• Sub-committee meets 2-3 times per year to assess website effectiveness and to propose new strategies.

3. Pending an increase in funding levels, a new part- or full-time staff position is created to oversee QAHN’s print and digital communications.

• A Communications and Outreach Coordinator is hired to help further strategic goals.

4. Quebec Heritage News published quarterly; serves as the English-language heritage magazine in Quebec.

• Proactively promote print magazine among potential subscribers and advertisers;
• Develop marketing strategies that raise the profile of the magazine and increase subscriptions;
• A growing and loyal stable of contributors to the magazine ensures that each issue features diverse and engaging content;
• Subscriptions (memberships) increase;
• Paid advertising contributes significantly to defraying the costs associated with producing and distributing the magazine.

5. The constituent webmagazines of Quebec Heritage Web (Townships Heritage; Laurentian Heritage; Gaspesian Heritage and Outaouais Heritage) serve as dynamic, current platforms through which Quebecers and Canadians of all ages can explore and share the heritage and history of English-speaking Quebec.

• New content submissions to web magazines, including press releases and other material, are regularly received;
• Member-organizations keep QAHN apprised of changes required to the information contained on their QAHN-sponsored web pages;
• Increase in number of digital oral histories and mini-documentaries on websites;
• User feedback encouraged;
• Website usage is monitored; increases gradually;
• Websites are maintained by QAHN communications staff and volunteers.

6. Heritage Line e-bulletin, produced by QAHN and offered free of charge to subscribers, serves as a source of information on news and events of interest to the heritage community of English-speaking Quebec.

• Build subscriber base;
• Assess Heritage Line frequency (weekly, bi-monthly, etc.).

7. Social media and other web-based applications are more effectively integrated into communications strategy.

• Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Survey Monkey, and other tools are increasingly exploited to expand QAHN’s reach, and that of its member-groups.
• Links are forged with other groups around Quebec working to preserve and publicize diverse aspects of the heritage of English-speaking Quebec.

8. Effective communications increase QAHN’s ability to receive and respond to feedback from members of the heritage community.

• Annual survey of institutional and individual members is conducted by email or other means to help QAHN assess its services and adherence to strategic goals.

D: INTERNAL GOVERNANCE & FUNDING:
Motivated heritage leaders from a variety of backgrounds and regions participate actively in a well-managed and well-funded heritage network, thus contributing to the preservation and the advancement of the diverse heritage of English-speaking Quebec.

1. QAHN board, committees and staff meet regularly to oversee operations.

• Board of directors meets 3-4 times per year;
• Executive Committee meets 2-3 times per year;
• Communications Committee meets 2-3 times per year;
• Websites Sub-committee, Nominations & Awards Committee, and other ad hoc committees meet as required;
• Regular staff meetings are held;
• Roles and responsibilities of the board, Executive, Executive Director and the other permanent and project staff are clearly defined in writing;
• Board members actively participate in and/or assume responsibility for specific dossiers;
• Staff and board performance are appraised;
• Employee compensation agreements are reviewed by Executive Committee;
• A committee, including younger members, is formed to address youth issues.

2. Board of directors includes individuals from diverse cultural and/or ethnic backgrounds, age groups and regions of Quebec.

• Board recruits members from diverse cultural and/or ethnic communities, age groups and regions.

3. Successful QAHN convention is held in a different community each year.

• Important issues and interesting programming attract growing numbers of participants each year.

4. Executive Director and Executive Committee conduct annual operations review and submit yearly action plan for board approval.

• Annual operational review and action plan are submitted near the end of each fiscal year (March) to the board.

5. Funding Diversification Committee is established to investigate strategies for broadening QAHN’s funding base, and to make recommendations to the board.

• Following careful study, concrete, achievable recommendations are made to the board and implemented.
• Avenues to explore include: establishing an arm’s-length registered charitable foundation to help support educational and publishing initiatives; partnering with an existing foundation; increasing revenues through corporate sponsorships; marketing strategies to expand magazine subscriptions; advertising; and so on.

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III: APPENDIX:

QAHN Strategic Planning Committee:
Simon Jacobs, President (Quebec City)
Grant Myers, Director (Sherbrooke)
Dorothy W. Williams, Director (Montreal)
Matthew Farfan, Executive Director (Stanstead)
Kit Malo, Centre for Community Organizations (Montreal)

Respondents to Preliminary Survey (August 2013):
Susan Chirke, Director, QAHN (Morin Heights)
Michael Cooper, President, Fairbairn House (Wakefield)
Heather Darch Curator, Missisquoi Museum (Stanbridge East)
Richard Evans, Treasurer, QAHN (Waterville)
Matthew Farfan
Steven High, Director, QAHN (Montreal)
Simon Jacobs
Rod MacLeod, Chair, Montreal Committee / Editor, Quebec Heritage News, QAHN (Montreal West)
Carol Meindl, Director, QAHN (Montreal)
Ann Montgomery, Director, QAHN (Ogden)
Jo-Ann Oberg-Muller, Vice President, QAHN (Knowlton)
Grant Myers
Kevin O'Donnell, Past President / Volunteer, QAHN (Hudson)
Rick Smith, Director, QAHN (LaSalle)
Sandra Stock, Former Vice-President / Volunteer, QAHN (Montreal)
Dwane Wilkin, SHOWI project staff, QAHN (Trenholm)
Dorothy W. Williams

Participants, QAHN Strategic Planning Session (September 7, 2013):
James Caputo
Susan Chirke
Richard Evans
Matthew Farfan
Derek Hopkins, Secretary (Brossard)
Simon Jacobs
Rod MacLeod
Carol Meindl
Ann Montgomery
Grant Myers
Jo Ann Oberg-Muller
Kevin O’Donnell
Richard Smith
Sandra Stock
Dorothy W. Williams

Facilitator (September 7, 2013):
Kit Malo, Centre for Community Organizations (Montreal)