Annual General Meeting

2021 AGM
Tuesday September 21, 2021 ~ 7:00pm

September 9, 2021

As I sit down to write this letter, we are on the eve of the 2021/22 season. Just in the past week, I have seen the enthusiasm as our competitive players practice and our launchpad program hits the ice. There is tremendous optimism for the season ahead. We are also leaning on lessons learned over the past year to prepare for any changes, managing restrictions, etc. The past year and a half have taught us a lot, including the importance of:

  • Our members' health – a big shoutout goes to our volunteers who ensured the safety processes ran as smoothly as possible, including our team safety representatives.
  • Engaging our kids in activities – even though we were unable to get on the ice for a good period of time, we rolled out the Wildcat Way online series and had over 1,000 participants. We plan on continuing our hybrid programming in 2021/22.
  • A solid financial position – our reserve is set aside for rainy days, and COVID-19 has been a downpour. We ran some programs last season at a loss, but we remain financially strong.
  • The value of teams – the team is the core, and we have been able to keep this together through the commitment and great communications of our volunteers and coaches. Thank you!
  • Finally, the importance of the overall Leaside Wildcat family – thank you for your patience and support.

Even in bad times, there are silver linings. We only had a fraction of our programming running over the past season. Our senior league, for example, was put on pause for a year. We also missed two March Break Madness tournaments, which are our only association-wide fundraiser. That said, we have a very strong base to move forward with. Over 90% of our members rate Toronto Leaside Wildcat hockey as very good or excellent. Our supportive culture is our top attribute, something we plan on continuing to strengthen. Parents wanted better skills development. We recruited Kim McCullough to run hockey operations. To our knowledge, the Wildcats were the first female hockey association to have such a position, but it hasn't taken long before others began following our lead. We are also proud of being awarded a federal gender equity grant, which will be used to fund our 2022 First Shift program. This program is in cooperation with The Neighborhood Organization out of Flemington Park, and is focused on getting more girls engaged in our sport.

Last is our exceptionally strong board. In particular, I would like to thank three outgoing board members – Jenna McEachern (head trainer, competitive), Lee Heinrich (director, player development for house league), and Jennifer Smith. Jennifer had been on the board since 2009 and served as president until 2019.


Mark Schrutt