Administrative Director – Intro & Centre Updates

Hello,

Thank you for your attention – there is much to share with you!

Since many of you may not know me, let me introduce myself. I grew up in the country outside of Yarmouth NS and moved to Halifax in 1999. I started working within Shambhala, at what was once Vajradhatu Publications, way back in 2003. I have been a bookkeeper, office administrator, interim assistant director, finance manager and donation coordinator (just to name a few!) within Kalapa Publications and the Shambhala Archives. My husband Jay and I have 2 boys, who are now 11 and 13 years old. Life is busy and chaotic and amazing. 

When the offer came to sit in the finance office of the Centre in the fall of 2017, I felt like I was home. I could feel a profound peacefulness within our walls that spoke to me on a deep level and I know I wouldn’t have the same harmonious work/life balance anywhere else. Even with the turmoil and pain that has shifted the terrain of Shambhala, I know that meditation, kindness and goodness are the key points that can facilitate a forward path for all.

As I reflect on recent changes here at Halifax Shambhala Centre, I would like to express heartfelt appreciation to those directors who came before: Michelle Munro, who held her seat for nearly 5 years with grace and compassion and Kathryn Heckman, who stepped in to mind the gap with cheerfulness and wisdom until Harvest of Peace. For the past year, a Search Committee put tremendous energy into finding a new director for Halifax. In the end, no single applicant had come forward who had the depth of leadership experience to be the sole director at this time.

Combining our existing roles and strengths, Meg Vigerstad and I decided to undertake the Director position together. As an advanced practitioner, Meg leads with heart and is an excellent fit as our new Executive Director –  she is dedicated to cultivating the vision and manifestation of Shambhala society. As our new Administrative Director, I pledge to maintain the financial stability of the Centre while serving our community with my feet on the earth. Our positions are in place until at least Shambhala Day 2020, while we observe the sustainability of this directorship model. 

Administrative Updates

Parking

You may have noticed a new Staff Parking sign in our driveway. As you know, our back lot is small and often floods/turns into a skating rink in bad weather. We have at least 4 people working in the building who regularly drive here and we ask that you keep this in mind when visiting the Centre. If you park in this lot, please let a staff member know so we can find you if needed.

Space Rental

We are looking at alternate revenue streams and are putting a detailed rental policy into place. There are many configurations available – from large functions to smaller meeting or even a pop-up location for health practitioners. Please connect with our Facilities Manager Kaja at [email protected] with your requested dates & short event description for a copy of the rental policy. Halifax Shambhala Centre Members in good standing for at least 1 year are eligible for a 50% rental rate for one-off events (ie: baby showers, special ceremonies). Shambhala Groups and non-profits, please ask about affiliate arrangements.

Programming

We have a jam-packed programming calendar! Please be sure to keep an eye on our Facebook and calendar for detailed class offerings, in addition to our weekly Sunspot newsletter, along with our ongoing feasts and weekly open meditations. Should you have a program suggestion, please contact me or Meg!

NEW – Thanks to reception volunteers Calanda Mulder and Jacqueline Riemer, our community rooms and main shrine room are open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11-2 pm for general use. Please join us!

Financial Update

While we are fortunate not to have a mortgage on our building, looking in depth at our expenses shows that it costs an average of nearly $200 per day to keep our doors open (excluding staff salaries). When salaries are added in, we are averaging a deficit of $45 per day. Our programming income has decreased by 25%. Monthly member contributions have dropped by 15%. While we have reduced expenses by 30%, staffing is already at below-optimal levels for the size of our membership. 

Thanks to a conservative approach to expenditures, we are forecasting ending the year in a place of strength, without dipping into our reserve funds. Additionally, I’m happy to share that our Harvest of Peace non-attachment and generosity auction raised over $4000, which we are committed to putting towards our Generosity Fund, to allow more participation for those with financial barriers. 

Community Invitation & Thanks

Our small staff is dedicated to keeping the lights on and the programs rolling. We really couldn’t do it without your support. Thank you for all your varied contributions – from volunteering your time during programs to financial donations – we appreciate every bit. If you have been wanting to take on a role within the Centre, please let Meg or me know! Our doors and hearts are open and and I am dedicated to keeping it this way.

With intense gratitude and a promise to lead with stability and clarity,

~Aimee

Aimee Silver | Administrative Director (interim)

Halifax Shambhala Centre

902 420 1118 Ext 113 | [email protected]

Office Hours: M/T/W/F 10-4pm AT

 

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