Amnesty International Toronto Organization

Regional Meeting Planning session

September 14, 2004




In attendance


Patrick Furey, Wayne Smith (chair), Patricia Grenier, Andy Buxton, Bridgette Clark, Elena Dumitru, Aubrey Harris, April Viczko, Marilyn McKim, Karen Eaton, Maria Amuchastegui




Sasha Baglay, Iris Nowell, Nona MacDonald


General discussion


There was some discussion about whether we should try to help out of town attendees find hotels.  Marilyn also suggested that billeting out-of-towners might be possible.  No specific decisions were taken.


Patricia reported some 12 paid up registrations (23 as at Sept 16), and reminded us of the firm Oct 6th deadline.




Item is in the current Activist.  The calendar notice has been issued.  The meeting is referenced at the AITO website, but not yet at the national AI website.  Elena has sent the notice to Toronto area leaders and fieldworkers.  Agreed that we will repeat the message in as many of these media as possible.


Food and Venue – Bridgette Clark


The menu is final, incorporating the changes agreed at the July 20 meeting.  Bridgette has begun work on the evaluation form.  She will also arrange a board for people to write suggestions through the day.  Agreed that we will get name cards for speakers, and have nametags (‘hello my name is X’) for all participants.  We will have special nametags for guests and for organisers.  Elena may be able to find enough of these around the office, if not, we will have to buy them.


Bridgette reported that we have access to the venue at 8AM, so organising committee members should try to get there at 7:59AM since there will be lots of set-up work.


Bridgette needs to know the AV requirements for all workshops (eg, flip charts, Vugraph) ahead of time.  All workshop groups should let her know their needs.  She also needs to know the requirements for speakers and panels.  Patricia needs to know the names of all guest speakers for budget and name card purposes.


It was agreed that we’ll use existing charts as decorations at the event.  The Art team (April and Susanne) will assist in setting up and may create some new materials as well.  Agreed we will buy some potted flowers for the lunchroom.  Andy will buy and bring these.




Susan Starkman and Dawn Michaels from group 63 have volunteered to help.  They will be working with Bridgette at registration.  Andy to inform them of this.


Registrants will be supplied with a map and the program for the day as they register.  Aubrey is preparing these.  Each workshop and panel team should provide Aubrey a ‘blurb’ (3 sentences only) describing the item.  Target is to get the program done by Sept 24.  Andy will email map and program to all registrants who provide an email address.  Bridgette and her team will mail hard copies to those with no email address.  Patricia will provide names, addresses, and email addresses as they are received.


Participants will receive a hard copy of the program on Oct 16 as they register.  They will not need to sign up for specific workshops – we will simply ask people to go to the workshops of their choice during the three workshop periods.


Program details/Workshops


Elena reported that she has details for most of the workshops.  Each workshop team still needs to create the 3 line ‘blurb’ for the program.  Elena confirmed that Kevin Keane of Land Mines Canada will attend. 


Maria reported that Madelaine Drohan will be one participant at the Canadian Resource Sector workshop.  AI national will cover her travel cost from Ottawa.


‘Doves for Freedom’ Action


This action will feature Malaysian human rights activist Irene Fernandez.  Meeting attendees will be asked to hand write a letter to the Malaysian Prime Minister, and then fold a simple origami dove.  The doves will be attached to a large board in the shape of the AI candle.  At the end of the day, the letters will be mailed in several large envelopes.


Other things we need to think about


·        Patricia reminded everyone to keep receipts, and ensure she gets them clearly marked as to what the expense was, incurred by whom

·        Aubrey will bring his laptop in case we want to use the crystal projector (plenary room only)

·        Elena reported that Florin will videotape the plenary speaker (Alex Neve)

·        Agreed we will not require specific rapporteurs

·        Wayne will write the final report (required by AI national to support the funding they supplied)

·        Patricia needs merchandise table volunteers (current volunteer crew: Patricia, Nona, Wendy Phillips, Wayne, Marilyn)

·        Marilyn agreed to drive the merchandise to Metro Hall

·        We will need ‘greeters’ at the main doors to Metro Hall – April and Elena volunteered (we may need a few others)

·        We will need signs at the 2 doors (Art team?)

·        Agreed we will give small gifts to the speakers from existing AITO merchandise (Patricia will arrange and assemble with Elena and Marilyn)

·        Reminder to all organising committee members – we must all register and pay our $25 fee (separate reminder has been sent)

·        Wayne and Elena will be the photographers for the day


Next (final) meeting


Wednesday Oct 6th, 7PM, at the AI Toronto office. Final readiness review.


Appendix – draft agenda


8:30                             Registration

9:00                             Opening plenary

9:30                             Workshops (Econ social cultural rights, death penalty, refugees)

10:45                           Break

11:00                           Panel on Stop Violence Against Women campaign/issue

12:15                           Lunch and keynote speaker (Alex Neve)

1:30                             Workshops (Fundraising, public speaking, Art)

2:45                             Break

3:00                             Workshops (Landmines, Resource sector abroad, free trade impact on women in the Americas)

4:15                             Closing plenary (Armed conflict – AI’s concerns and issues on the use of force)

5:15                             Closing remarks

5:30                             End of meeting


Origami ‘Doves for Freedom’ ongoing through the day