Strategic Planning

September 2019

From the President:

I hope everyone has had a lovely summer.  The HWSDA Working Group had a busy few months and as of last Sunday, have sent out packages regarding the Reinvention Options that the membership mandated us to look into at the AGM.

Please look closely at this document along with all the attached working group documents from our meetings.  Again, the 3 options that you will be voting on have come directly from the research from the past year, and I encourage you to read through the documents so you have a full picture of how we came to these final options.

The Special General Meeting (SGM) to vote on which of these options you as a membership would like to put in place, takes place on

Date: Sunday, September 22    Time:  1:00 pm

Location: Tin Roof Fibre Studio –  Priddis, Alberta.

RSVP: By September 15th your intention to attend to Judy Sysak at

We need you to either attend the meeting or send your proxies by mail or with a member/friend that is attending so we again, can have as much of the membership represented in this vote. Proxy Sept 2019 form

If you have any questions at all, please contact one of the executive members – we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on the 22nd.

June 2019


The AGM was held June 1st in Calgary, with 23 people attending and 22 proxy forms submitted — constituting a quorum. The executive had worked astonishingly hard to ensure that attendees remained focused and clear, so the meeting went as smooth as silk…

Going Forward.

Lynne Cowe Falls presented a summary of the work done to date concerning the structure of the guild.  (This information is all on the website).  Members then cast ballots to choose one of the three options presented: to dissolve, keep in its present form, or to reinvent the guild.   The meeting voted to reinvent by a margin of 2:1.

The present executive will stay in place for the next 6 months, to ensure continuity as we explore what this decision will mean. They will come up with a broad plan to present to the membership on September 21 (location to be determined), for ratification. The relevant information will be sent out to each member by August 21.

There was some discussion about various aspects of these decisions, but the meeting remained very focused—a tribute to Judy and the executive. The need for us all to think clearly about the purpose of the guild was raised, as was the responsibility, particularly of the “reinvent” voters, to participate in the process… an essential ingredient of ratification of the plan.

April 2019

Dear Members:

It has been a year of research here at the HWSDA and as the Executive, we have been working diligently to find an answer to the ongoing questions regarding the future of our provincial guild.  

As reported previously,  the initial brainstorming session that took place in July of 2018, resulted in the decision that the guild was at a crossroads and there was a need for an objective and experienced outside consultant to help us delve into the many questions that lay before us regarding the future of the HWSDA as it is structured today. 

In Fall of 2018, we hired Bespoke Consulting to conduct 5 one-on-one interviews with members,  and conduct a survey that went out to all members of the HWSDA.  We had an incredible response, with 84 members answering the survey questions – which was 2/3 of the questionnaires that went out.  We were thrilled!  They also facilitated a one-day Strategy Session Workshop in December where 13 members, including executive and area reps, met for a day of brainstorming/analyzing data/and answering the ever important questions of “what is working/not working”, “what do we need moving forward in a provincial guild?” and “how do we get there”? You will find the details of that one day session in “Bespoke Consulting: HWSDA Strategy Session Summary”. 

Bespoke Consulting then analyzed the one-on-one interviews, email survey responses and the Strategy Session workshop responses and consolidated those findings into a final report, which we have attached here as “Bespoke Consulting: HWSDA Strategy Final Report”.

The Executive met in February to go through the report at length, and crafted, from the input and direction of the membership, what we believe is a solid solution going forward for the guild. You will find our analysis and recommendations in the AGM Communication Presentation to the Members.  

In this electronic package, you will find:

1. Minutes from AGM May 11, 2018
2. Bespoke Consulting: HWSDA Strategy Final Report (all results of the survey, meetings, recommendations)
3. Agenda for June 1, 2019 AGM at Heritage Park
4. ‘Moving Forward’ Communication Presentation 
5. Proxy form 
Please Note – There are 2 other Bespoke Consulting documents – “HWSDA Session Presentation” and “HWSDA Session Strategy Summary”.  We did not include these in this package as we believe the Final Report consolidates this information really well.  If you would like to have access to these other 2 documents, please contact Katherine Rankin and she will send you an electronic copy.  
We encourage everyone to read and become familiar with these documents—bring any questions/concerns you may have to the AGM – and please talk with other members regarding these results and the current executives recommendations involving the future direction of the HWSDA. 

Please plan to attend the Annual General Meeting being held on Saturday, June 1st at the Railway Café at Heritage Park from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.  There will be many important decisions being presented and made at this meeting — the future of this guild depends on all your voices being represented, either in person, or by proxy.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the information in this package, please email Judy Sysak at <>.

Your HWSDA Executive

Judy Sysak, President
Lynne Cowe-Falls, Vice President
Norma Westcott, Treasurer
Katherine Rankin, Secertary
Lois Larson, Past President

Minutes from AGM May 11, 2018
BeSpoke Consulting HWSDA Strategy Final Report
Agenda for June 1, 2019 AGM at Heritage Park

Moving Forward Communication Presentation

Proxy Form

March 2019

Packages will be going out by email to members for the very important AGM to be held June 1, 2019. If you need a paper copy because you don’t have email, contact secretary Katherine Rankin (403-977-9007).

February 2019

The Strategic Planning Committee received the final report from Bespoke Consulting and met yesterday to review the report and draft a recommendation for the executive. The executive has been briefed on these recommendations and is currently working on a comprehensive package to send out to the membership by the end of March. This package will include the AGM agenda, the final report from Bespoke Consulting, as well as the Strategic Planning Committee’s recommendations, the proposed budget, and proxy information for those that will not be able to attend the Annual General Meeting, scheduled to take place on June 1st, in Calgary at Heritage Park’s Railway Cafe at 1:00 p.m. (So please save the date!) 

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me either by email or by phone at (403) 973-2950.

Judy Sysak, President
Hand Weavers, Spinners, and Dyers of Alberta

We are very excited to announce that Bespoke Consulting in Calgary has been hired by the HWSDA as the Strategic Planners.  They will be conducting one on one interviews with a handful of members as well as sending out a questionnaire/survey to the current membership by the end of October.  We ask that when you receive this survey/questionnaire, you take some time to fill it out. Its so important to have as many voices of the HWSDA membership represented in this research.
If there are questions or concerns please contact President Judy Sysak.