Updated January 19, 2014

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In Memory of Nelly Bennett         

We are all deeply saddened to acknowledge the loss of Nelly Bennett, a Life Member and the wife of former CKC Director (Ontario West) Al Bennett. Nelly died in a single-vehicle accident on August 6, near Brantford, Ontario.

Nelly was warm, friendly and enthusiastic woman who worked tirelessly as a volunteer, including running the kitchen at the Purina National in Tillsonburg.

Spending time with her three dogs was 56-year-old Nelly Bennett's favourite thing to do outside of work. In Al's words, "She enjoyed her dogs, she enjoyed people, she was always quick to smile."

A CKC member since 1978, Nelly will be sadly missed.


The regular Board meetings were held in Victoria, BC on Thursday March 14 and March 15 preceding the Annual General Meeting which was held on Saturday March 16, 2013.

Local members supported the meetings and the gallery was full for most of the time.

Formal presentations to the Board were made by Bob Whitney (for the Trillium Dog Fanciers), and Tom Curley and Ted Fahlgren (for the Pekingese, Ch. Schuyler’s Laparata Robert). These presentations lasted about 15 minutes each. Under correspondence and petitions letters were received by Margaret Jones, Mike Macbeth,  Linda Haven and Sylvia Barkey (Markham Kennel Club). The new ED (Lance Novak) reported on his first few weeks in this position.

The Audit committee presented a report showing that we are financially in a better position than the previous year. Savings have been realized because we are no longer experience an annual loss to Apex ($500,00 +) and the reduction of staff under the previous CEO.

Event entrees, registrations and club memberships continue to Fall. Since these are the three largest income streams for CKC, we are still in a somewhat tenuous financial position. The ED is recommending the hiring of several new staff members and in an immediate influx of funds for the IT system. The Board later voted to spend nearly $100.000 for RFP’s to begin the revamping of the IT system and web update. Several motions dealing with the Grand Champion and Grand Champion Excellent were discussed and passed. Appointments were made to the Audit Committee, the Breeder’s Relations Committee, The Discipline Committee and the Registration Committee. A number of motions were referred to the Conformation Council among others.

The Annual Meeting on Saturday was well attended by club members. After introductions and Chair’s opening remarks there followed a presentation by the new ED.

The Club Auditor presented a report on the financial situation.

The Chair read a prepared statement on the cropping, docking and dew claw issue.

The meeting was opened to questions and comments from the gallery and a number of diverse topics were presented by members. Comments were recorded and these will be addressed at future Board meetings. The meeting ended and coffee and finger deserts were available to those attending.

I will again be representing Zone 6 (Ontario West) thanks to the support of the many CKC members in the Zone who voted for me and gave me a resounding victory in the recent election.

As most of you are aware this is a volunteer position. Directors receive reimbursement on expenses during their three year term but no salary or honourarium. I have been a CKC judge for 26 years however as a Director I am not permitted to charge a fee for these services. Directors attend meetings at least four weekends per annum (sometimes five) and also serve on a number of committees which meet either in CKC offices or by conference call. Done well, it can be a very time consuming (and sometimes stressful) position. I thank the many great members in my Zone who understand that decisions are made by the twelve Board members and do not always reflect what we personally may want or how we want them. The Canadian Kennel Club embraces a plethora of canine events: Conformation, Tracking, Agility, Obedience, Earth Dog, Rally, Drafting, Beagling, Retrieving, Pointing, Lure Coursing and the list goes on…

Canada is a large and diverse Country with many regional differences. The challenge is to attempt to be just and fair to all CKC members no matter where they live or what their pure-bred dog interests encompass.

Here are a few of the highlights of my first three years on the CKC Board as this term winds down.

After finding that the club was virtually penniless in March of 2010 the Board rallied to balance the budget as quickly as possible and find the resources to continue paying our obligations.

Staff reductions (including several highly paid individuals), the donations from individuals and clubs, increases in many of the fees to members and clubs and significant cost cutting measures have returned CKC to a more favourable financial position. However, we are not done yet! Further reductions and the potential for revenue from the rental of a portion of Head Office in Toronto are still on the horizon.

We are continuing to see a disturbing drop in registrations of pure-bred dogs as well as a decrease in the number of dogs entered at almost all events. These are the two main revenue sources for our CKC. The reasons for this are numerous and highly speculative!!

A weak economy, higher gas, food and lodging costs, and numerous designer breeds have undoubtedly all had some effect.

The Board committee struck to fill the vacancy when Joe Mauro resigned and has interviewed one or two dozen  potential candidates and it is anticipated that after the December Board meeting a replacement will be hired to begin work in January 2012.

On a smaller scale I was able to find a volunteer (Mary Jane Weir) to evaluate our Library. Her report came to the Board and should be dealt with by the new Board. There are decisions that need to be made here. Thank you Mary Jane.

In the same vein, I identified that the stud books had not been printed for several years and had not been bound for over a decade. Bringing this to Board attention resulted in the stud books being bound for the last three years and available in the library. Work will continue so that the remaining years will soon be bound as well. Thank you Leila Bahorie for taking this task seriously.

My recommendation that the conformation judge exams (Initial application) needed a  revision was accepted and this has been accomplished. My proposal that the CKC could benefit from a Master Breeder Award and an International Master Breeder Award was accepted by the Board and the application forms are undergoing preparation and these should be available soon.

I was given the task of forming a committee to investigate possible changes to the Conformation Grand Champion Title to make it both more accessible to more exhibitors and also a possible boost to falling entries. The committee members were Dwain McLean and Kim Hamel. Work on this will continue into 2012. Member comments are invited.

A recommendation that a new Council called the Hunt Test Council was needed was approved and I was given the task of Chairman. This Council will meet in 2012.

I was elected to head up a committee on Percentage Registry. This was a request to the Board from David Trus, Minister of Agriculture, and the work of this committee will be ongoing. I have spoken with Mr.Trus by phone and I think we have a handle on this request.

Member input will be sought before any decisions are made with respect to this matter.

As the Chairman of the Working Certificate Council I was instrumental in getting the acceptance of the Barbet (French Water Dog) into Working Certificate tests.

Several of my motions were accepted that reduce the requirements for Premium Lists as well as catalogues providing potential cost savings for clubs.

The first three years as your Director has been a very steep learning curve. The next three years should be considerably easier and I expect that much will be accomplished to improve services in a  member friendly capacity. There are many changes down the road so please watch this website for updates. If you have suggestions or recommendations please feel free to approach me at the Shows or drop me an email at

As well as this, Wendy and I are still judging and showing our Golden Retrievers, Flat-coated Retrievers, Barbet, Schipperke and Belgian Sheepdog on both sides of the border.

We had litters of Flat-coat and Golden Retrievers in 2011, and I am still President of the Elora Gorge Kennel Club, the Southwestern Ontario All Retriever Society, The Southwestern Ontario Sporting Dog Club and a life member of the CKC and of the KW Kennel Club.

We also belong to about five breed clubs in Canada and the US.  Consequently, I am not always available by phone but can usually access my email and I endeavour to answer all emails.

The CKC Annual Meeting and Board Meetings will be held in Sudbury in March 2012.


Offering positive change through vision , leadership, accountability, effective governance, transparency and open communication with the members in Zone Six.

Striving for the long-term financial health of the Canadian Kennel Club.

Acting honestly, in good faith, and in the best interests of CKC members and the CKC.


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