Editors-Ottawa Gatineau is the local branch of Editors Canada, the national professional association dedicated to editors and editing. Members of Editors Ottawa-Gatineau benefit from opportunities for professional and personal growth, including:

  • Free admission to program meetings ($10 for non-members)
  • Preferred pricing on professional development seminars
  • E-mail notices of employment and contract opportunities for editors

For more information about how to become a member, visit the Join Editors Canada page.

If you want to be more involved in your local association, network with other editors, and have some fun, this is the place for you! We are always looking for people to help on the executive or support various committees. If you’re interested in volunteering or have any questions, please contact the branch chair at

Editors Ottawa–Gatineau Executive (2018-19)

Returning executive officers

Vice Chair: Sara Caverley

Past Chair: Tom Vradenburg

Treasurer: Lindsey McDonald

Public Relations Chair: Ariel Vered

Returning appointed board members

Seminars Chair: Sara Fowler

French Relations Chair: Béatrice Verley

Membership Co-Chair: Maurie Barrett

New appointed board members

Capital Letters Blog Editor: Barb Erb

Branch Executive Committee: Job Descriptions (2016)

Branch Chair

Plan and Chair Executive Meeting

One of the roles of the branch chair is to make sure that the executive meetings run smoothly.

Executive meetings are held monthly from September to November and January to June.

  1. Proceed as follows to plan and chair the executive meetings:
  • Find a venue for the meeting and set a meeting time.
  • Send a meeting date reminder to the executive a week before the event; remind them to send their reports to executive and the executive director two days before the meeting.
  • Prepare and distribute the meeting agenda.
  • Let the executive know, at the first meeting, how the meetings will be conducted and what the expectations are for their attendance. 1. During the meeting, proceed as follows:
  1. Ask if there is any other business to be added to agenda. (a) Approve the agenda, as follows:
  • Ask for a motion to approve the agenda
  • Ask for a “seconder”
  • Conduct the vote

(b) Approve the minutes, as follows:

  • Ask for a motion to approve the minutes
  • Ask for a “seconder”
  • Conduct the vote
  • Review the action items from the last meeting.
  • Lead the discussion on the agenda items.
  • Conduct votes for any motions made.
  • Give everyone the opportunity to speak during round table.
  • Ask the secretary to circulate the action items as soon as possible after the meeting. The draft minutes should be circulated within a week of the meeting and again just before the next meeting.

Support Executive

It is very important that the executive understand what is expected of them. The branch chair needs to ensure that the executive is made aware of their roles and responsibilities, and to that required tasks are completed in a timely fashion.

  • Before the September executive meeting, contact all the chairs to check if they have any concerns or questions, need assistance, or have suggestions for the coming term.
  • Ensure that executive is welcome to contact the chair during the year.
  • Ask the Speaker Nights chair to report to you during the summer about how the planning for the next season is progressing.
  • In January, ask the executive if they are returning to the executive for the next term, and that a decision is needed by March 1.
  • Ask the vice-chair or past chair to call for nominations to the executive in March for elections at the April annual general meeting, with articles in the blog, and email announcements to the membership.
  • In January, ask the seminar chair to start planning the next seminar series.
  • Schedule an executive transition meeting with the new executive, the current executive, and the executive director by mid-June.
  • At the transition meeting, introduce new executive to procedures and policies of the executive (e.g., when meetings are held, what’s expected of them).
  • Ask current members to schedule individual handover meetings with their replacements during the month of June. This is particularly important for the branch chair, seminar chair, Speaker Nights chair, and blog editor.

Liaise with the Executive Director

The relationship between the executive and executive director is very important. The standard term for a member of the executive is one to two years. The executive director, as a paid employee of the branch, is more likely to be around for longer than two years (the current executive director has been with the branch for 20 years).

Schedule at least two meetings (in person or by phone) with the executive director to discuss any concerns and suggestions about branch management.

Ensure that the executive director is cc’d on any emails or correspondence that relate to the running of the organization.



  • Change the word draft to final on the meeting minutes that were approved at the last meeting and email them as an attachment to the executive and executive director.
  • The meeting minutes should include:
  •  the date
  • a list of who was present, who was absent with regrets, and who was absent
  • the motion to approve the current meeting’s agenda and the last meeting’s minutes
  • the outstanding action items from the last meeting
  • discussions/issues/decisions/motions related to the branch executive reports
  • discussions/issues/decisions/motions related to other agenda items
  • action items and persons responsible for carrying out action items
  • date, time, and location of the next meeting
  • Write up a draft of the current month’s meeting minutes as soon as possible after the executive meeting (see Appendix C).
  • Send the draft minutes to the executive and executive director as an attachment as soon as possible after an executive meeting for review and revisions. Include a deadline receiving revisions.
  • Email the revised draft minutes the executive and the executive director two days before the executive meeting. Indicate in the email what revisions were made. If there were no revisions, email the original draft again and indicate in the email that there were no revisions.
  • Keep a running list of executive motions in a separate file and send this list to the executive director at the end of the year to archive.
  • If any issues were raised at a meeting but set aside as “something to think about in the future,” send the branch chair a list of these issues after the meeting.
  • Occasionally, motions are voted on between executive meetings via email. When that occurs, include the motion in the minutes of the next executive meeting with a brief explanation that this was an email motion.

Speaker Nights Co-Chair

The Speaker Nights chair is responsible for organizing a program (a speech, panel discussion, or other presentation). Speaker Nights are held the third Wednesday of the month from September to November and January to May.

Design the Speaker Nights Schedule

The schedule should reflect the interests of novice editors and veteran editors, new members and members in long-standing, freelance editors, and in-house editors.

Six to seven topics are needed for the year at events with a single speaker, multiple speakers, or a panel discussion.

Find and Book Speakers/Panelists

  • You can find speakers through word of mouth, executive, other members, etc.
  • If possible, plan the Speaker Nights events during the summer and fall
  • prepare a proposed plan for the series
  • contact and book guest speakers for at the fall events
  • research or book guest speakers for the winter and spring events
  • Gauge a potential speaker’s interest and suitability by phone or email and determine availability.B
  • Book speakers two or more months in advance to have enough flexibility and time to act in case of cancellation.
  • Ask them what experience and qualifications would make them good candidates. Don’t book them until you’re satisfied that they are knowledgeable and able to address the public.
  • Request a brief biography from the speaker(s) to be included in the Capital Letters blog, the website, and media release.
  • Keep in touch with the speakers to make sure they have all the information they need, and ask about their audiovisual and other special requirements. Tell the executive director if they require a projector and screen.
  • Note: timing can vary but usually presentations are approximately 20 minutes with 10 minutes for questions. Speakers should arrive by 6:15.

Special events

Wine and Cheese

The branch’s annual wine and cheese social is held at the November Speaker Nights. It is an important event. An email invitation is sent to members a month before the event. The Speaker Nights chair prepares the invitation and sends it to the executive director, the blog editor and the public relations chair for distribution. Email RSVPs are sent to the executive director.

Editors’ Showcase: Show and Tell

This optional event can be a stand-alone program or combined with another program.

Make an announcement and a request for presenters in the blog and an email to the branch members.

  • Ask presenters to provide a sign with their name on it (some way to identify which display is theirs) and to bring their business cards.
  • Request that those who would like to make a presentation inform the chair ahead of time.
  • Make arrangements for any necessary audiovisual equipment and extra tables with the executive director at least two weeks before the program.

Promoting Speaker Nights

  • Prepare an announcement that includes the topic description, a brief biography of the speaker or panelists, venue information, date, and time.
  • This information must be sent to the executive director, blog editor, and public relations chair two weeks before the event.

Speaker Nights Procedures

  • The membership chair greets members and non-members to the event. Admission is free for members and $10 for non-members.
  • Greet the speakers at about 6:15 p.m. outside the event room.
  • Emcee the program part of the evening by introducing the speakers and facilitating any questions asked of the speakers.
  • Make a brief announcement to promote the next month’s program.
  • Keep an eye on the time and close the program by thanking the speaker(s).
  • The speakers usually arrive in time to orient themselves to the room and to get settled while the members network during the break. Make sure they have everything they need.

Speaker Gifts and Notes

  • Speakers receive a thank you card with a $50 gift card and panelists receive a $25 gift card (for multiple speakers).
  • The executive director purchases the gift cards and sends them to the Speaker Nights chair.

The speakers are not to “work the room.” They may leave free items on the speaker’s table, if they wish. No door prizes from speakers. The speakers get plenty of free publicity (blog, event notification, social media, etc.).

The Editors Canada confidentiality policy prohibits sharing the membership list with speakers.

Venue and Catering

The executive director books the meeting rooms and arranges for the catering. Inform the executive director if additional tables, audiovisual equipment, etc., is needed. The branch owns a LCD projector that is available for use by the speaker; however, the branch does not supply the laptop computer.

Write a Summary for The Blog

Write a brief article (check article length with the blog editor) to entice people to come out the next time. It’s a summary. A list of resources (websites) and tips would be a nice feature to include if relevant, but you don’t need to write multiple pages of detailed information.

Membership Chair

The membership chair is the branch liaison with members and has the following responsibilities

  • Receives the monthly membership list from the executive director.
  • Sends a “Welcome to Editors Ottawa–Gatineau” letter to new members summarizing the benefits of membership, event dates, and links to branch webpages (seminars, Speaker Nights, branch executive list).
  • Welcomes attendees at Speaker Nights meetings (checks membership cards or list, provides name badges, collects non-member admission fee, issues receipts).
  • Recommends and manages activities to help members network.
  • Develops ways to serve and involve all types of members.
  • Recruits and trains volunteers to help with membership committee.

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