Our Award Winning Newsletter

Happy August everyone. We hope you had a great summer so far and are continuing to enjoy the rest of it. Here is something very special that we want to share with you.

On the weekend of July 21 to 23, the Ontario Horticultural Association held its yearly Convention, which is attended by members representing the 230 Horticultural Societies across Ontario. This time it was nearby, in Richmond Hill, so some of our members got to attend.

One of the features of this event is the Competition venue. It is held by the OHA to recognize the Hort Societies and their members in ways that pertain to their activities, such as Horticulture, Flower Arranging, Photography, Society Publications, Painting and Writing . We received two quite prestigious awards this year. One was in Creative Writing, in which Kathy Andrachuk entered a short composition entitled “Perfect Partners” (in the garden of course). She won a Third place ribbon plus the particular honour of the Judge’s Choice rosette. The second, Bless Us All, was First place ribbon for our Society Newsletter. We feel quite proud to say that these are significant awards as they have been won in a Province-wide competition against other Horticultural Societies and their individual members. In the case of the Hort Newsletter it is fitting not just for the Newsletter Editors to take a bow for this achievement, but for the whole team of contributors to accept this accolade, since it would not have been possible to produce this communications tool without the travel documentaries, the neighbourhood observations, the Hort projects, the comments and reports on all that we do as a Hort Society. So thank you all, and well done!

Our previous newsletters, designed and edited over the years by the creative talents of Richard Kerr, Judy Weinberg, Catherine Raven, Mary-Louise Craven, Judy Whalen, Jan Sugerman, Jonie Boyer, Jesse Kahn, Linda Reid, Len Senater, Jeff Essery, Barbara Bell, Connie Maurice, Clement Kent and Leena Raudvee was printed in black and white and distributed in paper format. It garnered much recognition and many awards at the District level. In 2012 we switched to electronic format, which enabled us to transition easily to colour. Most of our members now receive their newsletters by email but some still prefer to get paper versions by snail-mail. These are still printed in black and white. This is the same for our sibling District 15 organizations. The change to email has greatly reduced our newsletter expense; not so much due to the printing cost, but because of the cost of mailing.

The creative effort in producing this communication tool has been a wonderful learning experience. Where we go from here is to follow in the footsteps of our predecessors and do our very best to have the newsletter evolve and continue to be the voice of our collective membership by reporting the things we do and the things we should and would like to know about. With your continued help it will remain a fun and relevant read. Do any of YOU have ideas for the future? Would you like to take it the next step? We are not thinking of handing it over yet but if anyone has a burning desire…..

—Barbara Japp and Kathy Andrachuk, The Editors

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