The Board is pleased to announce that SICM is now a federally-incorporated charity: this is mostly a structural change that will not affect either its operations or its members: except that at the AGM (Annual General Meeting on July 13, 2017) a decision was made, after discussion, to rename its members ‘Friends’. ‘Members’ was a term SICM had used constitutionally to describe the students registered in a given year, for just the period of that year. In addition to the term serving a more executive function under corporate law, it had the issue that Members ceased to be members if they ever missed registering for that year’s session.
The Board had been looking for a term that spoke to the reality of peoples’ connection to SICM, and a term open to the possibility of a wide range of people (retired, busy or otherwise unavailable to attend, traditional musicians/choristers/clergy/congregation members, corporate/sister organisations, etc.) who support and stay connected to the Institute while not necessarily attending every year – or even having never attended, but sharing and wishing to identify with and support its purpose and vision for a robust, diverse and high quality musical life for Canada’s churches. Charitable terms like ‘supporters’ and ‘donors’, organizational terms like ‘stakeholders’ and ‘adherents’ and professional terms like ‘affiliates’ and ‘associates’ were considered, but in the end it was felt that ‘Friends’ did the most open and inclusive job of describing the role as envisaged by those in attendance at the AGM.