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To: OAAS Membership,

Following our very successful Convention, we had no thoughts of the events that have unfolded.  We live in extraordinary times!  As we listen to the news of the COVID-19 crisis, we realize how our lives and activities are changing by the hour.  We all are listening to the medical experts and are now practising social distancing but we all come from a background of creating an environment where we encourage the congregation of people to participate in shared experiences.

At this time we must take our direction from the medical professionals.

The OAAS feels it needs to keep you informed as to the changes that we have been implementing over the last few weeks.  The Board would normally meet in person in early April to identify its priorities from the strategic plan and goals for its committees.  All of this will be completed by videoconferencing.  Directors would normally pick up all the promotional and fair materials for distribution to the Societies at that meeting.  All materials will be mailed to each individual Society in April now.

Several Districts have already postponed their Spring District Meetings and Judging Schools.  Some Districts might try to hold their Spring Meeting electronically just to keep the communications open.  Keep listening to see what your District’s plans are.

Already you have been informed that the deadlines for keeping your judge’s certification current has been extended.  The Board felt it would be a challenge to ensure all the judging schools took place when we live in such changeable times.

Agricultural Societies are already in the midst of making decisions on having their annual fairs.  In the process of your deliberations, do look at alternatives –could the dates be changed, could portions of the fair be split and done at different times in the year, could the focus be on only one part of the fair?  This is the time to possibly be innovative.  Do check your insurance coverage for any changes and do check with cancellation policies for the contracts you have signed or will sign.

The one thing we can be assured of is that nothing will be normal.  Each of us can help others in our Society or neighbouring Societies.  It is a time to stick together because we will get through this.  Fairs are that one thing that builds community, let’s prove they can also build a positive spirit. 

Support one another and stay healthy.

Sincerely,

OAAS

“Teamwork makes a Society Strong”