Toronto. As PHSC Webmaster, I intended to cover PHSC changes in 2016. On review of the year, I decided to go back a bit further.
We are truly blessed in the PHSC with a variety of willing and talented volunteers. While many other societies in North American have fallen by the wayside, we have continued to function, adding new venues and publications to our organization.
Our President, Clint Hryhorijiw, continues to bring fresh young people (male and female) into our executive. These included David Bridge, Louise Freyburger, Judy Rauliuk, Ashley Cook, John Kantymir, Doug Napier, and Oscar Li, a student at U of T (Oscar returned home to Beijing late this fall). New by invitation positions were opened on the executive board. The addition of a younger generation has produced a most active executive which is much envied by other photographic historical societies.
I had been looking after the Membership records since the abrupt loss of our Membership Secretary Jamie Marr in February 2006. At our April 2006 (and annual general) meeting, Wayne Gilbert offered to be our Membership Secretary, freeing me up to become President the following year.
At our regular monthly Toronto meeting in April 2007, I was ready to become PHSC President, but disaster struck. The then current PHSC Treasurer, Werner Drechsel, returned to his old company to address a merger in California and he announced his resignation from the PHSC that night, leaving some banker’s boxes for whomever succeeded him.
At that meeting, I spoke quietly with our 2nd VP, Clint Hryhorijiw, and we then spoke with the current President, Ed Warner. We decided I would move from 1st VP to Treasurer, a task I had handled before, and Clint would move directly from 2nd VP to President.
In September 2009, Judy Rauliuk took over from me as PHSC Treasurer. A retired CPA, she created a formal balance sheet and income statement with fair and membership earnings and costs slotted into the correct fiscal year complementing our more casual cash flow statements.
At the April 2015 general meeting our Secretary, John Morden, became our new Treasurer with long time member Bob Wilson taking over as Secretary.
Scott Rickard, who had moved back here from the Yukon, and taken over Programme from Felix Russo, resigned due to ill health leaving the position open from May of 2013 until it was ably filled by Les Jones this past fall. Les had covered both the Programme and President duties some time earlier.
Under the guidance of Clint, the auction was refreshed and the society took on estate auctions as well the annual PHSC auction. The auctions have contributed to overhead costs ever since.
Wayne Gilbert has expanded the Membership Secretary function putting his own unique touch on its duties as the primary link between our members and the PHSC, especially those unable to attend the PHSC meetings or events. Wayne was actively involved in promoting and creating the 35th and 40th anniversary DVDs sent to all members. The disks include searchable files of every Photographic Canadiana, News, Newsletter, and special publications. These files were contributed for the most part by our editor, Bob Lansdale and made searchable by me (Robert Carter).
2nd VP Ashley Cook took on the challenge to hold image shows, a long desired initiative championed by PHSC founder John Linsky. Her latest show this past fall, was an event held downtown. Although small, the show was about the right size for our group. As a start into this new field, it was cosy and active – and a resounding success! Ashley originally experimented with a symposium at our image shows, but that proved to be too much and too distracting.
Treasurer John Morden and 2nd VP Ashley Cook have opened the PHSC Awards Program to Ryerson students with an annual thesis award. The winning thesis (edited for size) is published in an issue of Photographic Canadiana and the student has an opportunity to present their findings at one of our monthly meetings.
Bob Lansdale introduced us to desktop publishing when he became editor. He has edited nearly twenty years of the journal – from the 22-4 (Jan-Feb 1997) issue to the most recent issue 42-3 (Dec 2016-Jan 017). Bob started under the auspices of the late Ev Roseborough who as our editor introduced a new three column layout, a PHSC logo (the wet plate man), issue indices, disciplined publication dates, and relevant articles. Over the years, you can see the improvements due to Bob’s critical eye (especially in the photographs – a deeper range from really dark blacks to soft highlights with many shades of grey), the increase in Canadian articles, in-depth research, and true magazine style content. With our recent issues (from 42-2) a new format has been created using Felix Russo’s graphic artist, Rita Godlevskis, in collaboration with our editor. This has included new fonts, a colour cover and a larger cover image.
With issue 43-1 this coming May, 2017, we plan to offer the journal on the newsstands as well. This is being done to spread the word about the PHSC to those across Canada who might not know of our existence. It will fill a niche market, hopefully attracting new members. We will test newsstand distribution for a year – quite a daring task for our group!
Under the guidance of John Morden and Sonja Pushchak, the PHSC initiated a book editing and publishing function. Our first book was Secure The Shadow, by PHSC member Robert Wilson. This illustrated paperback expands on the life of Benjamin Baltzly who once worked in Montreal for William Notman Studios.
On her own initiative Louise Freyburger opened a Facebook page for the PHSC. Leaping into the new future of social media has made us more relevant to the younger generation. Louise is also a columnist for the journal and the Newsletter. She has proven to be a thorough and detailed researcher.
Originally started as the PHSC Newsletter by journal editor Bob Lansdale to announce our monthly speakers and provide a platform for articles more suited to colour photographs, the newsletter expanded to include announcing other PHSC events. I kept a list of email addresses from members and others who filled in a form at various events and our meetings. David Bridge took over duties as editor and moved the list to a mail distribution service (MailChimp) allowing us to gather distribution statistics for the first time. More recently, Sonja Pushchak revitalized the newsletter as PHSC News featuring short punchy articles, lots of photographs and a new enticing style. David remains as editor, publishing the pdf and adding in other columns (such as the very popular column on web links by Louise Freyburger). As webmaster, I still keep the mail list current.
Our website brought the PHSC into the new media world ahead of other photo historical societies and has aided in spreading the word about the PHSC while gaining us new members and attendees at our events (before the internet, we were a small club doing our every day tasks). I have operated the website since its inception just over twenty years ago. In August 2008, I moved the site to WordPress and a message posting philosophy in order to simplify future transfer to another volunteer. PayPal has been added to simplify international memberships while various other items have been added to the menu bar and side bar from time to time. Much of the cost is offset by a Google sponsored ad in the right sidebar.