7×2 ACT/COT Results

In our ACT 2 (second round of club officer training) we trained 622 club officers.  108 of 149 clubs were able to train 4 or more club officers and 25 clubs trained all 7 club officers.  In our summer training ACT 1, we had 34 clubs with all 7 officers trained.  17 clubs were able to train all 7 officers in both sessions resulting in being entitled to the prestigious 7×2 award ribbon.  Congratulations to:

  • Genojabbers A1 -1501250,
  • Night Hawks A3- 813223,
  • Goldstream A4 – 5952,
  • Royal Roads A4 – 2262553,
  • Sooke Harbour A4 – 1472411,
  • Cowichan A5 – 950,
  • Island Excellence C21 – 4469753,
  • Global Speakers E42 – 9868,
  • Richmond E42 – 5488,
  • White Rock Evening F50 – 9516,
  • Finding Vino F50 -3844160,
  • The Professional Edge F51 – 1158953,
  • Kwantlen F52 – 2228252,
  • Toastmentors G63 – 845571,
  • Nelson Fresh Tracks K81 – 6196,
  • Kelowna City Hall K83 – 693235,
  • Morning Sun L92 – 9073

The Contests — Behind the Scenes

After the Conference, D21 Chief Judge Marion Gushue-Geiger posted (on D21 Facebook) a list of thank you’s to the Spring Conference Contest Team who demonstrated the “Leap to Lead”





…Thank-you to Moya Webb, Contest Chair, who conducted the Evaluation Contest and International Speech contest superbly by paying attention to all details to ensure that the contestants had a faultless experience.







…Thank-you to Sharleen McBlain, interviewer extraordinaire, who provided an entertaining experience for our contestants.To our contest timers Nico Human and Jennifer Oakes who were precise in their tasks, my compliments and thanks.










…To the ballot counters May, Jan and Bob, from the experienced to the inexperienced we all came away richer from the experience. I appreciated your help and guidance.

…To the Judges, a huge heartfelt thanks for your attention, diligence, judges briefing attendance (without coffee) and stepping up to the challenge.

…To the official Sgt at Arms, Leah Cheyne and Wes Arnold, and the unofficial Sgt at Arms, who were called upon to guard the other doors during the contests, thank-you! The importance and understanding of teamwork was very much appreciated.  

This past weekend all of the above demonstrated the “Leap to Lead” ! Thank-you.


Spring Conference Planning – A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats

The beauty of planning a conference with a team is deciding on what pieces you want to see for yourself in those three days. Over the last twelve months our Spring Conference Teams have expanded, all working towards the vision of providing a refreshing and educational learning experience for our attendees.  The Conference Teams embody the slogan of: “A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats”.  They are not only members and leaders within their clubs and district, but they are also vibrant people who lead busy lives outside of Toastmasters.

Although it’s always so easy to look at what we could have done to be better, in our debriefing session, the team agreed that it was overall an enjoyable and enriching conference.  We had a vision in mind, we worked towards the goals, and we overcame challenges along the way. For Annie and I, we could not be prouder of what the team has accomplished. The heart, thoughts, ideas, time, and efforts put into the conference made it the best we could offer.

This is a Toastmaster experience we will forever remember.  Thank you all for being a part of it.

As Conference Co-Chairs, and on behalf of the Spring Conference Team, we wish to extend our gratitude to all the attendees, volunteers, presenters and guests.  In addition to all the unsung heroes who generously offered their time, effort and resources throughout the past year to help create an outstanding event, we have a long list of Team Leaders who deserve special recognition…

…District Director Alan Warburton, Program Quality Director John Sherber and Club Growth Director Mike Bown.  The generous support, service and dedication of the trio is immeasurable.  Following the values of Respect, Integrity, Service and Excellence they were able to lay the groundwork for great things to happen.   













…Education Chair & Conference Mentor Chris Kozakowski.  It was May 14th, 2016 when Chris, Annie and I sat down at a restaurant for a late lunch. We ordered food and immediately started chatting about Toastmaster Conferences – our first ever experiences, what we liked, and what we wanted to see in our Spring 2017 Conference. We chatted for three hours before parting ways.  It was that defining moment that I realized Annie and I were going to really enjoy this conference planning process.  Wearing her Education Chair Hat, Chris did a ton of work to make sure the sessions were well-planned and offered high quality. It was a huge bonus to have a mentor with the depth of experience and expertise that Chris offers.

…Program Quality Director  John Sherber.  Annie and I met John for the first time at the June District Officer Training. Right after that, John immediately involved himself in the planning process.  He made many trips from Victoria to Surrey and visited the hotel.  Along with Chris, John has been on our teleconference calls from the very beginning, and was instrumental in providing support and feedback to the Conference Team.

…Publications Coordinator Ros Hansen. It’s always a pleasure working with people you admire, and Ros is one of them. As the District Administration Manager (DAM Madam Ros), she truly embodies “A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats”. Ros is not only involved in the District Leadership Team, she is also the coordinator for the District newsletter “What’s the Buzz”.  For the Conference, committed services above and beyond her designated role as Publications Coordinator. Ros was also part of the Sponsorship Committee, helping to locate many of the goodies in the registration welcome bags. Ros was also involved in creating the promotional posters and videos we have on the District Facebook page and website. Wouldn’t you also agree that the brochure was professional with messages, acknowledgements and advertising throughout?  Thank you Ros!  (Note from Ros: Special mention of appreciation goes to Cheryl Crotty for her incredible support; to Don Rokosz, for the inspiration behind the survival kits; to Hana Khalaf our Gift Basket Coordinator who was working at full speed picking up gift baskets from various locations and polishing them up for presentation, and who also prepared the name badges; and to the fantastic crew of Pro Edge and Evening Edition volunteers who helped locate specialty items, assemble the pot of honey gifts and collate the survival kits for the first timers’ welcome package. What a team!)  

…Facilities Chair Ron Newell. Ron is also a key Toastmaster role model for us.  We saw how Ron would often arrive at Toastmaster events a day earlier to set up as the District Logistic Manager.  That’s only one example of the wealth of details we have learned just by observing him. When Ron joined the team, it was evident that we were going to have a spectacular time working with him. Starting from visiting the hotel to meeting the hotel staff before the conference, to working with Focus Audio & Visual on the sound system, to approaching sponsors to offset conference expenses, Ron has gone above and beyond in putting together a successful conference experience for all of our members. As Ron said, he has walked away from the experience learning many new skills…and so have we.

…Sponsorship Chair Cheryl Crotty. Cheryl is such an organized and detail oriented person, which is needed for the Sponsorship Chair. This role requires a lot of delegation and communication with the Sponsorship Team, in getting the logos sent to our Publications Coordinator and Website Chair, and following up with the Registration Chair on getting the goodies into the welcome bags. Special mention to Jamie MacDonald who secured a much appreciated sponsorship for the program brochure.  Cheryl’s collaboration with our auctioneer Don Rokosz on getting the live auction items organized and displayed was fantastic.  Special thanks to Ron Newell, Don Rokosz and Marcus Ray for doing such a great job of closing deals and accomplishing so much in such short order, and for their enthusiasm and outstanding service during  the auction.    We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the volunteer teams who donated gift baskets for auctions. This is the biggest team we have on the conference committee with sub teams and volunteers, thank you all!

…Public Relations Chair Andy Vuong was enthusiastic in wanting to take on this role. We had multiple phone discussions on ideas and tasks. With the work of Ros Hansen on creating the posters and videos, the PR for the conference proved to be positive and effective.

…Registration Chair Carolyn Bray and Finance Chair Cila Kwong.   It has been a blast working with Carolyn and Cila, who are both ‘First-Timer Conference Organizers’. The meetings over coffee and the teleconference calls were instrumental in every way.  We got a chance to see how the Fall 2016 Conference unfolded, and planned for what to expect leading up to our Spring 2017 Conference. These two Committee Teams were the busiest over the three-day Conference, often managing their stations during peak hours and dinner times. Thank you to our Committee Teams and Volunteers!

…Volunteer Chair Valerie Adolph. Val has been an absolute gem in our Conference Team. At our first meeting together, we shared our volunteer experiences at past Conferences and Val suggested clarifying the volunteer roles with job descriptions. This really helped us when we got into the later part of the Conference planning when Val worked with the various Committee Chairs in helping them find volunteers.  Val has a talent with language and word usage;  she often edited our Conference documents before they were sent out, which was a big bonus. Many thanks Val!

…Decorations Chair and Gift Basket Coordinator.  It is often the small pieces of the conference planning that contribute to the bigger picture. Karen Van Delft, our Decorations Chair did a spectacular job with color coordination and creative ideas that fit with the theme. (We would have had gold streamers coming off the ceiling if it wasn’t for hotel restrictions!) It was fun coming up with ideas and seeing them come alive on the day.   Thanks also to the committee teams who helped fluff up those paper decorations. It will be all the small things that add up when we think of all the memories of the Conference many years to come.

…Banner Parade Chair Fred Jones. It has been a pleasure working with Fred, who assured us he would be happy to help out in anyway. We had heard from our Program Quality Director that Fred would like to take on as banner Parade Chair.  From there, Fred knew exactly what he needed to do. Fred was organized in getting the clubs to assemble prior to the open ceremony; he was also stellar as the introducer of the clubs. Fred was another ‘Toastmaster Who Wore Many Hats’ throughout the three days, as he and Ron Newell managed the audio visual table.

...Website Chair Bev Young. We owe all our gratitude to Bev for the beautifully and professionally created website. Our goal was to make it user-friendly for registrants to sign up and find information. Bev brought in her professional background and shared her expertise with the Conference Team. Along with the Website Editor Eric Sayre, they worked on updating the website and keeping the information fresh right up to the Spring Conference.

…C & L (Community and Leadership) Award Committee Chair Mike Robinson. Our District Director Alan Warburton had been working closely with Mike on the selection process for the C & L Award recipient. Mike, along with six other committee members nominated and selected this year’s recipient.  Following various selection processes, the Committee decided on Bob Kuhn, a deserving recipient who leads with heart, and who has contributed so much to the community in the form of communication and leadership. Bob’s personal stories of struggling with Parkinson’s disease while leading a life outside his comfort zone were inspirational to hear.
…Credentials Chair Deborah Richards and Credentials Chair Mentor Raymond Ho. Raymond has been involved in the District and the details of setting up credentials table for many conferences. This time, Raymond mentored Deborah ensuring that the knowledge and experience was shared.  Many thanks to our credentials team.  Without their time and effort, we would not have been able to conduct important business at our annual meetings. They are the first to get there, often stationed from early in the morning till much later in the day, until quorum was achieved.
…Contest Chair Moya Webb and Chief Judge Marion Gushue-Geiger.  It’s truly a pleasure seeing how well organized Moya and Marion are, and how they operate in their roles. Both of these roles require pre-communication with various supporting roles, judges, and contestants. Moya made sure the contestants were completely and professionally briefed and prepared about where to speak and how to use the microphones.  Both contests were run flawlessly and the audiences thoroughly enjoyed the speeches. It is the second time Marion has been the District Chief Judge, and I am as impressed as the first time around. I remember Marion would come up with creative incentives for judges to watch the judging video and made sure they had gone over the judging rulebook again. There’s so much to learn from both Moya and Marion.

Submitted by Conference Co-Chairs  Jenny and Annie Peng




Conference Highlights

Many thanks to Shawn Gold, Official Photographer for a great selection of Conference photos. 

Drum roll please…the last minute details were all but taken care of, and it was time to find out just how well Co-Chairs Annie and Jenny Peng would make good on their commitment and vision to deliver an amazing  Conference.

The results are in.  It’s pretty much unanimous.  “Spring into action…take the leap and lead” was jam-packed with inspiring stories, rich breakout sessions, spirited networking  and exciting highlights.

Festivities started off informally on Friday, with a great turn out at the First Timer’s Reception, hosted by Marcus Ray.  Attendees mixed and mingled while enjoying some light snacks and tracking down little known facts about each other to earn a First Timer’s Survival Kit.

Next up, the official opening ceremonies.






Banner Parade Chair Fred Jones smoothly orchestrated the ceremony, formally opening the Conference with the Banner Parade fittingly with a touch of flair and  fanfare…and then the  very capable, vivacious Emcee Veronica Armstrong took charge of the proceedings, keeping things fun and humourous over the three-day event.


Our keynote speaker Jana Barnhill and Educational Session Lead Marg Hope delivered strong takeaway messages and emphasized the value of learning.

Jana urged us to  ” Step Up Baby” and achieve our full leadership potential in ‘Step Up’ and “Celebrate” educational sessions.  She drove a point  home: we are in this educational organization specifically because it’s  focused on the delivery of a communication and leadership program.



















Marg Hope’s interactive sessions gave us insight into to the concept of “‘Be a Host, Not a Guest”.

In “Breakfast Basics” she got everyone out of their seats and engaged in the learning process, while we practiced volleying the conversation.  

Margaret Page, Pat Johnson, David Hobson, Audrey Pope,  Richard Kunz, Jim Marquardt, and Mary Morrison offered a wide variety of intriguing topics (‘Choose Your Words Wisely: The Art of Using More Powerful Language’, ‘The Secrets of Building and Sustaining Vibrant Corporate Clubs’, ‘Pathways’, ‘Make the Mic Your Friend’, ‘What’s Your Leadership Style?’ ‘Challenge Membership’, and ‘Leaders as Champions of Change’ respectively) bringing us a wealth of strategies, ideas, humour, secrets, entertainment and resources to enhance our Toastmasters learning.  


Richard Kunz and his musicians entertained us with some cool (hot?) jazz and educated us about the importance of listening and sharing leadership.  Matti Antilla (Oak Bay) has agreed to share his memories and impressions of the “Musical” Education Session.


Two big Contests!  Props to all the competitors…

and the audience who contributed to the excitement!  Cila toasting with Cloverdale Toastmasters…Cila Kwong toasting the crew with Cloverdale Toastmasters…

Karen and Moya with Moya’s daughter Katie…

Some Islanders in party mode…



Jan Ireland and Virginia Keast ‘Puttin on the Ritz” to promote the 2017 Fall Conference in Victoria…

Past District Leaders…                                       


White Rock Evening Edition Toastmasters…

 The Live Auction

What a fun idea.  The things in the auction were to die for!  Our wallets and bank accounts could have easily been drained on the amazing things.

Attendees got a first hand look at the talented Don Rokosz, Auctioneer and Educator Extraordinaire, who not only provided an engaging way to raise funds to offset the costs of producing the conference, but also offered an elegant ed session in disguise for those of us wanting to learn the secrets of adding pizzazz to introductions, motivation, inspiration and selling ideas.  

A special note of thanks to the Surrey Toastmasters 2590, who provided a whole squad of dedicated volunteers to ensure the auction ran smoothly and successfully, and to our sponsors (below), who helped us fund so many extras, and provided a great variety of exciting raffle prizes.
















with special thanks to…

Early Edition Toastmasters

White Rock Evening Edition Toastmasters

Cloverdale Toastmasters

Professional Edge Toastmasters

Fraser Heights Cornerstone Toastmasters


Anniversary Celebrations

If your Club is celebrating a big event next month, What’s The Buzz Editors would love to highlight your club with a group photo and/or a short blurb! 

Anniversary Celebrations in May

Surrey Club 2590 Surrey 49th
Langley Toastmasters 2743 Langley 39th
Comp-Talk Richmond 31st
Armstrong Toastmasters Club 2645 Armstrong 29th
Enterprising Nanaimo 27th
White Rock Surrey 26th
Early Edition Surrey 24th
Richmond Dragon Masters Richmond 24th
New City Surrey 23rd
Cloverdale Surrey 23rd
Discovery Campbell River 16th
Salt Spring Salt Spring Island 13th
Revenue Ramblers Victoria 13th
Uptown Rollers Victoria  6th
Prospera Prose Abbotsford  4th
Silverbridge Duncan  3th
Coastmasters Surrey  1st


Anniversary Celebrations in June

Thunderbird Victoria 71st
Kelowna Kelowna 59th
Kalamalka Vernon 35th
Speakers Corner Victoria 31st
Harbour City Nanaimo 28th
Macdonald Dettwiler & Assoc Richmond 25th
White Rock Evening Edition White Rock 24th
The Rock Christian Surrey 24th
Rise And Shine Abbotsford 24th
Surrey Civic Speechmeisters Surrey 24th
Richmond Friendly Richmond 23rd
Kelowna AM Kelowna 22nd
Trestle Victoria 22nd
Pacific Rim Ucluelet 22nd
Sentinel Speakers Castlegar 22nd
Leading Edge Richmond 22nd
Toast Of The City Abbotsford 21st
Snowpeaks Chilliwack 16th
Walnut Grove Langley 14th
Midnight Madness Langley 14th
Kelowna City Hall Kelowna 13th
Energized Communicators Surrey 13th
Night Hawks Victoria 12th
The Professional Edge Surrey  9th
Hi Noon Vernon  8th
GenoJabbers Victoria  7th
Gateway Victoria  6th
Chosin Chatters Victoria  6th
Sage Richmond Richmond  5th
Royal Roads Victoria  5th
BC Ferries Richmond  5th
Spotlight Speakers Richmond  4th
West Coast Esquimalt  4th
Spontaneous Speakers Surrey  2nd


Winner of the D21 Evaluation Contest, 2017

“I lucked out when I joined Kelowna AM Toastmaster club” Wade Paterson said. “There’s a great amount of talent there, such accomplished speakers. They show you something to aspire to, yet they are not intimidating. They encouraged me right from the beginning. The club observes the Toastmaster formalities, but yet it has a casual feel. We have lots of laughter, teasing, joking.”

Wade joined Kelowna AM Toastmasters in November 2015 because he wanted to take the stress out of the frequent presentations he had to give as part of his job at the head office of Remax Western Canada. Along with a co-worker he came to Toastmasters to hone his skills and to become a more effective speaker. 

Part of his learning to become a more effective speaker came from observing other speakers and learning from experienced evaluators. This education culminated in Wade’s winning the District 21 Evaluation contest at the recent Spring Conference.

Wade tries to organize his evaluation by offering comments on three aspects of a speech that were done well, one or two ideas for improvement and a summary that reiterates what he has said. Almost always he will offer specific examples of the points he is making. He likes to focus on body language and vocal variety. The rest, he says, is mostly about the topics covered in the Competent Communicator (CC) manual, noticing what the speaker needs to work on and improve.

“It’s a challenge, to find the appropriate evaluation, whether the speaker is new or advanced. I try to tailor advice very specifically so that I leave the speaker feeling inspired and wanting to prepare another speech. I feel for new speakers; I remember my nerves before my Ice Breaker. I try to leave each speaker I evaluate feeling motivated.

“One thing I’ve noticed is that some people try to power through that CC manual quickly. This means their growth may not keep up. I suggest that they respect that first manual more and give their speech preparation more time, not doing last minute planning.

“In the contest the test speaker, Rob Evans from District 96, was such an elite speaker, it was difficult to find areas to suggest where he could improve. His body language was incredibly effective, he engaged the audience, injected humour in all the right places and his speech was expertly organized.

“His speech was so strong – as I watched it I was thinking ‘What can I tell him to work on?’ He had no glaring weaknesses so I had to be more nitpicky. I acknowledged his strengths and gave him a couple of minor suggestions for improvement. When I walked off the stage I felt I had given it my best effort. I was proud of my performance whether I won or not. It was an incredible feeling to win a District award. Hearing my name called out was the highlight of my Toastmaster career to date.

“I feel that Toastmasters has given me a lot, so in the next year I’m going to look at ways I can give back through leadership opportunities within the club.”

Submitted by Valerie Adolph