Sept. 20, 2017
Chairperson CKC Board
Re: Oakville Kennel Club
I had hoped to have the opportunity to chat with you and other CKC Board members during the Oakville event a week ago. Unfortunately, our paths did not cross; thus, this note.
As you are aware two years ago the Oakville Kennel Club collaborated with the Canadian Pet Expo and hosted their annual event at the International Centre at the airport in Toronto. Together an all breed event occurred hosting specialties including, for the first time in CKC history, a specialty for Canada’s Indigenous Breeds.
This partnership introduced thousands of community members to the world of purebred dogs for the first time on site. It also, due to live screening, allowed Cindy Cherry and myself to have a live streaming conversation for two days discussing the sport of pure-bred dogs, which was distributed internationally to great acclaim.
As a result, the partnership was agreed for this year. This resulted in a significant increase in entries at the all breed show, an increase in specialty shows participating, including once again an event for our Indigenous breeds. Over 18,000 community members attended and Cindy Cherry and myself experienced over seven thousand viewing on the live streaming. Compound that with the millions of homes that the events marketing reached across Ontario and Eastern Canada to now, that is a great reach.
I think it is, therefore, safe to conclude that there is no other event in the country that so effectively addresses the “VISION Statement” of the CKC. That is, to be “a dynamic service organization” and “ a dynamic authority for pure-bred dogs” as well as “an advocate for ALL dogs.”
I was most embarrassed by the absence of the CKC at this event. I do believe that 45 passes were provided to the CKC Board and staff to participate. I believe only one Board Member ( the Quebec member) attended. Participants from England brought their Canadian breed dogs to participate at the all breed and the indigenous breed event. The fact that the CKC Board could not show its face, when it was just across the street, and then publish on Facebook photos of the members devouring “hot dogs” in an essentially empty Rogers Centre instead! WOW, now that is beyond embarrassing, but insulting, incredulous and mind boggling. It also makes a clear statement as to the priority of what is obviously, an obsolete board of directors.
It has also come to my attention that the Oakville Kennel Club has been denied the opportunity to hold this event next year because of a conflict involving distance between shows (in reality the distance is less than 25 kms). That show this year averaged less than 150 dogs per show. I have no idea of the size of their “gate” or the promotion techniques used to engage their community in the world of pure-bred dogs, which is the responsibility of all clubs to warrant their existence. Local shows are, of course, essential in this country of ours, but it is also essential that the future of the sport be a high priority for consideration and often requires tough decisions to be made.
The Dog Show Rules and Regulations allow change to be made such that the Oakville Show could retain the dates they have had for the last two years and, therefore, the partnership with the Canadian Pet Expo can continue. To deny this partnership and engagement with the community at large is evidence of negligence regarding the world of canines in Canada. Even Air Canada has offered to assist in the transportation of Indigenous Breeds from Europe.
It has also come to my attention that there is an election coming up for the members of the board which, from what I have observed is a farce. I have seen no evidence to date of any movement by the CKC board to achieve the “VISION” that it is mandated to achieve. It is no longer the 1880’s and the structure of the Board, is obsolete. In fact, in my opinion, it is destructive to the preservation of purebred dogs in this country. That I consider a tragedy.
I am always optimistic and believe that positive change is possible when motivated for the right reasons. I am asking the members of the board, and those who are considering to seek becoming members, to search their souls regarding their true motivation for taking on this extremely demanding, challenging and essential task preserving this aspect of our Canadian culture.
Richard Meen MD DPsych CRCP
Former President of the CKC
Former Chairperson of the Board of Directors
Former member of the Board of Directors.
As well as a few other achievements in the world of purebred dogs.
CC: Members of the Board of Directors of the CKC
CC: CEO of the CKC
Re: Oakville Kennel Club
Hello Lance and those addressed to the CKC,
Off the top I would like to congratulate the CKC along with the ODKC in presenting and being a part of the 2017 CPE Classic which was what I perceived as one of the largest marketing campaigns in Eastern Canadian pet history to a great pet enthusiast demographic promoting the world of purebred dogs.
The promotion of purebreds was as evident as many enjoyed last week with the ODKC hosting over 1600 dogs over three days (Fri 251 Sat 712 Sun 656) in the sport of CKC Dog Conformation. Most importantly though is the outreach that the event showcased purebreds to, not just exhibitors of the CPE Classic but also to the 17 000 plus attendees, to the over 7 million reached in the Golden HorseShoe, over 6400 live feeds of the Canadian Indigenous broadcast and the over 1.2 million organic social media hits leading into the weekend. That is alot of possible future canine families being presented one of the many benefits that a well bred CKC purebred dog can provide in their family households.
I am sure all of you are aware that due to the schedule request change for the upcoming years the ODKC has requested an alternate weekend or swap of calendar weeks with a club that hosts their event 384 km’s away from the International Ctr home of the CPE Classic. As well I am sure everyone is aware that this request was declined by the CKC as the club which hosts their show after being offered remuneration and sponsorship support for the opportunity (from theODKC and CPE) to switch weekends was not in favor of doing so.
So I feel it is important to at the very least send this letter out to encourage and remind those involved what the ODKC and CPE are working towards. This is written without prejudice and all comments are those of mine (Grant Crossman) as the owner of the CPE with the admission that my interests are putting on a great event with exceptional partners as Heather Brennan and her crew of the ODKC and the promotion of responsible pet ownership.
- On June 21st Dr Richard Meen and myself engaged conversation with the CKC at their office in regards to the future of the CPE Classic in relation to the date conflict which would be taking place in the future years. In that meeting it was agreed that it was a unique opportunity for the CKC to encourage all groups to work thru this “impasse” to ensure purebred dogs were promoted to the largest captive audience. As in the email received from the CKC June 22 stated “Because of the significance of this opportunity, CKC is prepared to set a precedent and become involved in the conversation with Clubs to help steer around this impasse. We propose to use Club experience, creative brainstorming and negotiation tools to bring the Clubs closer together and propose some options.” It was clear leaving that meeting and receiving the email the CKC was going to work closely with the ODKC and the CPE ensuring the legacy being built was to continue in a strong relationship.
- On July 28th the CKC emailed myself “***** is coordinating a teleconference with the Directors Laventhall and Paquette that will convene in less than two week's time. The Directors' influence will encourage Clubs to engage in a broad discussion on options, with the help and support of the CKC team here.” Encouraging words that the understanding is still the CKC is supporting their words of confidence.
- On Aug 17th the CKC emailed myself the following “I met with members of the CKC Shows & Trials team to brainstorm some suggestions for you, but I am disappointed to say that we can offer you no opportunities for variations on conformation shows for your dates in 2018. There's always alternatives like an agility or obedience trials, but our own conformation show rules have shot us in the foot – sorry.” Now the questions I asked were – rules? Which rules – When we met on June 21 we were under the impression one of the people sitting at the CKC table was from the CKC Show Trials Team – were the directors not contacted as per the email from July 28th.
- Rules as per the rule from the CKC Show Rules and Regulations 2.2.5 Permission may be granted to hold simultaneous all-breed and/or specialty shows less than 250 road miles (402 km) apart, at the discretion of the CKC and after consultation with the local CKC Board member. – The CKC has the discretion to present simultaneous shows, as per the email June 22 the CKC showed commitment that this discretion was moving forward by setting a “precedent” understanding the unique and positive opportunity ahead of them. As well was the local member of the ODKC consulted on this, it would not make sense that the local member would offer any negative response to the request of his/her club being ODKC requesting this. As well the distance of 384km’s would see that two distinct audiences would engage in the two distinct events. (Reference - https://www.ckc.ca/en/Files/Forms/Shows-Trials/Event-Rules-Regulations/Conformation- Show-Rules-and-Regulations.aspx)
- What is interesting is that in an email from the CKC dated June 15th it is stated that the ODKC and the club in conflict are scheduled the same weekend of Sept 13 – Sept 15 of 2019. The only difference being the ODKC will show on the Friday as well as the weekend. As of now though that year with duel dates can take place. So why is 2019 acceptable and not 2018 I scratch my head over.
- While sourcing out the rule that I assumed was the reasoning behind this email received Aug 17th I came across the Mission Statement of the CKC and its Strategic Plan for 2015-2018. Within this great plan was the following “Mandate (from bylaw “Objects”) encourage, guide and advance the health, welfare and on-going interests of purebred dogs, their responsible owners and/or breeders in Canada. To advocate, To promote the knowledge and understanding of the many benefits and joys that dogs bring to Canadian society. To advise and co-operate with governments at all levels in Canada in the development of effective legislation to promote responsible dog breeding and ownership, thereby enhancing the benefits that dogs bring to Canadian society. To co-operate with, encourage and assist associations, organizations, clubs and persons engaged in furthering the interests of purebred dogs and dogs in society. To maintain a system of registration of purebred dogs that meets the requirements of the Animal Pedigree Act, Agriculture Canada and Canadian Kennel Club members. To provide, manage and maintain a system whereby associated clubs, organizations and persons may, under the auspices of the Canadian Kennel Club, conduct shows, trials, tests and activities that are in accordance with the standards, policies, procedures, rules, and regulations as established by the Club.” This is exactly to what the ODKC is presenting and providing to the 17 000 plus attendees of the CPE Classic, so why would the CKC not want to as they said “set precedent” and approving this event. Would the other event provide the same exposure 384km’s outside of the largest population base in Canada the fourth largest in North America (Reference - http://www.ckc.ca/en/Strategic-Plan-2015-2018)
- The CPE Classic saw a 30% increase from last year’s exhibitors, how does this compare to the conflicting show the numbers I saw was 525 for a full weekend. Still a great number of showing dogs but if the ODKC and CPE grew the number by 30% wow what would the event grow in 2018 or 2019 or onwards.
- The CPE Classic is booked and will one way or another take place in the coming years, either with a UKC initiative as they are keen to see a strong event come to Toronto, or as a sweepstakes style dog show that will host the largest prize pool in Canada set in place by a committee of owners, handlers, interest groups and sponsors or a unique dog show engaging professional handlers and the general public.
In final I am with confidence encouraged to work with the ODKC and the CKC moving forward with the CPE Classic with the hopes CKC can see themselves through this stumble.
The ODKC and the CPE have grown to understand one another’s needs with wants, some feelings have been shared, some hurt, there has been questions but at the end of the day it’s a mutual respect, mutual admiration and most importantly all working towards the same goal of putting on a great dog show! The respect for Heather and her crew is growing and well earned, she sees the vision, long term objective and with knows that each year we will get that much closer to putting on an event that will make the CKC proud to be a part of.
The regal, the class, the trust, the confidence and the education of a dog conformation will continue to be the characteristics of the CPE Classic hosted by the ODKC with the hopes of the CKC. With hopes the CKC would stand by their email of June 22 that showed the determination of “setting precedent” with the clubs and “help steer around this impasse”.
I respect the history of the CKC and the rules of the board however in today’s state of affairs where electronic pets are competing with the interest level of possible first time purebred families and the regal sport of dog conformations on the decline, all common sense, marketing angles and respect to the canines that bring so much joy to the lives of many would only point to seeing the CKC being the HEROs in this impasse and doing what is right for the sport and keeping their initial word of intent.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope to see positive comments coming from all copied on this email.
Canadian Pet Expo Inc.