2019 was a great year as our members enjoyed increased riding opportunities throughout our province. Staff, board members and I had many meetings with officials from all levels of provincial and local government. These continue in 2020.
In my role as a director of CQC (Quad Council of Canada) I continue to represent our Nova Scotia interests at the national level. We reiterated our continued support for our reciprocal agreements with both the New Brunswick and PEI riding federations.
I want to thank the members for their efforts in 2019 as we had significant growth in membership, members events, and for the trail work clubs performed. Your work in these efforts is a significant reason for increased member’s benefits.
2019 also saw our association reach out to other user groups in our province to find areas of common interest and benefit. I want to thank those board and club members who took part in these initiatives.
I am pleased to see that our TrakMaps and Polaris Ride Command have been well received by the membership and work on those initiatives is continuous. Our trails coordinator as well as the local clubs who provide trail information for these programs should be proud of the work they have accomplished in 2019.
In closing out 2019 I want to also thank the board and volunteer committee members who took part and continue to take part in meetings (2020 are now online). I am pleased that non board members took up the challenge of volunteering on committees. Their input is valued and their time commitment is appreciated.
As we all the know the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 resulted in closure of our events and meetings but plans are being put in place to enable the membership to take part in organized events safely as we move through 2020. Ride Safe.
It was and continues to be a pleasure working on our members behalf, with club and board members to promote and further our sport.
West Richmond Riders Association
ATVANS recently voted to accept a new club into our growing network of clubs across Nova Scotia. West Richmond Riders Association will fill a needed gap and help create connectivity from Port Hawkesbury to existing clubs northeast in Richmond County. ATVANS is the third largest ATV federation in Canada with clubs in all regions of Nova Scotia. Even during these difficult, unsure times we continue to attract new members through our online registration system.
ATVANS now has 42 member clubs.
In what can only be described as a progressive year for ATVANS, we met and overcame numerous challenges, exceeded previous year’s membership numbers and advanced the sport of ATVing and our organization.
Membership within ATVANS achieved the 5000 threshold in 2019, more than double the 2010 numbers. Advancements in online registration, increased riding opportunities, greater club involvement and streamlined membership are among some of the reasons for our growth pattern. It should be noted that while ATVANS continues to grow other provincial rider federations struggle.
In 2019 we held a very successful annual general meeting with many board changes. I would like to thank those who are no longer serving on the board for their service. The board has met quarterly and carried out the business of the association. The board is in the final throws of completing its multiyear strategic Framework renewal. This will help guide the board for the coming years.
We entered into a great partnership with Honda Canada in 2019, which led to our most successful lottery ever. Honda Canada and the local Honda dealers are solid partners. I would like to thank Morgan Vallis, Mark Lane and Peter Schmoll from Honda Canada for their efforts and support.
Once again, the board reviewed the size and utility of the youth safety fleet. This led to the sale of underutilized assets, including trailers and bikes. The assets were sold by public auction and realized more than expected revenue. This will result in a significant write down in our fixed assets. ATVANS continues to support the youth safety training program with youth ATVs and trailers available for affiliated trainers.
We continue to make improvements to our website and Facebook page to provide information to members and others. Our Facebook page has the largest following of any OHV page in Atlantic Canada and our website continues to grow in terms of popularity and content. In addition to a co-op advertising program for local clubs, we also began an advertising campaign in 2019 with ads on Tim’s T.V. and local restaurant place mats.
In 2019 we had some success with government relations. Progress in both new and existing WPAs have or will lead to greater riding opportunities. We presented to the law amendments committee of the house of assembly on a bill to allow OHV use in two existing WPAs . We continue to meet and participate in government committees, including Department of Transportation, Department of Environment, Department of Lands and Forestry, municipal governments, local MLAs and councilors and mayors.
We continued to provide support, advice and feedback to members, clubs and private landowners. Each year we receive and reply to hundreds of inquiries through phone, email or social media platforms. In addition, we respond to and support our many partners, such as CQC, COHV and commercial partners. Our partner’s page continues to grow but plenty of opportunity still exists for both corporate partners and members. More effort is required in this area.
The spring of 2020 not only provided great challenges for the entire world; it did the same for ATVANS. In what was shaping up to be a fantastic year for the annual lottery and Outdoor show we found ourselves in very uncertain times. Although the lottery exceeded all other years, one can only imagine what would have happened had it not been cut short. We managed to wrap things up and deliver prizes while still conforming to public health directives.
The public health concerns led to other challenges including cancelling our planned AGM at the last minute and replacing it with a virtual version with little or no experience in this format. We developed a Covid-19 safety plan for members, clubs and staff and are moving our organization forward with government and other partners in the new realities of covid-19. The covid-19 safety plan will be widely shared once approved by public health officials.
ATVANS and many other membership-based organizations will face difficult months ahead. In the winter of 2020, I began work on a ten-year growth strategy to be presented to the board in the fall of 2020. This work was transformed into a post pandemic plan on how and what we can do to adapt to our new challenges. Although it is still a work in progress the board has seen its first draft and an ad-hoc committee of board members will soon start meeting to provide advice and feed back to the board prior to our next board meeting.
Although there have been many challenges especially in the spring of 2020, I am confident ATVANS will continue to grow and flourish in the coming years. We will simply need to plan and adapt to the new realities. Your staff and board have worked closely over the past 12 months to advance your organization and I expect no less over the coming year.
We are pleased to announce that the following volunteers have been elected to three Zone Director positions on the ATVANS Board:
Jason Calnen, has been elected as the new Zone 1 Director. He was an ATVANS Zone Director for HRM in the early 2000s and today is an active member of the Kings County ATV Club and a board member of the Kings County Trails Society. He lives in Greenwich, which is between Wolfville and New Minas and has been riding since 1985 travelling more than 100,000 kms on recreational trails in mainland Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland. Jason is self-employed and currently working in a family photography business in Wolfville, NS.
Jamie Briggs has been elected as the new Zone 3B Director. In 2013 he moved to the Eastern shore and became a member of ATVANS. He has been a member of both Lake Charlotte and Sheet Harbour ATV clubs. Jamie retired from the RCMP as a Sargent after 35 years in 2015. He also volunteers with Meals and Wheels, Harbourview Lodge and is an officer with the Legion.
Donna Graham has been elected as the new Zone 4 Director. For the last four years she has been the Secretary and Grant Coordinator for the Colchester Five Islands ATV Club. She has also held various positions in other non-profit organizations. Donna has 40 years experience as a self-employed bookkeeper and seamstress, including 13 years of retail management.
Here is the complete list of Zone Directors and their contact information:
Zone 1 Director – Jason Calnen, email@example.com, 902-690-5448
Zone 2 Director – Michelle Wile, firstname.lastname@example.org, 902-521-0427
Zone 3A Director – Corey Osborne, email@example.com, 902-717-8601
Zone 3B Director – Jamie Briggs, firstname.lastname@example.org, 902-880-3991
Zone 4 Director – Donna Graham, email@example.com, 902-986-0171
Zone 5 Director – firstname.lastname@example.org
Zone 6A Director – Judy Giovannetti, email@example.com, 902-578-5902
Zone 6B Director – Graham Menzies, firstname.lastname@example.org, 902-371-0876
Wow what a year! This being my first year is vice president of ATVANS, the first few months were spent getting brought up to speed about all the projects and meetings in the works, also the inner workings of the organization (which are a lot different than at the club level).
After the first couple of months of getting brought up to speed it was time to start work. For most of 2019 I sat on the trails committee who were working with Nova Scotia Share our Trails Committee. We had several telephone calls and meetings with them trying to give advice/direction on how to deal with government in order to achieve their goals. However, it was decided that after several months of negative comments from their organization towards ATVANS that we would cease communication with them until further notice.
The start of 2020 proved to be very challenging with the pandemic as well as the re-organization of all the committees.
We have taken the committees, which numbered somewhere around 15, and restructured them into three committees, Regulatory committee, Operations committee and Officers. Once we restructured the committees it took some time to re-organize and come up with a game plan that would benefit all the clubs in the province.
I am the chair of the operations committee which includes mapping, Trails subcommittee as well as other topics. With the help of the 15 members on the operations committee we have several projects that we are working on, one is mapping, which we are updating and is an on going task. Another project is trail connectivity throughout the province between each zone and we are identifying problem areas. Once we have a good overview of all the issues, we will develop a plan to address each area. We are also working on a land owner’s agreement booklet that could be distributed to all Clubs to be handed out to land owners. The booklet will contain land owner agreement forms as well as frequently asked questions and answers. This should make it easier on new and existing club board executives when dealing with land owners and their issues.
Lastly, myself and VP-2 are looking at the feasibility of producing an ATVANS magazine to be distributed to our members a couple times a year. This is in the early stages and would still have to go to the Board for approval. We will be reaching out to the clubs in the province regarding content and advertising for this endeavor.
My first year as ATVANS VP-2 has been a challenging and rewarding experience. The new board elected last year by our members showed they were ready for a change. We have put together a fantastic group of people who all have the best interest of ATV riders in Nova Scotia in mind. The passion, involvement and ideas brought forward over the last year by our board makes me confident that we will accomplish great things moving forward.
The Honda Talon visited 16 clubs from September 2019 – March 2020. It was on display at the Wharf Rat Rally, car shows, exhibitions, community events, hockey games; rallies and club events from one end of the province to the other. Approximately $89,000 was generated by the clubs.
ATVANS collected $27,000 and these proceeds go toward paying for the prizes and other lottery related expenses.
The feedback and buzz around the Talon has been incredible and this has, without a doubt, been our biggest and best prize to date.
The early closure and cancellation of the 2020 Outdoor show really took the wind out of sales. Projected sales were $10,000 and would have helped to achieve our 70,000 ticket sales goal.
I consider the 2020 lottery a great success. Having 100% club participation for the second straight year gives me confidence that the clubs are seeing the benefits. Thanks to our Partners at Honda Canada.
Last fall I put together a detailed inventory of our youth fleet and collected data from trainers regarding the amount of training done over the past year.
A recommendation and motion was made that we sell 16 youth machines, 5 trailers and keep a 4 unit mobile fleet for trainers to use when required.
I look forward to working with the board and committee members to accomplish our goals in the coming year.
So, have you noticed some new faces out on the trail? No wonder, ATV sales are surpassing record numbers in the past few months here in Nova Scotia and now the rest of the country is joining us. The COVID-19 bump is putting many new riders and families outdoors on the trails enjoying the fresh air.
Take the time to meet our new friends and welcome them to the sport of organized responsible ATVing. Everyday new riders join ATVANS looking for maps and safe fun riding opportunities. I will include recent sales numbers so you can see for yourself this fantastic sales increase. Dealers have been telling us for three months that sales are great and now the official numbers speak for themselves.
The sport of ATVing is doing our part to help grow the economy of Nova Scotia one ATV or side by side at a time. Join me and remind your local MLA and municipal councillor about the importance of our sport to the economy and how expansion of the “Share The Road” pilot project will support local economic growth in areas of Nova Scotia.
For more information on the ‘Share The Road” pilot project visit our website at www.atvans.org or simply click on this link (https://atvans.wildapricot.org/sharetheroad)
Ride safe, have fun and enjoy.
Executive Director ATVANS
After a committee recommendation the board voted to liquidate 5 trailers and 16 youth ATVs. The auction brought in $39,535.00. This is a much-needed top up to our Safety Training Fund. Insurance costs continue to increase, last year we paid $5,400.00, this year after a rebate for removing the auctioned youth bikes we paid $ $6,400.00. We currently have over $38,000.00 in the Fund that will allow us to continue during the years ahead.
Once again, the clubs have taken up my challenge and have spent the total $100,000 allocated. 2019 was the first year the fund was increased to $100,000. Clubs from one end of the province to the other used these funds for a variety of projects, some for trail work repairs after Hurricane Dorian. We have received this year’s funds and although it might be a challenge with Covid-19, let us once again not leave any on the table.
The budget was presented to the board at our January Board Meeting and passed at that meeting on January 12. In this budget there was an increase in funding for the AGM, insurance, postage, rent, website fees and Zone meetings. As we grow and the cost of doing business rises, so do our expenses.
Then Covid-19 hit and as I have always stated, “The budget is just that, a budget.” These are estimates based on history and planning. If we do not receive the income we budget, then we need to cut our expenses. It also carries items from one year to the next. At present, we know that the income we planned on receiving will not be there, and at the same time there are expenses we can reduce. One example is this year’s AGM, that has been cancelled and replaced with a Virtual AGM. On the expense side we have our insurance bill that still needs to be paid. We will continue to monitor our finances as we move forward.
Member Management Website Wild Apricot
Traffic to our website continues to increase. In 2018 we had over 25,000 visits. In 2019 we had had over 41,000 with Events, Maps and Trails and Join Us, the most visited. Just over 70% of visits are male, with approximately 30% female.
Online new memberships and renewals continue to grow, as people find it fast and convenient. We currently sit with over 1,100 members that have joined or renewed on line. We still have a large percentage of members that we do not have emails. I urge the clubs to provide member emails when ever they can and notify us of any changes.
2019 was the first year we sold non member Trail Permits, with a total of 22 sold.
Information on the website is only as accurate as the information we are provided. Please provide us any changes and updates to your club executives, meeting dates and locations once we can meet again. Send in rally and fun run information to be posted and emailed out to members. If you see any issues, misinformation, errors, etc. on the website, please let us know.
Last year we announced our Advertising Co Op Program, unfortunately only two clubs took advantage. We decided to try a few different approaches and one was Tim’s TV. We ran our ad during the two biggest winter events of the year, The Shore Riders Fish and Chip Rally and the Lake Charlotte Winter Rally. Over an 8 day span it was played 221,645 times. If you have not seen it, it is available on our Facebook page. In addition, we placed an ad with The Placemat Guys to have on the Bluenose Restaurant placemats in Halifax and are looking for other locations. Unfortunately, with Covid-19 the timing was bad, but once this is over, they are ready to go.
Although we were cut short by our best three days of ticket sales due to the Covid-19 measures we still managed to have record ticket sales by the clubs. The lottery draw location was moved to Pro Cycle and held in a closed dealership. I would like to thank Keith Ramsey and his staff at Pro Cycle for accommodating the last minute change.
The draw was live streamed on Facebook, however, poor cell signal lead to interrupted feed. The winner was Scott Ogilvie from Walton, Hants County. Scott and his family received their beautiful Honda Talon at a hand over ceremony under sunny skies with most of his family present and safe social distancing measures observed.
Both second and third prizes were shipped to the winners. Melissa Cross from Lunenburg County won the Honda Generator and Dennis McGee from Pictou County won the Honda Power Trimmer.
I want to give a huge thank you to Honda Canada for their amazing contribution to this year’s lottery along with Keith Ramsey of Pro Cycle and all the Honda dealers across the province that supported the local clubs by loaning display models when required. A special mention to Morgan Vallis, Mark Lane and Peter Schmoll, from Honda Canada, for their efforts and support of ATVANS and our local clubs.
Finally, a shout out to Tom Arnold and the 41 ATVANS clubs whose combined efforts led to another successful lottery under a very difficult conclusion. This lottery supports clubs and club projects and helps develop and maintain our growing trail network.
Executive Director ATVANS
Starting on July 3rd, I did a 12-day road trip around the province visiting with various clubs, looking at projects they had completed with grants from the OHVIF, ATVANS Small Grant Program and some just with money from their own bank accounts along with volunteer labour and other donated items/services.
CLICK HERE to read the full trip report and see the accompanying photos.
Guysborough Journal - ATVANS Article
Click here to download the PDF version of this article.
I contacted or visited every club in the Province.
Helped local clubs working on connectivity issues around and through the Town of Bridgewater, Ogden Round Lake Wilderness Area, and the Portapique Wilderness Area as well as other smaller connectivity issues around the Province.
We added approximately 300km of trails to our mapping system along with some adjustments to the original data.
Helped clubs receive $419,000.00 in funding from the OHVIF and $100,000.00 in funding from the ATVANS Small Grant Program, total value of worked completed in excess of $1,148,000.00
Prepared a presentation requesting additional shoulder of the road access areas, a 268 page document that was presented to the Premier.
Met with NSE, TIR, L&F Ministers, Deputies and staff discussing various agenda items to move issues faced forward.
Attended monthly OHVIF Committee meetings and got the ATVANS Small Grant amount increased from $75,000 to $100,000
Mapping updates provided to TrakMaps and our data is now on Polaris Ride Command
Logged 2,500kms on the demo Maverick trail.
Working with mapping company to improve our system, working to have the ability for us to edit the data and provide info links for structures such as bridges. This will help in the ongoing management of our system and infrastructure.
Participated on the SANS Trails Committee as well as in the joint Trails Committee meetings between ATVANS, SANS and NSORRA.
Connectivity for 2020 remains a priority, working with the Trails Committee, Zone Directors and Clubs to determine where opportunities and constraints exist.
This this report comes to you with not as much of a happy vibe as our last one. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic Fundy ATV has been feeling the pain like the rest of the world. We have not been able to organize any fun-runs or have our regular meetings. We realize you are all in the same boat, so I won’t dwell on that. I am going to report on a couple of positives and then I will get into our big negatives.
Since our last report we have completed our two major OHVIF Grant projects and applied for the final 20% so we can pay our contractors. We have our whole area all widened out for safety and visibility and will now be able to keep it maintained on a go forward basis. We also completed our project of building a connector trail to complete what we refer to as The Georgefield Loop.
We also finally got a start on our clubhouse. That has been a project a long time in the making. We have a nice piece of lakefront property close to our trail system where we have planned to build for some time, and every time we finally had enough money raised we ended up needing to fix a trail or something. We now have a floor down and plan to have at least a roof tight shell and some heat by fall. If the money holds tight, we will have it finished completely; but for now, baby steps. When it is completed, we will likely have some type of run/housewarming get together. Stay tuned.
Now for the not so great news….
Due to COVID, we had to cancel our annual Spring Rally scheduled for May 9th. Our Spring Rally has been the Saturday before Mother’s Day since we formed our club, and the event has become one of the most anticipated ATV events of spring every year, the last two years our events have had repeat and increased attendance from NB and PEI. Not only is this event important to us for the fun factor, and as our major fundraiser, but it is also an important event for the local baseball association. We have a long-term partnership with them, and these events raise money for them to help keep up their three fields and keep costs low for the player’s registration.
The second piece of bad news on the list is a big chunk out of what made our area famous. Due to some complaining from one individual, a landowner asked us to shut down our famous man-made mudhole. The rally last May will be the last time our run will include “The Mosher Road Hole”. We tried to negotiate for it to remain, but due to several complaints from one person over various issues unrelated to us or the hole, the landowner said NO. We feel as bad as you do, believe me.
The next kick in the pants we received in the Spring from Hell occurred two weeks ago. There is 55 miles of old rail bed here that formed a major connection in our trail system. The land was privately owned, and the owners received a few complaints about people being on them when the are supposed to be
“Staying The Blazes Home”, so the shut them down and they have been posted as such. Members of our executive are working to find a solution. Just like the clubhouse, stay tuned, and please respect the landowner’s wishes and avoid the tracks.
Hopefully in our Fall Report, I can post about our big Clubhouse Grand Opening Shaker, a record attendance for our Fall Rally, a wealth of new members, and more trail work we have accomplished.
Until next time, kick up some dust,
Trevor Hebb, President – Fundy ATV
We look forward to seeing everyone in 2020/21!!
Beaver Bank ATV Executive Committee.
Nothing to reports
Nothing to report
The Zone meeting for 6A was held in Saint Peters in January 2020, and was well attended by members from each of the six clubs in this zone. Dan Fraser made a presentation on the 70 kilometers of trail between Glace Bay and Framboise built with the efforts of the Isle Royale ATV Club and the Marconi Trail Blazers ATV Club. Cory Robar, Trails Co-ordinator, provided a discussion on access to OHV funding and recommendations on how to access Land Use Permission for the abandoned railway bed that runs through the village of St. Peters. The main concern expressed by members of all the clubs in Zone 6A is their difficulties connecting with other trails due to the water that surrounds many towns and villages in Cape Breton.
Marconi Trail Blazers, in conjunction with the Bay It Forward' group, planned to have a poker run in the spring. This run has been cancelled due to the restrictions put in place due to COVID-19.
Jim Surette, Vice-President, on behalf of the Marconi Trail Blazers ATV Club; dropped off a Land Use Permission form to the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) for permission to use an abandoned portion of the Cow Bay Road to upgrade it for ATV use. A meeting has been set up in the near future with an officer from TIR to view the portion of proposed trail.
The picture below shows part of the Cow Bay Road where Land Use Permission has been requested.
Isle Royale ATV Club received funding in 2019 to complete a bridge on the MacDonald Road, Framboise area, and to commence trail building in the Rat Lake area. Due to unforeseen difficulties, work was unable to be completed in 2019; therefore, club members have been on site in that area to finalize their plans for this portion of the trail.
On January 31, seven members of the club executives briefed Conservative MLAs Keith Bain, Murray Ryan and Brian Comer. On February 11, several members met again for a briefing with the three MLAs; PC leader, Tim Houston, and his assistant Nicole. They were asked for their support in the club’s endeavour to have several changes made to the OHV Act 0f 2006. They were very supportive of the recommended changes to the act.
On February 14, club members met with the new manager of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal in Sydney to introduce the Isle Royale Club and to request his support. He identified himself as a fellow ATVer and stated that he would be happy to lend his support whenever possible.
A small number of club members in early May, travelled the newer sections of trail between the Community Pasture and Framboise, to erect a few signs and evaluate the condition of the trail. Club members were happy to note that the trail is in excellent shape.
Several ATV runs planned for the spring, have been cancelled due to restrictions put in place for COVID-19. As of this date, the event planners continue to move ahead with their plans for the Highland Quest. A number of on-line registrations have been received.
Dwayne Boudreau reported that the club is in phase 1 of upgrading the rail trail to bring it up to multi use standards. He advised that they plan to apply for OHV funding this fall to begin phase two of their three stage projects.
Ricky Stone indicated that club members started maintenance work on the first 5 kilometers of their main trail to bring it up to Multi Use Standards. They have a machine on the trail at this time to work on ditching and spreading gravel. Ricky advised that their trails held up well over the winter/spring months.
Trail Patroller Training was provided in December 2019 for nine members from the Marconi Trail Blazers and Isle Royale ATV Clubs. In January 2020, Trail Patroller training was provided to fourteen members of the four clubs from the Richmond County area: East Richmond ATV Club, Coastal Riders, Barachois Trail Association and Isle Madame ATV Riders Association. Members who completed the course received trail vests; to date requested Ids have not been provided by ATVANS. Several Trail Patrollers have inquired about the delay in receiving their photo Ids.
Zone Director 6A