A verbal version of the Kootenay Doukhobor Historical Society’s annual report was presented to Castlegar City Council earlier this week by a society delegation consisting of President Peter Perepolkin and Administrator Lisa Poznikoff.
A number of positive points were made in the run-through of society affairs concerning, primarily, the Doukhobor Discovery Centre.
A “revamped website” was listed early in the delivery, along with the fact that the centre is “enjoying a much stronger response through social media and emails,” Perepolkin mentioned.
“Andy Ozeroff was hired on a part time basis as a general hands-on person who has been able to accomplish many of the smaller projects as well as numerous grounds upgrades.”
The president continued, “We have held a number of board workshops over the summer and fall, trying to determine the direction our efforts should be taking. A number of very good ideas have been put forward. Another retreat is scheduled for early January, for which we will be inviting a number of guests and previous members.”
“I guess the proof is in the pudding,” summed up the president. “We have had a substantial increase in our visitor counts this year. And receipts from admissions have more than doubled (those of) previous years, while our expenses have been actually dropped considerably due, in part, to a much more involved board.”
Lisa Poznikoff told council that the upsurge in revenues combined with greater efficiencies has allowed the KDHS to improve the grounds, “and the variety of infrastructure changes.”
“I officially took on the roll of administrator in August of this year,” she explained, “and I’m very excited about the potential for the museum. I see no end to the possibilities, I am pleased with the team effort of our board members as well as a number of volunteers.”
Poznikoff, in closing, also expressed excitement regarding the enhanced and expanded collaboration with Communities in Bloom which is coming up in 2014.
Councillor Dan Rye offered kudos to Perepolkin, Poznikoff and the KDHS.
“Having attended your meetings in the last while, I know how hard you guys are working in getting things back in order, working toward the future,” said Rye, “so, good luck.”
“I just want to congratulate you on what you’ve done over the past year,” chimed in Councillor Kevin Chernoff. “I know you’ve had some hurdles to get over and you seem to have done a good job.”
Perepolkin has considerable history with the group and is enjoying the greater role he’s been able to play of late.
He told the Castlegar News following the meeting that he’d been on the board of directors for about 25 years but due to a number of factors, including running his own business, he hadn’t been able to get very deeply involved.
“Since my retirement I’ve been devoting more time to it,” the current president said, “it’s possible now.”
Things are looking good according to Perepolkin, who is also pleased with the greater affiliation arranged with Communities in Bloom.
“Darlene (Kalawsky) has been out there helping us plant tulip bulbs,” he said, adding that a sort of return to the past is one thing being considered. He referred to the fact that Ootischenia was once home to more than 10,000 fruit trees.
“Right now it’s down to a very small number. We’d like to plant fruit trees, plant larger gardens, just again to have a much more vibrant growing space.”
The café at the Discovery Centre is also the subject of ambitious plans, as Perepolkin described.
“The restaurant will definitely be open this year, we are just in the process of finalizing a lease agreement with a local farm outlet. We’re hoping to have that all in place, a year-round establishment for fruit, vegetables and produce.”
KDHS Board – 2012 / 2013
Peter Perepolkin – President
Walter Pereverzoff – Vice President (stepped down due to health reasons)
Evelyn Voykin – Treasurer
• Lisa Poznikoff – Administrator (staff)/Secretary
The Doukhobor Discovery Centre is open from May 1 to September 30 every year and is located across from the West Kootenay Regional Airport in Castlegar.