Year End Greetings from BCAE Executive Committee 2023

We want to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to the BCAE members for giving us the opportunity to serve as your representative for the year 2023. The Executive Committee 2023 prepared a Year End Video Greetings along with Memories of 2023

The year 2023 was the beginning of the post pandemic era. So, the main challenge for the EC 2023 was to increase connectivity and sense of belonging to our Bangladeshi community members in Edmonton that got disrupted by the pandemic. We worked tirelessly to bring back the regular BCAE events. Moreover, for the first time in history we organized special events focusing on our youth and seniors. Notable events include: EC Induction and Meet & Greet with past presidents, International Mother Language Day celebration at Edmonton City Hall, participating in International Heritage and Language Association (IHLA) Mother Language Day event, Blood Donation, Youth Night, Independence Day, Bangla New Year & Eid, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Annual Picnic, Edmonton Heritage Festival, Casino Volunteering, Senior Get-Together, Bangladesh Center Founding Donor Appreciation, Fall Festival & Puja, Bangladesh Consular Service, and Victory Day & BCAE Recognition Night.

Apart from events, the EC 2023 took various initiatives for the betterment of the association. Notable initiatives include: Significant Increase of BCAE Paid Membership; Uplift Bangladesh History, Culture and Heritage in Edmonton; Building Collaboration & Partnership with External Organizations; Positive Relationship with Bangladesh High Commission in Canada; Bangladesh Center Operation Protocol; Resuming In-Person BCAE Bangla School & IHLA Funding; Increased Youth Participation in BCAE events; Initiating Seniors Socialization Event; Regular Update and Maintenance of BCAE Website; and Enhancement of BCAE Social Media.

The inauguration of Bangladesh Center as the community’s hub brought both challenges and opportunities for the EC. We were able to use the Bangladesh Center for various BCAE events. The Bangla School in-person classes were brought back to the center as well after the pandemic. However, payment of the high interest loan installments and maintaining the regular operation of the center put financial stress on the association. With the help of our dedicated members, who provided interest free loans to the association, the EC and the Community Facility Committee (CFC) were able to overcome this burden. We can proudly announce that Bangladesh Center is now 100% loan free!

BCAE faced an extreme financial challenge from the beginning of 2023. The amount of financial resources left by the end of 2022 was not even nearly enough to just maintain the Bangladesh Center for a year. The EC took several initiatives to overcome this challenge, for example, extensively increasing the sponsorships & donations, successful application of Government of Alberta funding, registration of BCAE events with mandatory prepayment, boosting the membership, successful completion of Edmonton Heritage Festival, etc. This helped the association to generate enough revenue to organize a record number of events in a year while maintaining the Bangladesh Center and Bangla School operation. We thank all sponsors, donors, BCAE members and volunteers for their dedication and support along the way. I hope future ECs can follow this model to make BCAE financially much more sustainable.

All through the year, the EC had the opportunity to work with some dedicated volunteers who are part of BCAE Standing and Ad-hoc Committees. We worked closely with the CFC to plan and implement Bangladesh Center renting and usage protocol for financial sustainability, worked with the Arbitration Committee to develop policies, and worked with the Bangla School Committee to transition from online to in-person classes in the post-pandemic era as well as to ensure a smooth operation throughout the year. We also worked with two Ad-hoc Committees throughout the year: the International Mother Language Monument Committee (IMLMC) and the Bylaws Review Committee. The IMLMC worked tirelessly throughout the year towards building a permanent Mother Language Monument (Mother Language Square) in Edmonton. The Bylaws Review Committee worked diligently to bring proper amendments to BCAE Bylaws.        

Our sincere thanks to all the family members of the EC for their help and sacrifice of their family time for the association. Our heartfelt thanks to the dedicated volunteers of BCAE who spent endless hours to make our event successful. We are indebted to all of our sponsors & donors who contributed to our beloved association when we needed their help the most. 

We are taking this opportunity to congratulate the EC 2024 for being elected as the BCAE representative for the year of 2024. The EC 2024 will take over BCAE's leadership on January 1, 2024. We hope with the support from our community members, the EC 2024 will take BCAE to a higher level of achievements. 

Wishing Everyone a Happy New Year 2024!