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Outlook From Your Council – Optimistic for 2022

By Jeff Seaborn, Chair, EAA Canada Council

February 1, 2022 – Looking forward to 2022, your Canadian Council is excited about the opportunities and possibilities the new year brings.

One of the things, as you’ll see elsewhere in this edition of Bits and Pieces, is a posting for new council members. New members on the council add fresh ideas, energy, and possibilities to your Canadian Council. Please see the attached posting and consider the opportunity to join and support the health of general and recreational aviation in Canada. At this point we would like to thank Patrick Gilligan for his services to the council and wish him well in his retirement to Penticton, British Columbia.

Jeff at Airventure with Patrick Gilligan, retiring member of the Council
Jeff at Airventure with Patrick Gilligan, retiring member of the Council

Another thing the council is working on for 2022 are additional ways to engage with new and potential pilots and aviation enthusiasts. Our goal is to help a new stream of people realize that aviation is a highly rewarding and enjoyable activity, available to all. If you’ve seen some of the postings and writings from Megan Lokstet, the recent recipient of the Ray Aviation Scholarship through Chapter 63, you’ll recognize the excitement and energy that comes from youth involved in aviation. Megan is a tremendous example of the enthusiasm that has grown from a single person’s involvement. This enthusiasm has spread throughout her chapter and to an ever-increasing circle of contacts.

One way of connecting with the younger generation is through the Young Eagles program. The program has been a tremendous success. Since its introduction nearly 30 years ago, the program has introduced over 2 million youth to aviation. 61,000 Young Eagles were flown in 2019, 6,000 in 2020 and about 30,000 in 2021. Getting chapters back on track for 2022 will be a focus. Last year we lost Lloyd Richards, our most active Young Eagles pilot in Canada. Lloyd flew an amazing 2,569 Young Eagles! In honour of Lloyd’s accomplishment, we’re working on a Lloyd Richards Young Eagles award to be recognized at each chapter for activities related to Young Eagles. Full details will be shared with the chapter executives and we hope all chapters and members look to re-engage with the Young Eagles program.

Some of the volunteers at the Canadian Tent in 2019.

Another goal of the council is to provide your local chapters with greater tools to support their activities and members. The really active and growing chapters in Canada are the ones who are taking advantage of the support and tools made available to them from EAA. We’d like all the chapters to realize what’s available and see the positive energy that comes from that growth and engagement. If you’re a chapter executive, reach out to us. If you’re not a chapter executive, ask your executive to reach out to us. All it takes is a spark to ignite the flame..

As we look forward to a new year, we also look forward to the opportunity to reconnect at AirVenture. It’s hard to believe that it will have been three years since we had an official Canadian presence at AirVenture. Last year some intrepid Canadians made it to Oshkosh, but 2022 will be the year for a Canadian relaunch at AirVenture. EAA and your Canadian Council have already started planning some of the events and activities. We’ll have the Canadian tent and forums as we’ve had in the past and we’ve started reaching out to some amazing presenters that our members will appreciate and enjoy. We’re planning our popular Canadian Breakfast with an exciting keynote speaker.

We’re working hard to make 2022 a great year for general aviation activity in Canada. Let’s all do our part.

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