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WOMEN’S INSTITUTE ACT

WOMENS INSTITUTE ACT

Chapter W‑13

Table of Contents

                1       Definitions

                2       Objects

The Alberta Womens Institutes

                3       Existing institutes

                4       Constitution and bylaws

                5       Council

                6       Number of directors

                7       Power to alter constitution

                8       Officers and employees

Local Institutes

                9       Incorporation

              10       Change of name

              11       Corporate seal

              12       Organization meeting

              13       Membership

              14       Address

              15       Officers

              16       Qualification of voters, etc.

              17       Election by ballot

              18       Term of office

              19       Vacancies

              20       Special committees

              21       Annual general meeting

              22       Notice of meetings

              23       Special general meetings


              24       Failure to hold annual meeting

              25       Presiding officer

              26       Order of business

              27       Directors meetings

              28       Power of directors

              29       Quorum

              30       Annual audit

              31       List of officers and copy of treasurers account

              32       Bylaws

              33       Property and funds

              34       Existing institutes

              35       Womens Institute Girls Clubs

              36       Independence of institutes

              37       Regulations

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, enacts as follows:

Definitions

1   In this Act,

                                 (a)    “council” means the council of The Alberta Women’s Institutes;

                                 (b)    “institute” means any women’s institute incorporated under this Act, or to which this Act applies, except The Alberta Women’s Institutes;

                                 (c)    “provincial president” means the president of The Alberta Women’s Institutes and includes its vice‑president.

RSA 1980 cW‑13 s1

Objects

2   The objects of the institutes are the improvement of social conditions in rural and other communities by means of

                                 (a)    the study of

                                           (i)    home economics, including home nursing, household science, sanitation, food values, sick room cookery, house furnishing, sewing and other matters, and

                                          (ii)    child welfare, prevention of disease, local neighbourhood needs, industrial and social conditions,

                                 (b)    the establishment of institutes as social and educational community centres and the provision of a welcome to new settlers in the community,

                                 (c)    the encouragement of agriculture and improvement of agricultural conditions, and

                                 (d)    the holding, establishing and maintenance of demonstrations, lectures, short course schools, travelling and other libraries, exhibitions, competitions, meetings, conventions and such other utilities and attractions as may from time to time be declared useful for the promotion of the foregoing, or any of them.

RSA 1980 cW‑13 s2

The Alberta Womens Institutes

Existing institutes

3   All institutes existing on March 20, 1929, together with all institutes incorporated after that date, are hereby declared to be associated together as a corporation

                                 (a)    with the title of “The Alberta Women’s Institutes”,

                                 (b)    with the objects of promoting, supervising and co‑ordinating the activities of women’s institutes, and

                                 (c)    with power to do all things necessary and incidental to carrying out those objects, either alone or in conjunction with any other person, association or body.

RSA 1980 cW‑13 s3

Constitution and bylaws

4   The constitution and bylaws of The Alberta Women’s Institutes, as they were set out in the report of the annual convention of Alberta Women’s Institutes held in 1928, shall continue in full force and effect, so far as they are not inconsistent with this Act, as the constitution and bylaws of The Alberta Women’s Institutes incorporated by this Act.

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Council

5   There is to be a council that shall have the general management and control of the affairs of The Alberta Women’s Institutes.

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Number of directors

6   At any convention of institutes, the number of directors may from time to time be increased or diminished by means of an amendment to the constitution and bylaws.

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Power to alter constitution

7   The constitution of The Alberta Women’s Institutes may be modified, altered and amended in any way not inconsistent with this Act at any convention of institutes, by resolution passed in accordance with the constitution and bylaws.

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Officers and employees

8   The council has power to engage any officers and employees it considers proper, to prescribe their duties and fix their salaries, and to dispense with the services of any officer or employee.

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Local Institutes

Incorporation

9(1)  Eight or more married or single women who are over 16 years of age, residents of the same vicinity and not members of any other institute may proceed to the formation and incorporation of an institute in the manner set out in this section.

(2)  An application for incorporation in the prescribed form shall be signed by the women desiring the formation of the institute.

(3)  Each woman subscribing to the application shall pay the sum of $0.25 as or as part of her annual subscription to the proposed institute, and the money shall be paid to and held by one of the subscribers in trust for the institute.

(4)  The application shall be delivered at the office of the council of The Alberta Women’s Institutes, together with a certificate as to the due signing of the application and the payment of the requisite sums, and the council may in its discretion either approve or disapprove the application.

(5)  On the provincial president approving the application, the provincial president shall issue a certificate in the prescribed form, under the seal of The Alberta Women’s Institutes, declaring the subscribers and all others who subsequently become members to be incorporated under this Act, with a title of which the last words shall be “Women’s Institute”.

(6)  Afterwards that institute is a corporation under its declared title with the objects and powers provided in this Act, together with the power of holding any real and personal property necessary for its objects.

(7)  The institute is capable of receiving and holding any real or personal property by grant, gift, legacy or devise and of investing it or the proceeds of it, and of using it or any part of it, subject to this Act, in the furtherance of the objects of the institute.

RSA 1980 cW‑13 s9

Change of name

10   An institute may, with the consent of the provincial president, change its name by filing with the council a certified copy of a resolution made for that purpose and passed at a general or special meeting by a majority of the members present and voting on it.

RSA 1980 cW‑13 s10

Corporate seal

11   An institute shall adopt a corporate seal.

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Organization meeting

12(1)  Within 60 days after incorporation, a meeting of the members of the institute shall be held at the call of one of the subscribers who shall be designated by the provincial president.

(2)  The meeting is the organization and first annual meeting of the institute.

(3)  The chair and secretary of the meeting

                                 (a)    shall prepare and sign a statement setting out the date of the meeting, and the names and addresses of the officers and members of the committees appointed at it, and

                                 (b)    shall within 2 weeks after the date of the meeting transmit the statement to the office of the council.

RSA 1980 cW‑13 s12

Membership

13   The qualification for membership in an institute must be as stated in section 9, and any woman having that qualification may become a member of an institute on application to the secretary and on payment to the treasurer of the membership fee that shall not be less than $0.25.

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Address

14   At the time of application and payment of fee, the applicant for membership shall give the secretary the post office address to which all notices shall be sent.

RSA 1980 cW‑13 s14

Officers

15(1)  The officers of an institute shall be a president, a vice‑president, a secretary and a treasurer or a secretary‑treasurer, who are directors by virtue of their offices, and at least 3 directors.

(2)  There shall be in addition to the 3 directors referred to in subsection (1) one director for every 10 members in excess of 30.

RSA 1980 cW‑13 s15

Qualification of voters, etc. 

16   The persons qualified to vote for or to be elected as officers are only those members regularly enrolled, who have paid their membership fee for the ensuing year.

RSA 1980 cW‑13 s16

Election by ballot

17(1)  All officers shall be elected by ballot after previous oral nomination.

(2)  A majority of the ballots cast is necessary to elect.

RSA 1980 cW‑13 s17

Term of office

18   Officers shall hold office until their successors are elected.

RSA 1980 cW‑13 s18

Vacancies

19   In the event of an officer of an institute dying or resigning office or otherwise vacating the office during the period for which the officer was elected, the directors shall appoint an eligible person to fill the office for the unexpired term.

RSA 1980 cW‑13 s19

Special committees

20(1)  An institute may appoint any special committees it from time to time requires.

(2)  The president is, by virtue of that office, a member of all committees.

RSA 1980 cW‑13 s20

Annual general meeting

21   An institute shall hold its annual meeting, other than the organization meeting, in the month of December in each year, at any time and place the directors appoint.

RSA 1980 cW‑13 s21

Notice of meetings

22(1)  At least 2 weeks’ notice shall be given of any annual general meeting of an institute, and the notice shall be in writing and either posted by mail to the furnished address of each member or delivered personally at that address.

(2)  Notice of a special meeting may be given in any manner and at any time.

(3)  Notwithstanding subsection (2), no business affecting the funds or property of the institute shall be transacted at a special meeting summoned otherwise than in the manner set out in subsection (1) unless the meeting is attended by at least 40% of the enrolled members of the institute.

RSA 1980 cW‑13 s22

Special general meetings

23(1)  Special general meetings may be called by the president or vice‑president.

(2)  No business of which notice has not been previously given to all enrolled members shall be transacted at any such meeting.

(3)  The quorum for all general meetings is 20% of the enrolled members.

RSA 1980 cW‑13 s23

Failure to hold annual meeting

24   In case of failure to hold an annual meeting as provided in section 21, the provincial president may appoint a time for holding it, and the secretary shall notify the members in accordance with section 22.

RSA 1980 cW‑13 s24

Presiding officer

25   The presiding officer at meetings of an institute shall be the president, or in the president’s absence the vice‑president, or in the absence of the president and vice‑president, a chair who shall be appointed at the meeting.

RSA 1980 cW‑13 s25

Order of business

26   The following shall be the order of business at annual meetings:

                                 (a)    reading and disposing of minutes of preceding annual and intervening special general meetings;

                                 (b)    reports of officers;

                                 (c)    reports of committees;

                                 (d)    unfinished business;

                                 (e)    election of officers;

                                  (f)    new business;

                                 (g)    appointment of committees;

                                 (h)    appointment of delegates to annual conventions;

                                  (i)    addresses and discussion;

                                  (j)    adjournment.

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Directors meetings

27   Directors’ meetings shall be held after a notice that has been mailed, telephoned or delivered orally.

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Power of directors

28(1)  The directors, subject to this Act and to the bylaws and regulations of their institute, have full power to act for and on behalf of the institute, and all funds of the institute shall be administered under their direction.

(2)  The presiding officer at directors’ meetings shall be as set out in section 25.

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Quorum

29   Three directors constitute a quorum at a meeting of the executive of the institute.

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Annual audit

30   The directors of every institute shall cause the books and accounts of the treasurer or secretary‑treasurer to be audited annually by one or more auditors who shall be appointed by the directors, and no such account shall be submitted to any annual meeting unless it has been audited and is accompanied with a certificate signed by the auditor or auditors.

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List of officers and copy of treasurers account

31   Immediately after the holding of the annual meeting of an institute, the chair and secretary of that meeting shall transmit to the council a list certified by them, and containing the names and addresses of all officers of the institute elected at the annual meeting and a copy of the treasurer’s account.

RSA 1980 cW‑13 s31

Bylaws

32(1)  An institute at an annual or special general meeting called for that purpose may make, alter or repeal bylaws or regulations for its general management that shall not be inconsistent with this Act or the provincial bylaws.

(2)  The bylaws or regulations have no force or effect until approved by the council.

RSA 1980 cW‑13 s32

Property and funds

33   The directors

                                 (a)    shall not sell, mortgage or dispose of any real property of the institute, or lease it, in such a way as to interfere with its use for the business and meetings of the institute, or

                                 (b)    shall not make any grant out of any funds of the institute,

unless authorized to do so by an annual meeting or a special general meeting.

RSA 1980 cW‑13 s33

Existing institutes

34   Women’s institutes incorporated under any other Act and in existence on March 20, 1929 are continued and are subject to this Act, and have the same powers and privileges as if they had been incorporated under this Act.

RSA 1980 cW‑13 s34

Womens Institute Girls Clubs

35(1)  Any 8 or more girls of not less than 12 years of age may under this Act form girls’ clubs, to be known as “Women’s Institute Girls’ Clubs”, with such social, literary, educational or recreational objects, and such constitution and bylaws, as may be approved by the council.

(2)  The council may make regulations for the formation, government and operation of girls’ clubs not inconsistent with this Act.

(3)  Every girls’ club becomes a corporation on the issuance of a certificate of incorporation, under the seal of The Alberta Women’s Institutes, in the prescribed form.

(4)  Any girl over the age of 6 years may be admitted as a member of a Women’s Institute Girls’ Club.

RSA 1980 cW‑13 s35

Independence of institutes

36(1)  Institutes shall be non‑partisan and non‑sectarian and must not be operated in the interest of any party, sect or society, but only for the general good and welfare.

(2)  No addresses or discussions in the interest of any society or organization formed for any special purpose shall be permitted at any meeting of any institute or at any institute convention, except by the unanimous consent of the meeting.

RSA 1980 cW‑13 s36

Regulations

37   The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations prescribing forms for the purposes of this Act.

RSA 1980 cW‑13 s37