With the 2017 Annual General Meeting, Triathlon BC proposed a number of Bylaw and Constitution amendments to help meet the new societies act (BC) that went into effect in November 18th, 2016.

With the adopted changes to our Constitution and Bylaws, Triathlon BC successfully filed a transition to meet the new Societies Act requirements, well in advance of the transition deadline of November 28, 2018.

To be eligible to receive grants and funding for sport development and event hosting, Triathlon BC strongly recommends affiliated Club and LOCs become registered societies.  Those that are, must transition to the new societies act by the transition deadline (November 28, 2017).  Societies that elect not to transition may lose their ability to seek grants (and other types of funding), and may ultimately dissolve.

Transition refers to the formal application that an organization makes to the BC Registry Services to meet the new Societies Act. An existing society will be able to transition electronically by filing with the British Columbia Registrar of Companies. Each transition application must include:

  • A new constitution, indicating only the name and purposes of the society, as it appear in the society’s constitution on file with the Corporate Registry;
  • The consolidated bylaws of the society; and
  • A listing of the current directors and the registered office of the society (annual report).

Before the society prepares for transition, a transition package can be ordered from the government, which includes all the files the government currently has on your Society.  Note, transitions cannot be activated if the society has incomplete records in their annual filings.

In the transition application, you must indicate whether your organization is ‘member-funded’ or publicly-funded. Most affiliated clubs are member-funded – which means there is less responsibility to disclose records and finances, but note, publicly-funded clubs may have increased ability to source grants and other funding from municipal, provincial and federal agencies.

What is the key difference between the two types of funded societies?  Member-funded societies are a type of society that receives most of its funding through its members and their activities, and services are primarily for its members. Publicly-funded societies collect funds through a variety of funding, including membership, public donations and government funding. Because Triathlon BC received a portion of its revenue from government funding, it is a publicly-funded society.

The Constitution that you submit is limited to your organization’s name and purposes only. Any additional clauses that are in the Constitution must be moved, unaltered, from the Constitution to the Bylaws.  Note, the name and purpose that are listed in the Constitution cannot be changed during the transition application.

In preparing for the transition, a society can draft new Bylaws, have them approved by its members (the transition application can be passed by a 2/3 vote), repealing the old bylaws all at the same meeting. The newly approved bylaws would then replace whatever the government has on file for your organization. Note, if your organization chooses to call a special meeting to amend the documents, the special meeting must be called in accordance with your current bylaws.

As part of your transition application, the government will automatically include a list of the current Directors and registered address (annual report). If this information is not current, it can be changed prior to submitting the transition application, or after transition has been completed. Note, this will require filing separate forms and paying a fee. This information contained in an annual report cannot be changed as part of the transition application.

In summary:

Step 1. Consider status of the member-funded society (Publicly funded or Member funded)

Step 2. Ensure Corporate Registry filings are up to date.

Step 3. Prepare the society’s constitution

Step 4. Prepare the society’s bylaws

Step 5. File the transition application

a. Get your society’s Registry Key
b. Get yourself a Basic BCeID
c. File the transition application

To learn more about the transition to the new societies act, click on the link to download the BC Government’s 8-page “Preparing for B.C.’s New Societies Act: A Guide to the Transition Process

Note: At Triathlon BC, we pride ourselves in the delivery of sport. We’re not legal experts, nor are we lawyers. This article provides general information only, and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice.