Resources for the Administration of the Farmers and Womens Institute Act

Here you will find information to help you with the administration of your institute.

Reporting Requirements

Reports are to be filed annually, as stated in the Farmers and Womens Institute Act Regulation

  • 9 (1) The secretary of each farmers' institute shall file an annual report to the superintendent, on the form provided by him, within 7 days after the annual general meeting.
  • (2) The secretary of each womens institute shall deliver an annual report to the secretary treasurer of the British Columbia Provincial Board of the B.C. Womens Institute, on the form provided by the superintendent, within 7 days after the annual general meeting, and she shall file all of the annual reports with the superintendent.

Bylaws and Constitution

If an institutes' approved bylaws that are on file have no changes made to the original form bylaws in the Farmers and Womens Act Regulation from 1920 to 1984, the current form version of the Constitution and Bylaws RSBC 1996 would be in effect (See Farmers and Womens Act Regulation 12 Transitional). New or updated bylaws and/or constitution can be proposed for approval by Extraordinary Resolution to the Superintendent of Farmers Institutes.

Registration of Farmers and Womens Institute

All branches and districts should be individually registered under the Farmers and Womens Institutes Act.

Institutes have not-for-profit designation, but are not necessarily registered charities, as that is a federal designation.

To register a Farmers or Womens Institute contact the Superintendent of Farmers Institutes.

BC Registry Services do not include institutes registered under the Farmers and Womens Institute Act. This Act and registration of institutes is administered by the Ministry of Agriculture. Information about the incorporation, registration, maintenance and dissolution of Farmers and Womens Institutes are not on a publicly searchable database, so it is not uncommon for companies or governments doing checks into legal status to struggle with finding registration information to verify the status of Institutes.

Confirmation of Institute in Good Standing

To confirm that an institute is in good standing for issues such as grant applications, please request a letter of “Confirmation of Institute in Good Standing” from the Superintendent of Farmers Institutes. This letter is issued when it is confirmed that an institute is current with their Annual Reports. It will include the Institute Incorporation Number.

Extraordinary Resolution

Extraordinary Resolutions are to be submitted at a General Meeting, and are defined in the Act as follows:

  • "Extraordinary Resolution" means a resolution passed by 2/3 of the members entitled to vote who are present in person at a general meeting of which notice specifying the intention to propose the resolution as an extraordinary resolution has been given.

When to Submit an Extraordinary Resolution

The following are situations under which you should submit an extraordinary resolution. An institute's approved new or amended bylaws may indicate other instances.

Borrowing powers

  • 8 (2) Debentures must not be issued without approval by an extraordinary resolution.

Membership in other societies

  • 10 If authorized by an extraordinary resolution, an institute may subscribe to, become a member of and cooperate with another society or association, whether incorporated or not, if all or some of its objects are similar to the objects of the institute.

Change of constitution

  • 11 An institute, by extraordinary resolution, may change its name or its objects to include an object that may conveniently or advantageously be combined with its existing objects.

Surrender of certificate of incorporation

  • 20 (1) An institute may, by extraordinary resolution, surrender its certificate of incorporation.

Conversion to association

  • 29 (1) An institute may convert to and become registered as an association under the Cooperative Association Act
    (a) by extraordinary resolution,

Amendment of bylaws

  • 12 (1) These bylaws may not be altered or added to except by an extraordinary resolution of the institute.

Voting

  • 15 (2) Only a member in good standing under the bylaws is entitled to vote on an extraordinary resolution.

Meetings

As stated in the Farmers and Womens Institutes Act Regulation under Schedule 2 – Bylaws (subject to changes by an Institute approved by the Superintendent):

  • 9 (1) The president or any 2 directors may convene a general meeting, and on a meeting being convened the secretary shall notify all members of the time and place where the meeting shall be held.
  • (2) The secretary shall give 7 clear days notice in writing of the date, time and place of every annual or general meeting to every member at his recorded address and the secretary shall, when directed by the directors, advertise the meeting by the means that the directors determine.
  • (3) If an annual or general meeting is not held on the day specified in the notice calling it, it shall stand adjourned to the same day in the following week at the same time and place, and if it be not then held, the directors shall call a fresh meeting.
  • (4) At an annual or general meeting the quorum is 5 members.

Annual General Meeting

  • 8 The annual general meeting of an institute shall be held not later than 3 months after the end of the fiscal year.