On March 17, 1986, the Federation of Canadian Naturists (FCN) was officially incorporated. With that approval from the Federal Government, its status as an informal community group was changed to a not-for-profit organization. This change established its present organizational structure and since then, has greatly influenced the overall direction of the FCN. Incorporation established the FCN’s present organizational structure and has greatly influenced its development in the years that followed.
As a result of its incorporation, the FCN has several characteristics that will remain in place for as long as it maintains its not-for-profit status. Some of the notable traits are as follows:
- The FCN is a legal entity - A corporation has some of the same rights and obligations under Canadian law as a person. Among other things, this means it can acquire assets, enter into contracts and if necessary, even pursue legal action.
- Name protection - The FCN has exclusive domain over its name. In Canada, no one else may legally use the name “Federation of Canadian Naturists”.
- Not-for-profit status – The FCN operates with a mandate to offer services and activities that are accessible and affordable. Even in cases where fees are collected, the resulting revenues are used to cover basic costs. Any remaining revenues are directed back to the organization to help fund its objectives, such as education and outreach.
- By-laws – This document establishes basic standards for incorporated not-for-profit groups, including meetings and elections, as well as the rights and responsibilities of members. Organizations may also include items that address their specific needs. For the FCN, its By-laws identify separate classes of membership, including individual and club/business, Canadian and international, as well as options for youth. This document also outlines how its members are represented across Canada, through four distinct regions:
By the members, for the members – The FCN is entirely owned and managed by its members.
- Eastern Region - New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland & Labrador
- Central Region - Ontario & Quebec
- Prairie Region - Alberta, Saskatchewan & Manitoba
- Western & Northern Region - British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territory & Nunavut
- Each member is an owner. Annual membership dues function as shares in the corporation, allowing everyone to have an equal investment in the FCN.
- Everyone active in the FCN is a member. This includes anyone who occasionally volunteers and those who serve on the Board of Directors.
- Voting members can participate in the nomination and election of their fellow members to the Board of Directors.
To maintain its status as an incorporated not-for-profit organization, the FCN has to uphold specific responsibilities. These include:
- Maintain an active membership.
- Maintain activities that are in keeping with our By-laws.
- File an annual return.
- Organize an Annual Meeting of Members. This event is also referred to as the Annual General Meeting.