Arts Council joins Volunteer Centre

 At their March Board of Directors meeting, the Oliver Community Arts Council (OCAC) voted unanimously to take advantage of a membership in the South Okanagan Similkameen Volunteer Centre. 

The South Okanagan Similkameen Volunteer Centre is a registered non-profit Society designed to build community through the advocacy and promotion of volunteerism. Community Liaison Corinne Janow of Oliver (pictured below) has been working closely with the council, making a presentation at the arts council’s recent AGM and answering questions about the services available.

Arts council president Penelope Johnson attended a Board Training workshop presented by the Volunteer Centre, and came away impressed with the personnel and resources available for training boards and for finding willing volunteers.  “The whole arts council improves as more Board members receive training in what makes a board effective, what makes an organization operate professionally. The Volunteer Centre also relieves us of a big burden by helping us recruit and maintain volunteers. Finally, for this initial year of membership at least, all fourteen of our arts groups receive the same benefits of training leadership and access to volunteers.”

OCAC Vice President Darryl MacKenzie made the decision easy for the Board of Directors when he explained, “The $135 annual fee pays for itself if just one new volunteer is found to work 10 – 15 hours.”  That does not even include access to free, low-cost or subsidized workshops and consulting services provided by the Volunteer Centre. MacKenzie, the curator of the Oliver Museum,  represents the Oliver and District Heritage Society on the arts council. This member group has already joined the Volunteer Centre as its own entity. MacKenzie described the decision to join as “a no-brainer”. The arts council Board agreed.

The Volunteer Centre supports non-profit organizations through a variety of services, including:

*advertising non profit volunteer positions to the public,
*providing training to boards of directors and managers of volunteers,
*helping to increase the overall pool of volunteers available,
*advocating on behalf of volunteer based organizations

The Centre will support volunteers by:

*providing a list of available volunteer opportunities
*helping them to understand their rights and responsibilities

Their Membership Programs and Services are:

* Webpage listing of volunteer opportunities
* Emailing opportunities to their volunteer database
* Newsletter Spotlight of organizations and opportunities
* Volunteer Fair (discounted registration fee)
* Listing in Volunteer Opportunities Directory
* Workshops
* Consulting Services (discounted fees for service)
* Resource library (request free custom information services)
* Use of Volunteer Centre Logo

Thanks to Corinne Janow, the SOS Volunteer Centre and its website for providing some of the informational content in this article. More information about the centre can be found at