For many, getting involved with the arts is a truly energizing and eye-opening experience. Joining the board of an arts organization allows people to experience the thrill and vigour of the arts, and offers a front row seat to the action, without ever having to step into the spotlight. It’s a great way to give back to the community, while gaining a better understanding of the nuts and bolts of the particular organization and the ways that the arts impact our lives.
Margaret Allan is the manager of administration and regulatory affairs with Husky Energy, a Business & Arts NL board member and a dedicated supporter of the local arts community. In the third part of our Q&A series, Margaret shares some of the reasons why she supports the arts.
Business & Arts NL: What arts organization(s) do you volunteer for?
Margaret Allan: Over my career I have been involved in several heritage and arts organizations, either as a volunteer or board member, including the Museums Association of NL, the NL Historic Trust and Shallaway Children’s Choir. Currently, I am on the board of Newman Sound Men’s Choir, an award-winning choir which is a key part of the local choral scene.
Business & Arts NL: How long have you been involved? What motivated you to join the board of that particular organization?
MA: I joined the Newman Sound board in 2009, served as chairperson for a couple of years, and I have continued on as a board member. My children introduced me to the wonders of choral singing and when I was invited to join Newman Sound, I was delighted to help.
Business & Arts NL: Why did you choose to join the board, rather than volunteer in some other capacity?
MA: When you sit on the board of an arts organization, you get to see the creative machinery up close, and learn about how the organization ticks. It’s invigorating! The role of the board is not to set the vision, but to work with the artistic staff to help bring the vision to reality. It’s very satisfying to know that you are supporting creative endeavours – in this case, the creation of new musical works and cultural exchanges.
Business & Arts NL: Why do you support the arts? Why is art important?
MA: I’ve always been a huge “spectator” of arts and music, and I believe it is important to support creative expression. Art is a statement of the world and the times we live in, and artists challenge us to think differently. There is a lot of talk about the importance of innovation these days; the arts define innovation. Particularly in Newfoundland and Labrador, I think, artistic organizations are an integral part of our social fabric. Choirs, as an example, are usually a feature component of our community celebrations. It is important to support these organizations.
Business & Arts NL: What is a recent achievement of the organization you serve that you feel proud of?
MA: This past year Newman Sound undertook a significant cultural exchange program with a Basque men’s choir, Coro Easo, in Spain. We commissioned new works for the occasion, and the choir travelled to the Basque country where they performed in several concerts to great acclaim. We are looking forward to the Basque choir’s visit to Newfoundland next year.
Bio: Margaret Allan is the manager of administration and regulatory affairs with Husky Energy, one of Canada’s largest integrated energy companies. She is also a member of the board of directors of Business & Arts NL, and is the past chair, and current board member, of the award-winning Newman Sound Men’s Choir.