Volunteers are the heartbeat of their communities. And those who freely give of their time and talents to help others also help build stronger, and more connected and compassionate communities in the process.
This week, we celebrate National Volunteer Week and tip our hats to all those volunteers who are helping change the world, one act of kindness at a time. This year’s theme is “Volunteering Is Empathy In Action” and shines the light on how volunteering can help people relate to others, expanding world views and helping build more understanding, inclusive societies.
According to Statistics Canada, 79 per cent of Canadians aged 15 and older reported volunteering, either on their own or as part of an organization, in 2018, dedicating five billion hours to volunteer activities – equal to more than 2.5 million full-time year-round jobs in Canada.
We’re grateful to have so many wonderful volunteers working with us to help build a stronger and more resilient arts community in Newfoundland and Labrador. Last year, we matched 15 arts members with over $5,400 worth of pro bono support through our Business Volunteers for the Arts program. This program, funded in part by a grant from the Law Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, connects local arts organizations and individual artists with volunteers from the community, who offer pro bono time and services to help artists work through roadblocks and develop sound business practices.
Over the past year, we’ve matched artists with professionals in the legal, accounting, Human Resources, and marketing and communications fields to help with everything from contract reviews and copyright issues, to budgeting assistance and HR policy. Check out some testimonials from last year’s participants:
“The help was great. Business & Arts NL consistently provides a great and helpful service. Thank you for doing so! It’s really unique and has been a benefit to me several times.” – Arts Member
“…they were really great – efficient, professional, and friendly. They answered my questions and provided me with some legal documents to help make sure my project follows copyright laws and that I’m protected. This is a really valuable program for artists. Thank you!” – Arts Member
“I am always glad to assist with this program. I…am grateful for the opportunity to help members of the arts community with their endeavours. I learn something new from my interactions with each of them.” – Business Volunteer
Our Business Workshops for Artist series, generously supported by Cox & Palmer in 2021, assists artists and organizations with professional development by giving them skills and knowledge to help run their businesses. Last year, we offered 11 workshops to 366 artists, which covered topics such as grant writing, legal essentials, income tax for freelance artists, SEO, how to sell art and craft online, and more. These workshops are facilitated by volunteer presenters and, like our BVA volunteers, we’re grateful for every single one of them. (Learn more in our Annual Report.)
Thank you to all those volunteers throughout Newfoundland and Labrador who are helping build more connected, kinder, and resilient communities!
Interested in becoming a volunteer with our Business Volunteers for the Arts Program? Click here to learn more.