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KCR: Lake Country Art Gallery

These columns are contributed by the KCR Community Resources

The Lake Country Art Gallery is a highlight and cultural destination for visitors and locals alike for and Gallery Manager Petrina MacNeil is a well-known advocate for the local arts scene, ensuring the Gallery is accessible, engages the local community and beyond and offers a strong contemporary voice.

The Gallery has been operating for 12 years and focuses on connecting artists and audience through interpretive and educational programs and the art chosen for display is chosen for its ability to communicate and generate ideas and conversations.

“The Lake Country Art Gallery informs and builds community through enriching and sometimes challenging exhibitions,” explains Petrina. “It offers diverse and inclusive programming and gives space to artists in varied artistic practices.”

The Gallery also offers volunteers wonderful opportunities to share their skills and knowledge and to network with the community and to work with a small organization that has accessible and supportive staff. One of the favourite volunteer positions is the Gallery Host, which is the welcoming face that greets every visitor. For those who prefer not to interact with the public, can sign up for committees like the garden and facilities maintenance and exhibition installation team. The Gallery also looks for event volunteers that can help with gallery openings and fundraisers.

“Coming up is our main annual fundraising exhibition, The 2022 Under 200,” says Petrina. “We need help installing over 600 works of art within a few days. There will also be a fundraising event as part of the show - like the night market. We need help with set-up and take-down of these events. Also extra gallery hosts through the 2 and 1/2 week exhibition.”

Volunteering is a great way to get involved connect with the arts culture of Lake Country. It is a rewarding experience and provides an opportunity to meet new people. Without the dedication, knowledge and enthusiasm of our volunteers we could not offer the wonderful welcome that has become the signature of the Lake Country Art Gallery experience.

“Volunteers support the Gallery operations but also contribute to the idea generating and development of programs or events,” says Petrina. “The make an impact by enhancing our capacity and reach, by bringing additional skills and knowledge and by being themselves, the welcoming face of our organisation.”

“After 12 years of working with volunteers I have many favourite memories,” continues Petrina. “But one thing I notice more often than anything is how much I learn from working with such amazing dedicated people that are here for no other reason than they want to be here. Like the time we had a frog stuck in the underground drain - I worked for two days on rescuing and releasing it - at which point we happened to have a volunteer hosting who knew about frogs, and she was able to reassure me that when I released it into the late Fall garden, that it would not matter if the frog froze because that’s something they can do - they can survive a freeze and they can come alive again after they thaw - who knew?!”

If you are interested in volunteering at Lake Country Art Gallery, go visit the Gallery and connect with Petrina and the team there or contact them at (250) 766-1299 email:

Dorothee Birker is the communications and development coordinator for KCR Community Resources. If you are interested in sharing your volunteer or organizational news, please contact Dorothee at

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