KCR: Okanagan Volunteer Fair celebrates 25 years

These columns are contributed by the KCR Community Resources

On September 17 the Okanagan Volunteer Fair Celebrates its 25th Silver Anniversary at Parkinson Recreation with a stellar turnout of over 70 organizations, including one of Kelowna’s newest non-profit organizations, the Kelowna Citizens for a New Performing Arts Centre Society, incorporated as a society on October 15, 2020. Known informally as Friends of KPAC, this 100% volunteer-driven organization was formed to support the creation of an exceptional Performing Arts Centre by 2026 in downtown Kelowna. Founding president Patricia Ainslie shares her passion for their mission and the benefits to the community.

“An iconic performing arts centre in Kelowna would serve the whole Okanagan, as it is only a ‘one-hour drive’,” explains Patricia. “We are working with Kelowna’s municipal government to advance a plan to replace the Kelowna Community Theatre and we are also enlisting the performing arts community and other stakeholders to foster broad-based and sustained business and public support for the project.”

“Volunteers have an enormous impact in helping to increase public support for the arts and for a new performing arts centre,” continues Patricia. “The more volunteers that would like to be part of this, the faster that support will grow… and the sooner we’ll see a new performing arts centre. The time-commitment will depend on which committees you would like to join. Everyone has skills of some sort and together we would find your best “fit”. The most important pre-requisite is an appreciation for the performing arts and realizing how badly our community is in need of a real performing arts centre to replace our 60 year-old, 850-seat community theatre.”

To volunteer with the Friends of KPAC, you can email them directly at kelownaperformingarts@gmail.com. To learn more about them, check out their website www.kelownaperformingarts.ca or Facebook page @KCNPAC. Or come to the Volunteer Fair and meet some of the Friends of KPAC in person.

The Okanagan Volunteer Fair is a fabulous way to learn about a variety of organizations, how they engage volunteers, what their needs are and how you can bring your skill and passion to help. This year there will be over 70 organizations sharing about their mission, their impact and who they serve. From the arts, recreation and social services, to youth, seniors, families and animals, there is sure to be a passion you can connect with. Volunteering should be reciprocal – it gives back to you as you share your time and skills. Volunteering builds your community, network, experience, skills, impact and keeps you active and involved! This event is free and fun to be a part of. For more information about the Volunteer Fair – maybe you would even like to volunteer at it – contact Ezra Grande at 250-763-8008 extension213 or ezra@kcr.ca.

Huge THANK YOU to our sponsors: the Central Okanagan Foundation, Interior Savings, the City of Kelowna, the Kelowna Capital News and Black Press and to BellMedia, including Virgin 99.9, Move 101.5 and Talk AM1150. Their commitment to volunteers and the community makes the Okanagan Volunteer Fair possible.

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 dorothee@kcr.ca.

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