Giving back by giving time

Kamloops This Week Timeraiser planned for November 16

by Moneca Jantzen

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With Thanksgiving just around the corner, many of us will gather with our families and enjoy a great feast. Some of us might go a step further and actually count our blessings. In contemplation of our gratitude we may ponder how to demonstrate our thanks beyond saying grace at dinner. One way to give back might include attending the annual Kamloops This Week Timeraiser event on Friday, November 16 at The Rex.

Timeraiser is a concept established by Anil Patel in Toronto in 2002 where he envisioned a system where art, volunteerism and citizenship could co-exist.

In 2012, September Kuromi of Social Fire and Meg Durnin of Volunteer Kamloops brought the idea to Kamloops. Both women had coincidentally reached out to the Framework Foundation in Toronto.

“I stumbled upon Timeraiser while researching projects for my business. I thought this idea is so cool – it has to come to Kamloops! I reached out to the Framework Foundation...(and)... their response was that they won’t organize a Kamloops Timeraiser, but I could do an independent one. I had several conversations with Patel and his team and attended the 2011 Toronto Timeraiser and shadowed their event coordinator to see how they run it,” explained Kuromi.

In the first five years, Timeraiser has raised over 7,100 volunteer hours for local non-profits and acquired over $31,500 in artwork from local artists.

Kuromi points out that she purchases all of the pieces for Timeraiser from the Kamloops Art Council’s annual “Art Exposed” show.

“Entering a piece in that show is the best way to have a piece considered for purchase for the Timeraiser,” said Kuromi.

“Timeraiser is a wonderful event and I am honoured when my work is selected to be a part of it. As an artist, having my work in Timeraiser provides great exposure in the community. It is wonderful knowing that my work is appreciated and valued by people willing to volunteer their time to a worthy local organization,” said artist Patricia House.

“The max bid on a single piece is 100 hours. Thirty-five hours is the minimum bid.We want people to be successful in their volunteering, especially if they are new to volunteering. Several (pieces) will reach the maximum bid...(and then it)... becomes a raffle for that piece between all the people willing to do 100 hours for it,” said Kuromi.

Volunteer hours can be divied up between more than one organization but at least half of them must be donated to one of the participating organizations.

Participating agencies so far this year include Project X, People in Motion, Kamloops Arts Council, Barnhartvale Horse and Hiker Association, Special Olympics, Kamloops Therapeutic Riding Association, Kamloops Kidney Foundation, Junior Achievement BC, Canadian Cancer Society, Kamloops Immigrant Services, MS Society, Habitat for Humanity, Kamloops Writers Festival, Four Paws Food Bank, BC Winter Games and Spirit Warriors Breast Cancer Support Group.

“You have to complete your hours before you get the artwork home,” says Kuromi. Capacity at the event is 200 - tickets are limited. They can be purchased until October 8 at an early bird price of $10. Thereafter they will be $20.

When asked what it means to Timeraiser to have KTW onboard as title sponsor Kuromi said “KTW is investigating and publishing amazing stories on how our previous participants fulfilled their winning bids. Bringing these stories to light is so important —the event/idea really stands on its own as a great idea that people want to be part of, so just getting the word out will make it so much more successful.”

In purchasing the artwork each year, the support of the sponsors is critical.

“Usually sponsors donate a random amount of money ($250 to $5,000) based on their ability and we use it to purchase pieces. All the artwork is purchased at market value - no artwork is donated,” said Kuromi.

The Timeraiser concept is a great way to support and grow the local art community. This not only offers artists market prices for their work but it provides even greater exposure of their work.

“Every year there is one or two... (people that don’t meet their volunteer commitment). If it happens early in the year, we ask the second place bidder to take up the gauntlet, which they usually do. If (someone runs into) trouble later in the year - the artwork they bid on just goes back in the (next) show,” explains Kuromi.

All in all the Kamloops This Week Timeraiser is a huge boon to participating agencies. The event tends to bring a lot of new volunteers and ensures that thousands of hours are being filled with good works. It becomes a win, win, win, win. Volunteers, artists, non-profits and sponsors all benefit.

For more information or to buy tickets, visit ktwtimeraiser.ca.

© Kamloops This Week

 


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