Red Deer Arts Council: A Sounding Board for Volunteerism

The Red Deer Arts Council supports the arts, artists and creativity as an important aspect of our community and culture. They create opportunities for artists to show their work, to participate in exhibitions.

One of their predecessor groups started originally in 1974, but in 2010, three separate organizations merged to create the Red Deer Arts Council. Previous iterations were the Red Deer & District Allied Arts Council, Culture Charter Partners and Culture Link.

Their hope is to be serving the whole community by celebrating local arts and creativity, but their membership includes individual artists and local organizations. Everyone is welcome, whether a literary, visual or performing artist, or just an arts supporter who appreciates cultural offerings.

Mostly Volunteer Run

The Red Deer Arts Council has one paid staff member, and approximately 40 committee volunteers who help the Council throughout the year, plus many more for one-off events and activities. All the volunteers contributions are of huge value, and greatly appreciated by the Council. They can use upwards of 100 volunteers in a given year for events. In 2019, the Council calculated 2,987 volunteer hours.

The Value of a Volunteer

Without the volunteer contribution of time, ideas, and talent, the Council claims that they would be a pretty boring organization. Their volunteer committees guide the sort of programs that they offer to the community, and they are essential to making these projects happen. The staff sets up a framework based on the plans the volunteers create, and the whole team executes them. They make the Council’s organizational mission to the community possible. Typical volunteering opportunities with the Council range from project development, policy and procedures guidance, event help, fundraising, administration and more.

Community Impact

This year, the Council’s community outreach went out a little further trying to help the public deal with COVID-19. They celebrated art from those who’ve maybe never thought they were ‘an artist’ before.

What is the most difficult part of finding volunteers?

The Council found that they needed volunteers on a moment’s notice, and sometimes a formal role description didn’t exist.. Many roles are needed on the fly, and Volunteer Central helps by asking the right questions so they are able to outline exactly what/who they need. The Council finds 4-5 event volunteers annually through Volunteer Central.

Value Added

The Red Deer Arts Council has benefitted through a Volunteer Central partnership with Volunteer Central’s learning opportunities/webinars and Volunteer Management Institute training opportunities. The Council tells us that we are a great sounding board for how they can broaden the use of their volunteers.

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