The Timeraiser: A volunteer fair with a creative twist

I thought it might fun to share the journey that led me to discovering the Timeraiser event – and then talk about what a cool and exciting event it will be.

Two years ago I was in a bit of a funk.  I had gone back to work in IT (in english that is a job in computers) after my third maternity leave.  I was feeling the weight of working almost full time and the pressure of a big family that always needed more attention.  One day in August I escaped from reality for a ½ hour at the Art We Are Café and grabbed a copy of this magazine.  I saw an ad in the directory for Musings and Mud Coaching and felt a connection.  This started a journey down a completely new road for me.

After a couple of months of coaching with Janet, some serendipitous events happened one after another.  During a long run, I started to visualize a perfect job for myself as a coordinator of employee volunteer programs and social events with a meaningful purpose - something no one I knew of did independently.  In September, I stumbled upon the Timeraiser organization’s website and jumped up and down with excitement at finding something SO cool – I had to bring this event to Kamloops.  In October, I ran a half-marathon.  In November, I lost my job of 9 years as a computer programmer.  I capped off the year by selling my first painting. 

Fast forward two years. I am the self-employed owner of Social Fire consulting.  I work mostly from home with way more time to support my three kids, my family and their myriad of needs.  I have sold a number of art commissions.  And I am in the middle of preparing Kamloops to host their first Timeraiser.

So what is a Timeraiser?

Imagine going to a cocktail party in a funky building with artwork from exciting, emerging artists hung around the room.   All this art was bought at market value in local galleries.  There are around 200 people in attendance, professionals of all ages.  There is live music, wine, beer and appetizers.
There are also representatives from 20 volunteer agencies setup around the room.  There are talking about their roles in the community and what kind of opportunities they have available for volunteers.  As the night progresses, a silent auction starts on the artwork.  But instead of bidding with money, participants bid with a commitment of volunteer hours!  The winning bidder will get to take home the artwork after they complete their volunteer hours.

The Timeraiser organization has hosted 29 events across Canada since developing the idea in 2002.  The amassed results are: 100,000 volunteer hours raised, $500,000 invested in the careers of emerging artists and 6034 Canadians connected to a cause they care about.  The goal of the 2012 Kamloops is to generate pledges of 3000 hours of volunteer time, invest $10,000 into the careers of Kamloops artists, encourage 300 people to connect with local causes and support 20 charities to find new volunteers.

The Kamloops organization committee is spearheaded by Volunteer Kamloops and Social Fire.  We have purchased 10 pieces of art from delighted artists and we are thankful to have NRI Distribution and Les Consenheim (Raymond James) for as leading sponsors.  The charity agencies are committing to showcase their cause, starting with Big Brothers and Sisters, The Family Tree Family Center and of course, Volunteer Kamloops.  Mark the date in your calendar: June 21 (to be confirmed), what a great way to celebrate the summer solstice.  Posters and media outlets will be advertising as we get closer to the date.  If you are interested in being a sponsor to help us purchase the art contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

To read this in Kamloops Momma magazine, follow this link and find the article on page 11: http://issuu.com/kamloopsmomma/docs/kamloops_momma_issue_12__online_/1