Sunday, March 23, 2014

Timeraiser: what a great idea!

This uniquely Canadian enterprise can be described as part volunteer fair, part silent art auction, and part night-on-the town. It's a win-win-win-win, it happens in more than a dozen cities nation-wide, and here's how it works.

Large corporations write cheques to Timeraiser. These big companies are happy because it's a simple way for them to make a charitable donation to the local community.

Timeraiser puts out a call to emerging and mid-career artists to submit their art. The chosen works are purchased from the artists for an average price of $600. The artists are happy to make a sale and to have the exposure.

Timeraiser organizes a volunteer fair/gala evening, where large charitable organizations set up booths to promote their volunteer opportunities. On May 8, such a fair will be held in Montreal, in the exciting Old Port area. Potential volunteers tour the booths and decide which agency will be a good fit for their skills and interests. They commit to a certain number of hours of volunteer work. The agencies are happy because they get a commitment from a suitable volunteer, many of them young professionals.

The volunteers view the art on display at the evening gala and use their hours to bid on work they like. The art is displayed in the offices of the charities for one year (more exposure for the artist), after which time the volunteer, having completed their commitment of time, claims their chosen artwork. The volunteer is happy because not only have they had a fun evening and a worthwhile volunteer experience, but they get to take home some great art.

Dawn, by Helena Scheffer, 12" x12"
My friend Helena Scheffer is delighted to have had one of her works in fibre selected for purchase by the Montreal Timeraiser committee this year.

Since its beginning ten years ago, Timeraiser has bought over $800,000 worth of art from over 700 artists. Volunteer hours logged: 128,280. What a great idea!

For more information, visit their website.

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