…. art for all of our sake.
Tonight, Thursday June 14th, saw a crowd of primarily young, professional Calgarians descend upon Flames Central and pledge to make our community a better place. They might do this by teaching a child to read, delivering Christmas gifts to seniors, or maybe preparing food for our homeless or migrant neighbours. No matter where their passions or interests lie, this group at Flames Central could find a local organization that needs them.
Tonight was Calgary’s 7th annual ‘Timeraiser’. This increasingly popular event takes place in several cities across the country, and showcases local artists work, while allowing participants to bid on painting and sculptures. The catch is, this is not a traditional auction – at this auction, the currency is your time.
Armed with a program and postcard, participants begin the night at Timeraiser by visiting booths and speaking to staff and volunteers from local charitable organizations. After gathering information, participants choose the organizations they wish to commit time to, and deliver their postcard with this information to one of many Timeraiser volunteers. Then, it is time to bid.
This year’s Calgary Timeraiser showcased over 30 pieces of art created by local artists using a huge variety of mediums. Each pice was up for auction – volunteers bid their time up to a maximum of 125 hours per piece with the highest bidder winning the art. Many bidders can submit the max bid, with the winner then decided by a random draw.
Seeing Flames Central filled to the brim with people eager to participate in this event was truly a heart warming experience. It was easy to overhear people speaking passionately about organizations and opportunities, and to see eyes sparkle as participants checked out the awesome art.
As the bidding drew to a close, it was obvious that many of the art pieces were reaching the maximum bid of 125 hours. I filled out a ballot for 4 pieces that reached their max bids and left their winner up to chance; watching the bids go up was truly thrilling! However, finding out that EVERY SINLGE piece of art available had reached its maximum bid – now that was the ultimate thrill.
Between the hours that won participants art and the additional hours pledged by eager attendees, Timeraiser exceeded the set goal of 6500 volunteer hours and in fact raised 6645 volunteer hours! This proves, as Roger Kingkade from X92.9 remarked, that the real winners at Timeraiser are the organizations.
Lindsay Rawling from the Calgary YWCA admitted that she was ‘blown-away’ by just how valuable Timeraiser proved to be. Lindsay, along with Jason Lyver enjoyed the benefits of talking to lots of participants, and were thrilled to share that they had recruited an exciting number of new volunteers over the evening. Lindsay also noted that Timeraiser was a great way to fundraise for their up coming events, including ‘Walk a Mile in Her Shoes’. The event also gave them an opportunity to share information that people may not have known about the YWCA, including the programs they run, such as outreach programs for men.
Katie and Tara, both volunteers with the Stardale Women’s Group were also quick to note the benefits of the event, discussing the many valuable conversations that they were able to have with participants. The exposure alone is a huge boon for organizations like Stardale, a lesser know, but outstandingly passionate and important, organization.
A quick search on Twitter shows just how positively participants felt about the event as well: Time raiser is ‘Fulfilling passions through volunteerism and making meaningful change in the community’ noted @Gliterkorn. And as @AdvisorDes tweeted: ‘Timeraiser means changing the world, one person at a time to improve the lives of many. To make a difference and leave my mark!’.
Certainly an awesome way to spend a Thursday evening!
See you there next year!