--August 5, 2015
QAHN is pleased to announce that its exciting new project, Fostering Organizational Renewal through Enriching Volunteer Experience and Recognition (FOREVER) is now under way. Funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage, this project will take place over a period of 15 months.
The heritage sector has traditionally depended heavily on seniors for its volunteer needs. In the absence of paid staff and other resources, many essential tasks are performed by older members of society. Quebec’s English-speaking community is particularly vulnerable to demographic changes. This is especially true in outlying regions, where the community is aging, and where youth out-migration is endemic. FOREVER aims to provide the heritage sector of English-speaking Quebec with the capacity to increase both the number of volunteers working in the sector, and the quality of their contributions. Local museums, historical societies and other heritage and cultural institutions will be strengthened as a result of this initiative, while the communities they serve will benefit by the services and opportunities for personal enrichment that they provide.
FOREVER will be focusing on developing programming designed to foster interest in the heritage sector among potential volunteers from all parts of the population, including youth. Working with experts from different fields, QAHN and its partners will explore innovative ways to attract new volunteers, and offer guidance to organizations experiencing volunteer fatigue, thus helping to ensure the long-term viability of these institutions and the communities they serve.
Project activities will take place across Quebec, and will include a needs-assessment survey of workers and volunteers; a series of one-day conferences; community outreach; and the production of field guides for heritage-sector volunteers. Leading this initiative will be veteran QAHN project managers Dwane Wilkin and Heather Darch.