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Arts and culture non-profits band together to recognize repeat volunteers

Posted By Cara Eaton, October 13, 2017

Estimated reading time - 2 minutes. Written by Justin Ingraldi 


In 2015, six Toronto-based arts and cultural organizations joined forces to create a shared volunteer recognition programme called VAACT, the Volunteer Award for Arts and Culture Toronto. The main goal of the programme is to recognize volunteers who contribute their time to multiple arts and culture events and festivals throughout the year in the City of Toronto. The programme ends each year with an awards ceremony for VAACT participants. 

The idea for VAACT came from a session that took place during the 2015 edition of the VECTor conference that focused on the benefits of different organizations working together to share resources and to collaborate on various projects and initiatives.

I knew from speaking with my counterparts from other organizations that we shared a lot of the same volunteer talent. Many of our volunteers would jump from festival or event throughout the year, not only contributing to our own organization but to many others, making a substantial contribution to the arts and culture community in Toronto. We thought that this could be an opportunity for us to work together to create a shared recognition programme that recognizes and celebrates these truly committed volunteers. We launched VAACT in January of 2016 and the response from the volunteers exceeded our expectations. Over 200 volunteers participated, many of which had volunteered for all six VAACT organizations. We have since grown VAACT in 2017 to include four new organizations.

We’re excited to participate in the 2017 VECTor conference to share more about the VAACT programme, how it came it be and how it has evolved, what we’ve learned and of course, to share some successes and challenges experienced along the way.

If you're with the media and would like to learn more or attend the conference, please contact Cara Eaton.  




Passionate for film and volunteerism, Justin Ingraldi’s career has led him to the Edinburgh Film Festival in Scotland in 2008 and a long-standing relationship with the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), first as a volunteer, then an intern, then as staff. In his most recent role as Senior Manager of the Volunteer and Intern Resources department at TIFF, he was integral in creating and developing the TIFF Bell Lightbox year-round volunteer programme in time for the institution's launch of the facility and expansion since 2010.


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