Carol Matusicky: A light dims

We are sorry to share that one of our dearest, most dedicated and cheerful colleagues has passed. When diagnosed with ALS, Carol took this terrible death sentence in stride and chose to seek the positive in whatever came. She was a beacon to those of us who worked with her on the VOCBC Steering Committee and the New Directions for BC’s Non-Profit Sector project – both of which she felt were of utmost importance to ensuring community voices and organizations find strength in working together – and we will miss her.

The light will not go out, however, as she lit all of us from her candle and we will continue to share it.

I read this Maya Angelou piece in a memorial post to Brenda Zimmerman, another key leader and mentor recently lost from the social innovation sector, and thought it expressed my thoughts about Carol’s passing.

When great souls die, the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly. Our eyes, briefly,
see with a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines, gnaws on kind words
promised walks never taken.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

– Maya Angelou

Next Steps for BC's Not-for-Profits

In November 2011, Imagine Canada and its partners convened a sectoral Summit that was the culmination of a national engagement strategy begun in 2009. The Summit brought together a number of voluntary sector staff and volunteers from across Canada, among them nearly 50 people from B.C. – including two members of our Steering Committee.
Debriefing their experience at the Summit with the rest of us led to an obvious conclusion for this ‘link-tank’: if we had such a juicy and fruitful conversation about it, and wanted to relate the national to the provincial, perhaps other attendees would, also.
We decided to initiate contact with all the BC folks who went to the Summit to test this idea, and of course an organizing team quickly came together from BC participants. VOCBC was joined by Summit participants from Vancity Community Foundation and Vancouver Foundation to organize and host these founding events. The first was held April 4 2012, and a second on June 22.
Two things (among many!) really stand out:

  • it was clear from the first meeting that achieving powerful change in any of the theme areas of the Summit will require us as a sector to explore and develop a foundational narrative we can each build our specific stories on for many different audiences. 
  • rather than the ‘usual suspects’ of established and mainstream groups leading and deciding how things will go, we must approach this as conveners and facilitators, inviting and including ALL stages and styles and sub-sectors of community organization. The outcome of the process will only be effective and useful if it is ‘owned’ by everyone. This is critically important.

In July, we collaborated with SPARC BC to secure some funding that will help us move forward in developing the connections and activities to really get things underway. Over the next few months the ‘Next Steps” process will be able to expand and evolve more effectively with the kind of technical and professional support the funding will allow.
And so we head into Fall, and for those of you who may not have been involved so far, stay tuned! This has been an entirely voluntary endeavour to this point, not only to bring the local sector together but to stay connected to the national effort (which is also pursuing the development of a foundational narrative). 
Although we will be posting updates to this website, the best way to get involved (or, at least, to be informed) is to sign on to our mailing list using the form on our home page. We look forward to hearing from you!

Celebrating Volunteers in the Arts – 6th Ann. Conf.

Title: Celebrating Volunteers in the Arts – 6th Ann. Conf.
Location: Museum of Vancouver (BC)
Link out: Click here
Description: ReBirth and ReBrand for Success & Sustainability, with special attention to “Engaging Young People in Arts and Culture”
$25 Registration includes breakfast, lunch and break refreshments.
Paid parking is the rule @ MoV now, $10 for the day
Buses 02,22, 32
Info: or Tel 604 733 9329
Start Time: 08:30
Date: 2011-02-19
End Time: 15:15

The week that was…

Mid-November has seen a flurry of intense activity, the epicentre of it all being the Coast Plaza Hotel in the West End of Vancouver.  The week began with two days of HR Council meetings with nonprofit stakeholders, followed by the Government Non-Profit Initiative 2010 Summit on Wednesday, Imagine Canada’s Forum 2010 on Thursday, and – obviously overlapping – the Counterparts Gathering 2010 Thursday to Saturday.
It has been a Rubik’s Cube of intersections, reformations, reconnections and inspirations that will take a while to process. Delegates from provinces and territories, representing all levels of government and some of the rich tapestry of our sector’s diverse organizations, attended all or part of one or several of these events.
In addition, many people had the opportunity to hear from Dan Pallotta and buy his book (“Uncharitable”), and debate the relative merits of what we heard with people who hold differing points of view. It was not a conference, but a great mash-up of human interaction with a purpose.
Once we are unplugged from this Matrix of Meetings, we will share highlights, relevant learnings, and links to surprising new resources that we have gleaned over the week.