MINTY: ‘Have a voice’: volunteers needed by arts groups

Summer is ending, public schools may or may not be starting, the sunshine continues and local arts organizations are looking for help (active bodies) in running their operations.

These are all not-forprofit societies, so what they need is volunteers. You will never see any money in your pocket for your efforts. I could say that you will get recognition, accolades,

awards and admiration for your contribution. Gotta say, from my own personal experience, that doesn’t always happen either.

So why volunteer in the first place? Because it’ll look good on your resume, you will be part of the fabulous arts community in our city, you can inspire policies on

the arts, implement changes (for the better), accumulate experience or use your accumulated experience and just generally make a difference.

Of course, you will have to donate large chunks of time, pay membership fees and discover that your entire social life revolves

around your volunteer service to the arts. You will feel like the demands on your time and energy are more intense than looking after a newborn baby. You will often feel discouraged, defeated, depressed, stressed and ready to de-volunteer. It just gets better and better, doesn’t it? So, for all of you out there who have "been there, done that" and, more importantly, for all of you who have not yet participated with your life skills and blood, sweat and tears: I give you the opportunity to become involved. It really doesn’t hurt, and the bonus is that you will have a solid framework of friends who will always support you, even if you are not on their Facebook.

Ellie Parento, acting president of Surrey Little Theatre, sends out an appeal for new board members.

"Have a voice, be heard," she says.

Parento stepped in as president last year when the duly elected president moved to the Island. She has burned out a few computers (I think) and is a terrific volunteer. She got her brother, Tom Taylor, to stand as vice-president. In his turn, Taylor as a business consultant has tremendously assisted me in my business. This is my turn to say thanks to both of these people. I have been there, done that (many times) for various board of directors, so I have no problem using this space to thank others.

FYI, I have been using this space to tell you about the arts since the very first issue of the Now. I don’t need accolades, just get out there and add to volunteers in the arts.

But I digress. Parento says "Surrey Little Theatre has been putting on quality community theatre for over 50 years. As a community, we come forward and volunteer our time, sweat and tears to give the absolute best we have."

Now it can be your turn. She is asking for nominations for the board

of directors for Surrey Little Theatre. Think about it.

The AGM is on Wednesday, Sept. 10, with a potluck at 6 p.m. and general meeting called for 7:30. Visit Surrey Little Theatre’s website for more info, at

Meanwhile, the Young People’s Opera Society of B.C. will be holding its AGM on Sunday, Sept. 14 at Newton Cultural Centre, 13530 72nd Ave., from 1 to 4 p.m. I know, no one likes attending meetings – even when they come with food and entertainment. But YPOS can certainly use your unused energy and time. This is a young organization, and you can help shape the future. Again, think about it. If you have performed with the society, maybe take a peek in at the AGM. It won’t hurt. Honest.

For people who would like to be involved, but don’t really think they are suitable for a board position, here are some other opportunities: Surrey Youth Theatre Company is presenting the play, The Giver, this October. The immediate need is for a male actor to play the title role. This is a one-act play, and you must be available for rehearsals. Age range from 15 to 70. Contact the company by email,

Crikey, out of space again. One last item: The Community Theatre Coalition has only one event each year, its annual awards night. Throughout the season, reps attend every play presented by member groups. They vote for their favorites. Result: awards presented at this gala night. Food and entertainment. This is a great time to connect and network with other community theatre groups. Great food, catered. It’s on Sept. 6 at Coast Capital Playhouse in White Rock. Cash bar opens at 6:30 p.m., appetizers at 6:45 and entertainment and awards at 8. Tickets are available at 604-536-7535 and at

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