How art is helping feed the hungry and put a roof over people's heads in Kamloops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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How art is helping feed the hungry and put a roof over people's heads in Kamloops

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October 19, 2017 - 5:04 PM

KAMLOOPS - While non-profit organizations will always welcome financial donations, an event in Kamloops entering its sixth year has found time may actually be even more valuable than money.

Don't blame yourself if you have never heard of the Kamloops Timeraiser before. The organizer of the annual event in Kamloops, September Kuromi, admits the silent art auction has remained pretty low-key over the years, mostly thanks to its uniqueness.

"I get corporate sponsorship so I raise money from local businesses and I buy artwork," she says. "So all the artwork that's there that night has been purchased outright at market value with cash so it's really great for the artists, they love this event."

"Then it's set up in a silent auction format but instead of bidding with money you bid with volunteer hours."

This means that if you bid 90 hours for a piece of art and you win, you must complete the volunteer work over the course of a year and when you do, the artwork is yours. Kuromi says the resistance or confusion around the event tends to be that people think they still have to volunteer if they aren't the winning bidder, but that is not the case.

Despite the lack of attention the event receives it has been very successful averaging roughly 1,500 volunteer hours each year for 18 pieces of artwork. Those volunteer hours are then used to support a local organization of the bidder's choice.

There are 20 non-profit agencies that benefit from the event including the Kamloops Arts Council, Habitat For Humanity and the Kamloops Food Bank. Each organization is on hand at the event to explain their mission and how you can help them.

The idea was hatched seven years ago when Kuromi learned of a Toronto-based initiative that was raising time instead of money.

"There's about half a dozen across Canada, I think Fort McMurray does one," she says.

This year's event is on Nov. 10 at The Rex and will run from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. For ticket information, go here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Mike McDonald or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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