Campaign seeks to bolster Kamloops arts, culture, recreation organizations

Support for non-profits

A new volunteer-run campaign is hoping to bring support to Kamloops charities and non-profits that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

JP Baker, one of the campaign organizers, said Keep Kamloops was created to bolster community engagement with groups specifically working in the culture, heritage, arts and recreation sectors.

Starting in February, the Keep Kamloops campaign will feature two non-profits or charities per month on social media, and through other media channels.

The campaign will run through 2021.

“Of all the organizations, there was sort of the least optimism in arts and culture and recreation organizations in terms of whether they could survive this whole thing,” Baker said.

According to Baker, these sectors tend to rely on revenue-generating events like concerts, plays and sports games.

While some organizations are able to adjust their programming to fit a virtual environment, it isn’t a possibility for all non-profits.

“If people think about all the programs they put their kids in, and the cultural events that they attended in 2019, and then think about not doing those things in 2020, all that money is basically gone from those organizations,” Baker said.

Registered charities or non-profit societies interested in being featured can fill out an application form on the Keep Kamloops website. Organizations must be operating in the arts, culture, heritage or recreation sectors, and have a financial need. Applicants will be asked to describe their attempts to pivot or adapt their programming.

A volunteer committee will then go through the applications and choose two per month to be highlighted.

Baker said he hopes the public will be encouraged to participate in activities hosted by these organizations or donate to charities and non-profits, regardless of whether they are chosen to be featured.

“We’re hoping that they benefit from the general publicity we give to this issue,” he said.

“It's really rough to think about losing these organizations and all that they provide.”

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