Canada launches new web portal and revives heritage house on IVD
05 December 2002

Ottawa: In celebration of International Volunteer Day (IVD), Volunteer Canada today launched two unique spaces where volunteers can meet and exchange ideas -- a physical gathering place in a revived heritage building, and a virtual meeting space on the World Wide Web.

Volunteer Place Bénévoles is a special setting dedicated to providing charitable and non-profit organizations with affordable meeting space. "We are so fortunate to have this new venue within the capital that celebrates the power of volunteering," said Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli, co-chair of the Canadian Patron Council for Volunteering, who unveiled the space, "this beautiful building is a fitting tribute to Canada’s volunteers." The space is housed in an early-20th century former school board administration building in downtown Ottawa and will be managed by volunteers.

Volunteer Canada has also launched, a one-of-a-kind Internet portal and web site for volunteering in Canada. It is the information portal for anyone looking for facts and statistics on volunteering, volunteer management resources, programme ideas, projects, and links to dozens of relevant sites.

"Access to a single source of information on volunteering in Canada will enhance the ability of organizations across the country to more effectively involve and manage volunteers," said Tracey Mann, Chair of the board of directors of Volunteer Canada. The portal also involves a team of volunteers who have worked on the construction, lay-out and uploading of information and will continue to help maintain the site.

This event was an opportunity to mark both IVD and the start of the "I WILL volunteer" campaign, to be carried out every year at this time and which calls on Canadians to "resolve to be involved".

"It’s a time of year for thinking about how we’re going to spend the next year, and how we’re going to make a difference in our life and in the lives of others," said Paddy

Bowen, president of Volunteer Canada.

The Honourable Sheila Copps, Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister responsible for the voluntary sector, participated in this International Volunteer Day event by announcing the establishment of the Canada Volunteerism Initiative (CVI) -- a 35-million-dollar investment in volunteerism in Canada. The CVI is designed to enhance volunteerism in this country and aims to serve as a legacy of the International Year of the Volunteers 2001 (IYV). The programme will implemented by Volunteer Canada and the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy.

Volunteer Canada is the national voice for volunteerism in Canada. Since 1977, Volunteer Canada has been committed to supporting volunteerism and civic participation through ongoing programmes and special projects.

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