It is so refreshing when you actually get the chance to meet a group of people or an organization that GET IT! The kind that get it’s people who make up an organization. That it’s the people who are the ones who work hard. They also realize that without the people, they’re nothing! It’s so refreshing when you get the opportunity to work with other people who value you and your efforts.
I am talking about Creative Edmonton!
In case you didn’t know, Creative Edmonton @CreativeYEG, is a local organization that aims to create market style trade shows and events to debut and showcase locally operated businesses and artists within Edmonton’s community. IT’S ALL RUN ON VOLUNTEERS.
It was just over a year ago that my partner, Allison, and I met up with them and got to know who they are. These days, with having a family and running our own photography company, Vivid Ribbon, we don’t have a lot of spare time. However, we were looking for a way to give back to community and we were looking for an organization that would allow us to do this by way of donating and using our photography and business skills. I have joined the Creative Edmonton team as the Director of Photography to help out with event photography, team photos, and general photography. My goal is to showcase and mentor any other photographers that want to develop their skills as well. We, at Vivid Ribbon, are very happy that this is the organization that we are able to contribute our time toward as we feel we work with people who GET IT!
I recently sat down and had coffee with the Director, Saniya Ghalehdar. She was mentioning to me that she gets asked quite often how is that Creative Edmonton is able to do what they do and also on a volunteer basis only? What makes them so special that people WANT to volunteer their time with them?
Working with them over the past year, I know the answer: it’s because the focus has always been about ‘the people’. When I say ‘the people’, I mean these things:
- The Team. Creative Edmonton is doing things right. Saniya is one of the most down to Earth and humble people I know. She values every bit of effort that the team puts into planning, crafting, organizing, decorating, setting up, and attending the markets they put on. It’s A LOT of work!
- Strengths and Talents. This next part might seem like common sense but I promise you it’s not: the one thing I rarely see done really well in other organizations is allowing people to work and putting their talents to where their strengths are. For example, if someone is really great at decorating, that’s what they get to do. If someone is really great at talking to people and coordinating vendors, that’s what they do. Doing it this way makes people feel valued and it makes them feel like their talents are not going to waste.
- Development. Saniya has always said to me that if people want to take on some responsibilities on the team where they want learn it and develop their skills so that they can use it elsewhere or it can potentially help them with getting a job, she’s happy to have them on board. Perfect!
- The Vendors. The whole point of Creative Edmonton is to put on an amazing show to showcase the vendors. Letting Edmonton know who is new and exciting and give them the opportunity to show off their talents and work at the pop-up markets, and at an extremely affordable rate. “The Big Guys” or, successful businesses, once started off as “The Small Guys”. Creative Edmonton loves to give “The Small Guys” that opportunity to shine. They know how hard it is for new, small businesses to get off the ground and they want to help them.
- Community. Creative Edmonton always donates a large portion, if not all, of their ticket sales to a local charity. At the event in October, called BrewFest, they were able to donate over $3,300 to Wings of Providence, a shelter for women and their children who have experienced family violence.
When you read the above 5 points, there is your magic right there. Appreciate the people who you are working with, do something amazing for your city and community, help others succeed, and give back to community.
Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this??!
Reach out to Saniya Ghalehdar at http://www.creativeyeg.ca/#contact if you have any questions or want to get involved or you can also ask me any questions as well!
The next event is happening on June 5th! See poster below!