The New Societies Act: What You Need To Know

There are more than 27,000 non-profit societies in BC, providing services and programs that touch virtually every citizen. The BC Society Act, which provides the rules for governance and incorporation of non-profits, is set for important changes. The official proclamation of the new Societies Act will take place in November 2016, and there will be a two-year transition period by which time all societies in BC will have to make the switch to the new Act.

All organizations that are incorporated under the current Society Act will have to complete a “transition application,” and many will have to revise their constitution and bylaws by the end of the transition period. This workshop, delivered by lawyer Martha Rans, will provide the information on the bylaw and policy changes necessary for your organization to effectively make the transition when the new Act is proclaimed.

Click here for a brief summary of changes in the new Act.


Workshops are open to any registered non-profit organization operating within the Central Okanagan, between Lake Country and Peachland.

If you prefer to attend a workshop with peer organizations from your sector (sport, arts and culture or social service), please register for the sector-specific workshop. However, organizations are welcome to attend any workshop that suits their schedule. All three workshops provide similar content.

Cost: Individual $15 / Organization $20 (Admits up to 2 attendees)
In order to provide space for as many organizations as possible, each organization is limited to a maximum of 2 attendees.

Location: Coast Capri Hotel – Horizon Room South, 1171 Harvey Ave, Kelowna

  • Workshop #1: Social Service
    Date: Wednesday, June 1, 2016, 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
    Register Now
  • Workshop #2: Sport
    Date: Wednesday, June 1, 2016, 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm
    Register Now
  • Workshop #3: Arts & Culture
    Date: Thursday, June 2, 2016, 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
    Register Now
The Facilitator
Martha Rans is the Legal Director of Pacific Legal Education Outreach Society (PLEO), which operates the Artists’ Legal Outreach and Law for Nonprofits programs. She has been practicing law in British Columbia since 1997, and works extensively with arts organizations, non-profit societies and visual and multimedia digital artists.

Mentor’s Reception

Date: Thursday, June 2, 2016, 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Location: Coast Capri Hotel – Fireside Grill, 1171 Harvey Ave, Kelowna

During the two-year transition period, organizations may need assistance as they prepare their application and revise their constitution and bylaws. Local mentors are being recruited in a number of communities to provide this assistance as part of the Law for Non Profits Societies Act transition project. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, join Martha Rans at the Mentor Reception where you will learn more about the mentorship role and how to get involved.

Anyone interested in becoming a mentor, please RSVP to ac.anwoleknull@trebliga

Registration is Now Open for the 2016 Okanagan Volunteer Opportunities Fair

Date: Saturday, September 17th, 2016, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Location: Parkinson Recreation Centre, 1800 Parkinson Way, Kelowna
Register Now

This annual event — now in its 19th year — draws 75+ local non-profit organizations who need volunteers to support the programs and services that make our community a better place to live. They are looking forward to meeting and talking with new volunteers face-to-face and providing all the information they need to find their volunteering ‘home’.

For volunteers, this event represents a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn about each organization, and how their personal involvement can make a difference in our community. One stop, with all the answers they need to make their choice (Or choices!) on where they will give of their time. At the Fair, we all come together to help make Kelowna a great place to live!

Learn More

Employment Programs – Apply Today!

Employment Services program photoNeed to get ready for post-secondary training, or improve your Math, reading, and study strategies?

Need better Math or English to get in to a Trade, go back to school, or improve your skills for a better career?


Are you an immigrant, person with a self-identified disability, or over the age of 50 and need help seeking employment?

If so, please contact our employment services team at 778.484-5587, ac.rcknull@secivrestnemyolpme, or visit our website at for more information on the two, no-cost-to-participant programs.

Our next groups are starting May 2nd, so be sure to contact us soon!

National Volunteer Week – Recognition Ideas for Volunteers

What have you tried in your organization? As a volunteer, what recognition was most memorable?

Recognize Volunteers Year Round

Volunteers and charities have different ideas about recognition.

Research by Volunteer Canada reported that charities relied on formal strategies such as banquets and media attention. 80% said they did not have enough money to recognize volunteers properly.

Volunteers, on the other hand, prefer to hear two things. 80% wanted to hear about the difference that their work made. 70% wanted regular, in-person and informal recognition. Formal gatherings and media recognition were the least preferred by volunteers.

This is good news. It is not about money and event planning. It is about being personal and talking about impact.

It is time for charities to think differently about planning and budgeting to recognize volunteers.

The first change is to plan for year-round recognition. Identify simple, heartfelt ways. Include ideas for making volunteers feel welcome each and every time they show up. Everyone in the organization needs to be on board.

Use their names. Smile. Check in to see how they are doing. Provide practical support. Remember physical touch like a hand shake or light touch on the arm or shoulder.

Talk often about the agency’s mission and how that specific volunteer contributed. Highlight the results experienced by others in the community.

Get to know each volunteer so that your ‘thanks’ can be personalized. Link recognition to what motivates them. Be specific.

Since many volunteers are motivated by gaining or sharing skills, consider expanding volunteer opportunities to be more skill-based. Write that into the volunteer position description. Offer feedback about how the volunteer’s skills are growing or how they are nurturing those skills in others.

Invite volunteers to suggest ideas, give input and participate in planning as well as implementation and evaluation. Emphasize the impact of these activities on the volunteer program and/or agency-wide contribution to people served.

Consider demographic differences in recognition preferences. Students and young professionals want to link reference letters, certificates and award nominations to career development.

Some ideas are winners for all ages. Small informal gatherings are appreciated, like a barbecue where people bring their own meat and maybe share side dishes.

Introduce volunteers to managers, senior executive and board members. Provide opportunities to network in the community. Offer opportunities to attend local training and then share what was learned.

To summarize, here is a list of best practices when it comes to recognizing volunteers.
  • Make it year-round.
  • Thank volunteers in-person, sincerely, and on an ongoing basis.
  • Tell them how they have made a difference.
  • Try ideas that build on volunteer motivations and preferences.
  • Develop volunteer positions that use or develop their skills.
  • Try a variety of ideas, even customize some for different volunteers.
  • Enhance events with training, networking and celebration.
  • Bring staff and volunteers together (include board members).
  • Ensure volunteers feel welcome.

Volunteer Canada also produced a list of “Top 12 Volunteer Engagement Tips for 2016”. Many of these ideas also lend themselves to ideas about effectively recognizing volunteers.

The bottom line for charities is to stop worrying about having enough money to recognize volunteers and become thoughtful and creative. Volunteers are people who want to feel needed in the ways they contribute to making our community a better place to live.

What have you tried in your organization? As a volunteer, what recognition was most memorable?

The KCR Volunteer Open House was a success!

Thank you to everyone who came out to our Volunteer Open House during National Volunteer Week! We appreciate all your hard work.
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BC-IYSI Parent Engagement Session

Date: Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: CMHA Kelowna boardroom, 504 Sutherland Avenue, Kelowna (corner of Sutherland and Pandosy)

Parents, we want to hear from you! We’re working on a proposal to open a youth clinic so that it is easier for youth and young adults to get help with mental health and substance use and we want your ideas.

Please attend this engagement session to provide feedback and participate in discussion to help shape the future of this proposed clinic. The clinic would be part of the BC Integrated Youth Services Initiative.

Light refreshments will be provided. Space is limited so please register to attend.

What will be discussed?
  • Design and development of the facility
  • How services can be delivered in a way that addresses some of the key access -challenges currently experienced by parents/families

Mentorship Program – We Want You!!

WE WANT YOU for our Immigrant Services Employment Mentorship Program

Our mentees are looking to be matched with Travel Agents, Administration Assistants, Accountants and Dietitians.

The Employment Mentorship Program assists immigrants with their transition into Canadian life and workplace culture by matching an immigrant mentee with a volunteer mentor who is working or has worked in the field of work that is of interest to the mentee. If you have at least 3 years of professional experience in your field, possess detailed industry and sector knowledge and networks, are able to commit to meet with your mentee once every two weeks and would like to help others, this may be the opportunity for you.

For more information, please contact Vicki Pilot at ac.rcknull@ikciv or 250.763.8008 ext 139

The Law & You – Hiring International Workers – April 14

Date: Thursday, April 14, 2016, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Location: Kelowna Community Resources, #120-1735 Dolphin Avenue, Kelowna
Pre-register: Contact Dorothee at ac.rcknull@eehtorod or call 250.860.4911

Kelowna Community Resources (KCR) Immigrant Services, in partnership with the Law Foundation of BC and Pushor Mitchell, continues its “The Law & You Series” with a session on hiring international workers.

Topics covered include hiring and supporting foreign workers to Permanent Residency through the use of Labour Market Impact Assessment Applications and Express Entry Programs including the Provincial Nomination Program.

“For employers looking to hire or recruit foreign workers, this is a critical session to come to,” says Sandra Hakanson, Immigration and Citizenship lawyer with Pushor Mitchell LLP, who will be leading the Information Session. “Immigration law is complex and intricate and the stakes are high for both the employer and the worker. The rules have changed once again since the Election and I will have just returned from the Canadian Bar Association’s conference on Immigration, so will have the latest updates to share.”

Ms. Hakanson practices exclusively in the area of Canadian Immigration and Citizenship law. She has significant experience assisting clients with a complete range of Canadian immigration services including: temporary residence, permanent residence, business immigration, Labour Market Impact Assessment, immigration litigation matters, and Canadian Citizenship.

The Okanagan is seeing an increasing number of immigrants and migrants working and living in the region. Employers recruiting or hiring Foreign Workers will want to educate themselves on the processes and rules to ensure compliancy. Employees will also want to ensure they understand what is required of them to become Permanent Residents.

KCR Immigrant Services works with immigrants and migrants to the region on a daily basis, helping them to settle and connect with the community. “The Law & You” Information Sessions allow for an in depth overview of major issues facing im(migrants), and also gives participants an opportunity to ask questions specific to their personal situations.

Sandra Hakanson, an Immigration and Citizenship Lawyer with Pushor Mitchell LLP, will share her expertise and the latest information on Immigration Law.

Doors open at 6:00 pm. Free Child Minding is available on request.


Walk in Her Shoes Challenge – April 23

Walk in Her Shoes Challenge 2016

A future without poverty is within walking distance. Walk (or run) with us in Kelowna, April 23rd, 2016.

In many developing countries, women and girls walk more than 10,000 steps each day to access basic essentials, such as water and food for their families, leaving little time for getting an education or earning an income.

CARE is working to change that. And you can too by Walking In Her Shoes at Mission Creek Park in Kelowna on Saturday, April 23rd. It’s a fun family-friendly (and dog-friendly) walk that attracts men and women from all walks of life who want to make a difference.

Empower girls and women around the globe by walking 10,000 steps. Sign up to walk or run today.

The Repair Café – April 30

Date: Saturday, April 30, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Location: Okanagan College Center for Learning Atrium, Campus Road W, Kelowna

Do you have a household item in need of repair, don’t want to toss it out, but you’re stuck on how to go about fixing it? A lamp on the fritz? Bicycle in need of repair? Clothes that need mending? Toaster that just won’t toast? If so, the Repair Café could be just the event you’re looking for! Plus, it’s all free!

“With the help of our talented volunteer fixers, we’re resurrecting the too good to toss mentality—a shift from the throw away to a fix it society,” says Rae Stewart with the Regional Waste Reduction Office. “Most of our fixers are like minded hobbyists who enjoy helping others and want to keep items out of the landfill. They’re all volunteering their time. They vary in age and background, just like those that come with broken items to be fixed. This is our fourth Repair Café so far, and momentum is really building with each event!”

Stewart says the idea is not to come in, drop off your item for fixing, and then come back when it’s done, instead they’re encouraging you to become part of the process. “The Repair Café offers the opportunity to learn new skills, plus a chance to connect with skilled people. It’s a casual environment, and all the fixing is free of charge, people really like that!!”

The Repair Café concept started in the Netherlands and is now part of a growing international network, a celebration of the great things that can be done when we pool our skills knowledge and resources.

If you would like to volunteer your time as a Repair Café Fixer, or if you have something you‘re looking to have repaired, refurbished, revamped or renewed, you’re invited to join in on the Repair Café. For more info visit or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office for more info at 250.469.6250.
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