Edmonton TimeRaiser

Last night I went to the 4th Annual Edmonton TimeRaiser at the Transalta Art Barns.

If you haven’t been to the TimeRaiser yet, you really need to check it out next year. It’s a classy, catered event where people gather to bid on art . . . with volunteer hours.

Here’s how it works – the organizers get sponsors who pledge money. That money is used to purchase art from local artists at fair market value. The art is then tastefully displayed alongside tables representing some of Edmonton’s finest charities and non-profits. You get to meet the artists and the volunteer coordinators behind the charities.

When you see a piece of art you can bid on it with volunteer hours in increments of 10 hours. By the end, all the paintings have received multiple maximum bids of 100 hours and the winner is chosen at random.

The event this year raised somewhere in the neighbourhood of 4,000 volunteer hours in a single evening. Four thousand hours of people time going into good projects in the community.

They also hosted a twitter contest (with a sweet prize package) where they asked people to tweet about what ‘volunteerism’ meant to them. I put in three submissions but sadly wasn’t picked as the winner.

However! I was selected as the winning bidder on a painting I really, really wanted done by the talented Meghan MacMillan.

I can’t wait to get it.