20/20: Volunteer Recognition

Every month for twenty months, we’ll be featuring one of the hundreds of exceptional volunteers who help make KIAC’s programs possible. Thank you!

KIAC would like to thank our resident communications guru, Chris Healey, for sharing his expertise while he was on the DCAS Board of Directors and continuing through the development of our 2020 Fundraising campaign. Chris developed a website that staff could learn to manage. He also worked on a newsletter format that makes it easier to share information about the many programs and events going on at KIAC. We are very thankful that Chris moved to town right when we needed a hand.

Ben has been volunteering at KIAC since 2011 when he came to Dawson to visit his sister Emma who was working at KIAC as the Programs Manager. His first volunteer job was washing mountains of dishes for the Youth Art Enrichment program and since then Ben has volunteered for many different KIAC programs, including the Presentation Series, the Arts Festival and the Print and Publishing Festival. This winter he is still managing to fit a few volunteer shifts into his busy life as a SOVA student.

Maria Sol always brings a special flair when she gets involved in arts events at KIAC – from making perogies for the Film Fest Street Fest to teaching a workshop- from singing karaoke to planning a party (her specialty). When Maria Sol is involved you will always see a creative idea, attention to detail and lot of people having fun.. Her legendary Gallery Hop installations have included the Bar el Cabrito night in Buenos Aires, the Twin Peaks themed Black Lodge, and this years’ Prohibition extravaganza. A big thanks to you, Maria Sol, for bringing your Argentinean enthusiasm to KIAC.

Meet Gaby Sgaga, our August volunteer of the month. You may have seen Gaby’s friendly face at the door of the Palace Grand this weekend; she helps out at many events – but her favourite KIAC event must be the Dawson City International Short Film Festival. Gaby holds the remarkable distinction of having volunteered at every one of the 19 Festivals! She doesn’t just volunteer on the weekend itself; in the months leading up to Easter weekend, she attends as many of the film selection meetings as she can fit in between dog mushing, wood chopping, writing for What’s Up Yukon and managing the Dawson checkpoint for the Yukon Quest.

Most of you will recognize Joann Vriend from the weekly summer Artists’ Market where she sells her homemade pottery creations. Joann has been volunteering for KIAC since KIAC began including several years on the Board of Directors. Whenever we can, we talk Joann into taking break from her own artistic pursuits to help with our pottery classes. Most recently, her involvement has been as a volunteer at the Artists’ Market, both during the summer and during the Arts Festival.

Chuck and Bonnie Barber

You know how they say “If you want something done ask the busiest people”? Well, meet Bonnie and Chuck Barber! Bonnie and Chuck have been diligent KIAC volunteers over most of the years that KIAC has been open. One of their major contributions has been food preparation for the Youth Art Enrichment program – they make and serve breakfast to 50+ high school students, instructors and chaperones for five days and they make it look easy. The couple generally just keep an eye on KIAC and then all of a sudden a fax machine shows up, or new serving trays, or fresh tea towels. Many many thanks, you two, for all you do.

Palma Berger

Artist Palma Berger is our first of 20 featured volunteers featured as part of KIAC’s 20/20 celebrations. Palma was on the first Board of KIAC back in 1998 and served as Secretary to the Board until 2008. She took on the herculean task of creating two large scrapbooks that tell the tale of KIAC’s growth from 2000 to 2010 using newspaper articles. Palma has been helping and encouraging painters at our Saturday afternoon Open Studio sessions for at least a decade. She somehow finds time to work on her own paintings which she sells at our Artists’ Market in the summer and at various art shows in the winter. Three of Palma’s paintings are in the Yukon’s Permanent Art Collection.

In the video below Palma recounts the origins of the Klondike Institution of Art and Culture: