As we mark the 150th anniversary of confederation, The Philanthropist is profiling Canadians from across the non-profit sector and putting a face to 150 individuals who work or volunteer in Canada’s social sector.
Name: Louise Campbell
Current role in the sector: Freelance musician, current English Language Arts Network board member, past Canadian New Music Network and Codes d’accès board member
Years working and/or volunteering in the non-profit sector: 25 years.
What was your first job in the sector or a defining moment?
My defining moment in the sector is more like a lifetime of moments. Volunteerism is an important activity in my family. I grew up surrounded by the extensive volunteer activities led by my grandmothers, my parents, my aunts, my sisters and myself. My Nana, Anne Campbell, displayed exceptional community involvement through her community choirs, the Anne Campbell Singers, that taught numerous generations of women to stand tall, sing out and be proud. Growing up with that as example certainly ingrains community involvement deep in one’s psyche!
Describe your desk/workspace.
My studio is a complete mess! I am constantly unplugging and re-plugging gear, shuffling music, trying out new things and sketching ideas, all the while running in and out to my various jobs every day. Every once in a while I try to clean it up, but it inevitably turns into a mess within about a half hour. I’ve come to accept that the mess is necessary—and means I’m having fun and keeping busy.
What are you reading or following that has expanded your understanding of the non-profit sector?
Funnily enough, a book on money expanded my understanding of the non-profit sector: It’s your money by Gail Vaz-Oxlade. Vaz-Oxlade addresses understanding and managing money through various life stages most women pass through. One section of this book discusses volunteerism as historically being driven by women in community-based, frequently care-giving capacities. This has certainly been my experience through my family and my own volunteer activities, from community choirs, youth orchestras to nature camps and seniors’ homes. My experience of the non-profit sector is one of helping people come together in positive ways, and one that places people at the heart of all activities.
What do you think our sector needs to be thinking about?
Building community, and fostering the individuals who make up that community. I volunteer to help create the type of society I want to live in and for me that society is welcoming of all types of individuals of all backgrounds. Non-profit organizations necessarily have a fair amount of administration involved in keeping things running, but when it comes down to it, we need to remember why and for whom we are doing the work. Taking the time to say hello and asking how someone’s day is going can make all the difference in the world, not only for that person, but for ourselves, too.
Do you know someone we should profile as part of this series? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org