Why an Interview,,,

Over the years we have been able to meet and talk with some very interesting people. They have shared with us their knowledge and have provided us with a great deal of insight as to how and why festivals and events work and why they are so important to our communities and to the Province of Ontario. With this in mind, we decided that we wanted you to meet and hear from some of the wonderful people who work so hard to provide us all with such wonderful Ontario Festivals and Events! We are pleased and proud to present "THE INSIDE SCOOP"!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

International Plowing Match & Rural Expo ~ Volunteers ~ Key to Success!

Ontario Visited Interview with Virginia Govier, Marketing Co-ordinator of the Ontario Plowmen’s Association, OPA
Ontario Plowmen’s Association Parent Host of the International Plowing Match & Rural Expo this September 17-21, 2013 in Mitchell Ontario, Perth County … interview with Ms. Virginia Govier, Marketing Co-ordinator of the Ontario Plowmen’s Association, OPATHE INSIDE SCOOPcontinues …
VOLUNTEERS … The Key to Success! …..
For many festivals and events, it is critical to have volunteers! For the International Plowing Match & Rural Expo Volunteers are critical. I asked Ms. Govier is she could tell us about their volunteer program. I was not surprised to learn that Virginia herself is an IPM volunteer, as well as an OPA staff member. Virginia tells us that from 1,000 to 1,300+ volunteers dedicate their time to the IPM. There is great structure to what they offer. The IPM has volunteers sign up with commitment forms and tells us that the IPM has traditionally been lucky with the success rate of these folks pulling through. Ms. Govier says now they often have waiting lists for volunteers to come on board.
Ms. Virginia Govier says “Koodo’s to the local committees by talking it up early”. These folks seem to know the benefits of the IPM coming to their community brings. The IPM offers a training program for all volunteers. They break down into focus groups where you can volunteer in an area of interest to you. (Such as parking, ticket taking and so much more). The benefits to the volunteers come in recognition of varying levels. They have a fun after event BBQ, and if volunteers contribute over 6 hours, they receive a pass to the IPM for a day for free, some committees receive boxed lunch for long hours contributed and more. The IPM uses great identifiable vests during the event for the volunteers. She tells us that it helps to keep cool as they can “breath”, if warmer clothing is needed, and you can layer up and then put the vest on. (Don’t quote me here, but I’m sure the IPM team will be glad to enlighten you about their program).
The fact is the IPM does have a Volunteer Training Program and a Volunteer Recognition Program. Virginia says it is most important to remember to thanks the volunteers! Ms. Virginia Govier tells me that they are lucky as the volunteers from the robust rural community are amazing to work with. It’s the old “help out your neighbours” system. There doesn’t seem to be a needed “trade-off” as in major centers where some volunteers might “expect something in return”. The Rural community, Virginia says, is very giving, dedicated and generous with their time, efforts and contributions. I would have to say that through Ontario Visited experiences this year, I humbly agree, rural folks are amazing, hard working dedicated people. As Ontario Visited says, Festivals and Events are the core of our communities. Without these amazing volunteers our communities would not continue to thrive.
Come Celebrate with us at the International Plowing Match & Rural Expo this September 17-21, 2013 in Mitchell Ontario, Perth County. Check out the IPM website at (LINK).

Don’t forget your good walking shoes and some sunscreen!

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