On National Volunteer Week, marked April 16-22, it’s time to stop, recognize and celebrate the actions of the estimated more than 330,000 volunteers across our province.
These volunteers coach, instruct, teach and officiate. They serve on community boards. They’re taking tickets, bringing refreshments, setting up tables and cleaning up at public events. They host and organize festivals, programs and activities, and look after our community facilities.
The individuals really are the ordinary superstars who also live next door to us – people of all cultures, ages and abilities.
To recognize this contribution of sport, culture and recreation volunteers, we welcome you to read some of the amazing volunteers stories submitted to us by Sask Sport, SaskCulture and the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association.
If you are looking for opportunities to volunteer in Saskatchewan, visit Volunteer Connector.
Terri-Lynn Beavereye’s story
Originally from the St. Louis area, Terri-Lynn Beavereye (nee Regnier) has been living, working and volunteering in Stony Rapids and Black Lake for the past 33 years.
Beavereye is a proud Northerner and is passionate about creating and supporting opportunities for Northern children and youth to participate and showcase their talent to the province.
Originally moving to the Black Lake Denesuline First Nation as an educator, she began her volunteer journey with the Athabasca Regional Recreation Association. Beavereye worked with the Northern Recreation Co-ordinating Committee (NRCC) in 1998, which evolved into the Northern Sport, Culture and Recreation District (NSCRD).
An inspiration for a new generation of volunteers in her community and region, she enjoys volunteering for local events and programs. This includes initiating cookouts for the Stony Rapids Winter Carnival, feeding community members and visitors with traditional foods. This has continued for several years and has been adopted by other communities.
A volunteer Mission Staff member for 11 Saskatchewan Games – she retired from NSCRD Board of Directors and Chairperson duties in 2022.
“As a volunteer, I know how rewarding it is to donate your time and skills to a worthy cause. The parks and recreation industry relies on the work of dedicated, committed, and passionate volunteers, without whom our communities wouldn’t be as vibrant or strong. Thank you to all who continue to give freely so everyone can enjoy the benefits of parks and recreation.“
– Jody Boulet, President, Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association
Truly Alive Youth and Family Foundation story
Dedicated volunteers are essential to supporting and providing a safe environment for many underserved groups in Saskatoon.
Since 2016, volunteers at Truly Alive Youth and Family Foundation (TAYFFI) have played a pivotal role in not only starting the organization, but in developing the tailored programs and support services for individuals, youth and families from visible minority groups and vulnerable communities in Saskatoon.
The foundation focuses on advancement and leadership training, newcomer adaptation and communication connections, youth mentorship, anti-racism, multiculturalism and inter-heritage learning engagement.
“Truly Alive Youth and Family Foundation volunteers are often friends, family, and community members from many diverse cultures, with whom many of us have formed friendships,” explains Anthony Olusola, executive director, TAYFFI. “Therefore, our volunteers often feel like family, which makes TAYFFI warm and inviting when providing services to those who are potentially vulnerable or in new situations.”
Many non-profit cultural groups rely on dedicated volunteers giving time and energy to bring community together. This past year, 15 volunteers contributed over 420 hours to TAYFFI.
"Volunteers are an integral part of all the great cultural programming and services offered in this province. From founding members to those who serve on the front lines, volunteers are often the strength and support needed to keep programs running and cultural experiences connected to community. We, at SaskCulture, are extremely grateful to the many committed, dedicated, determined and passionate individuals who volunteer their time and talents in the arts, heritage and cultural sector – building community and contributing to a culturally vibrant Saskatchewan!"
– Jan Seibel, Chair, SaskCulture Board of Directors
For more information on cultural volunteers and initiatives supported thanks to Sask Lotteries Trust Fund for Sport, Culture and Recreation, visit the SaskCulture website.
Rod Schmidt story
For more than 28 years, Rod Schmidt of Regina has dedicated his life to serving others.
Schmidt was a Team Sask Mission Staff member on several Canada Summer Games teams, as well as Canada Winter Games teams, including the Assistant Chef de Mission for the recent 2023 Games in PEI.
A community basketball coach, Schmidt was a part of organizing committees for the 2013 and 2022 Grey Cup and Vice Chair of the Host Committee for the 2013 JUNO Awards.
A Sask Games Council Board member, Schmidt also finds time to volunteer for the Regina Sports Hall of Fame and Waskimo Winter Festival. He was a member of the 2005 Canada Summer Games Regina Bid Committee and Co-Chair for the Regina Transportation, Logistics and IT Sub-Committee for the IIHF 2010 World Junior Hockey Championships in Saskatchewan.
“Saskatchewan is home to countless passionate and dedicated volunteers who offer their time and effort in so many ways. As we celebrate National Volunteer Week, let us remember that volunteers are the lifeblood of the amateur sport community. Without their selfless commitment, our athletes would not have the opportunities to learn, grow and excel. We owe a debt of gratitude to these unsung heroes. It is our responsibility to support, as well as to recognize, them for their invaluable contributions to creating opportunities for thousands of participants in our lottery-funded sport system.”
– Michael Rogers, Sask Sport Board of Directors Chair