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Volunteer Symposium 2023

After a three year hiatus due to COVID-19 Kings Volunteer Resource Centre will once again be hosting a symposium focused on the interests of volunteers, organizations that involve volunteers and board members. This full day symposium will be held at NSCC Kingstec Campus on May 17 from 9:00-3:15. The day will include a keynote presentation, workshops and networking opportunities over lunch.

The theme of the symposium is, “ Embracing Our Lessons Learned From Covid-19”.  COVID-19 presented new opportunities for voluntary organizations to serve individuals and communities as well as highlighting some challenges that need to be addressed. The key note speaker, Annika Voltan, Executive Director of Community Impact Organizations of Nova Scotia (IONS) will address this theme. The theme will be further developed in workshops on advocating for social justice, recruiting volunteers, supporting diversity, adapting and collaborating to address uncertainty, the efficiencies implemented by the Red Cross during  COVID-19, and protecting and promoting human rights.


Participants can register for two workshops (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) so organizations may want to send several representatives to ensure that they access all the available information provided at the symposium.

Pre-registration for this event is required at a fee of $10.00 (including lunch). Information about lunch options for those with dietary restrictions is available when registering.

Keynote Speaker:  Annika Voltan

Annika Voltan, Executive Director, IONS

Annika Voltan is the Executive Director of Impact Organizations of Nova Scotia (IONS), where she works to develop the capacity and influence of the community impact sector. She was previously the Executive Director of Inspiring Communities where she worked to help grow the field of systems change through fostering activities related to nesting social change initiatives, evaluation and learning. Annika has experience working across federal and provincial government departments, academia and the business sector. She has a PhD in social entrepreneurship and has research interests in networks and social innovation. Annika has three young children and can be found exploring nature and the local craft beer scene.

Volunteer Symposium 2023 Agenda


Registration: 8:30am - 9:00am

Welcome:  9:00am - 9:15am

Keynote Speaker: 9:15am - 10:15am:

What Did COVID-19 Show Us About the NS Community Impact Sector and Where Do We Go From Here?  Annika Voltan, Impact Organizations of Nova Scotia (IONS)

During the pandemic, the Community Impact Sector in Nova Scotia showed time and again that it plays a critical role in delivering services and providing supports to communities across the province. Over the past 2 years, IONS has conducted several sector surveys about the impacts of COVID-19, capacity development needs, and the overall state of the sector in NS. The information collected through these surveys, combined with stories shared through community conversations, has helped shed a light on what emerged as new opportunities and what challenges have persisted and grown. We’re at a point in time to think together about how to continue the momentum about raising awareness of our value and contributions as a sector, and to think about how we can work differently to address the barriers standing in the way of our collective impact.

Morning Workshops: 10:30am – 12:15pm:


Forced Efficiencies: The Upside of Volunteer Management in The Pandemic


Many of the services that the Canadian Red Cross offers are considered by our funding partners and the communities we serve as essential, so during Covid, not providing service was not an option. Like so many NGO’s we rely heavily on volunteers and we needed to ensure they were safe, that we could mitigate the decrease in volunteer numbers (approximately 50%) and we could still meet the needs of our clients and beneficiaries. In some cases all services went remote and in other services we provided a hybrid model. Mixed in with new policies about remote work, mandatory vaccine requirements, PPE mandates we navigated a new and by times frightening and uncertain work environment. Reflecting on what worked and what changed we hope to share our journey and learn from others in the room about their journey.


Uncertainty as a Constant: Finding Ways to Thrive Through Adaptability and Collaboration


In this workshop, Annika Voltan will share recent research findings about how the Community Impact Sector is (and isn't) collaborating. Under the theme of sector transformation, participants will be encouraged to consider new ways of working to address challenges faced. She will share stories from her own organization, Impact Organizations of NS (or IONS) about how the team is shifting how it works internally to be more adaptive, as well as examples of emerging ideas of how organizations may be able to work together more effectively. The workshop will aim to be interactive and conducive to peer learning with the goal of walking away with new ideas to try based on others’ experiences.


Volunteer Recruitment - The Next Step - Creating a Detailed Strategy


So many of us have had the opportunity to participate in some brilliant Volunteer Recruitment Workshops. This one will build on what you have learned in those and have you walking away with the beginning of an actual Strategy in hand. Much of the workshop will be working together, supporting, and collaborating with each other to put pen to paper developing a plan that works for your organization. It is expected participants already have a broad knowledge of Volunteer Recruitment, and Max will only very briefly cover key points before we get down to work!

Lunch & Networking 12:15pm - 1:15pm

Lunch will be provided as part of your registration fee. Any dietary restrictions that can be accomodated can be selected when ordering your tickets.

Afternoon Workshops: 1:15pm – 3:00pm:

Effective Advocacy for Social Justice Issues


Do you want to see a change in your community? Maybe people are hungry, homeless, in crisis, or marginalized in one or more ways, and the status quo isn’t good enough. Join Max Chauvin for this workshop to explore ideas and strategies on how you can advocate for change and have a real impact.


Protecting and Promoting Human Rights: A New Mandate for the Volunteer Sector


In this workshop Ayo Aladejebi with the NS Human Rights Commission, will walk participants through the fundamentals of Human Rights in the context of volunteering. Drawing on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act, participants will explore their responsibilities and rights in ensuring that all human beings, regardless of background, are treated with dignity and without discrimination.


Breaking Barriers: An Introduction to EDI tools and the Municipality’s Strategic Plan for Belonging


This presentation will talk about Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the importance these tools serve in the workplace. After acknowledging our personal biases an developing a common language, we will then take you through Toward Equity and Diversity: A Strategy for Belong in the Municipality of the County of Kings and highlight the work that is being done to ensure that the municipality is a place that is a community of communities - where everyone belongs.

Door Prizes and Closing: 3:00pm – 3:30pm

Although masks are not required, they are recommended for those who choose to wear them. We will also try our best to provide as much social distancing opportunities as is physically possible for area.


If for any reason you would like to attend but the fee is a barrier, please contact our Coordinator at to waive the cost of admission.

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