Have you ever looked at an intricate machine, and thought about all the different parts that are so vitally important to keep it running? Or pondered a beautiful piece of art, and wondered at all the work that must have gone into creating it? Earlier this month we had our volunteer BBQ and everyone who attended had the opportunity to create their own unique and beautiful mosaic. As people were creating these works of art, I couldn’t help but parallel this with The Works Festival. I think it is a lovely metaphor for all of our volunteers and the hard work they put in to make it possible for public to experience our festival each summer. Each volunteer is a beautiful and unique piece of color, each bringing their own talents and perspective to the table. Once all of these different pieces are put together, that is when they create something amazing and beautiful, that no individual could have done on their own.
Through my position I have gotten to know all of these amazing and interesting people. Coming from all different age groups,cultures, backgrounds, and walks of life, I get to hear about the many different experiences they’ve had that may have lead them to volunteer with us, as well as many of their life stories.
We have one repeat volunteer who has been battling cancer for years, but is the most kind-hearted and upbeat person I have ever met, always telling jokes and never failing to put a smile on my face.
There is another returning volunteer who is from the UK, and this is her second year with us. She’s very kind and sweet and chooses to spend some of her time here every summer volunteering with us!
We have other volunteers who amaze in the sheer amount of what they give. Some of them are with us all day every day for the entire festival. Others are full time moms, working full time jobs, and they still find time. Still others have been volunteering with the festival longer than I’ve even been alive (which is kind of incomprehensible to me). But these volunteers, each one of them with their experiences, eagerness, and wonderful personalities, are the pieces that create the beautiful mosaic that is our festival.
Rebecca (Bexx) Stephens is an art student, originally from the Southern United States. She is currently entering her third year as a student in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at the University of Alberta, focused on painting and drawing. She will graduate with her BFA in 2019, and will then start her Bachelor of Education. Her art currently focuses on themes of nature and the environmental impact of humans. In 2015 she completed her I.B Art Diploma, had a painting shown in The Works, and was also awarded the Bob Maskel “Supporting Dreams” Scholarship. Since 2015 she has received two more scholarships, been commissioned for her work privately as well as commercially, received the honor of having a painting shown in the Alberta Society of Artist “Emerging Artist” show in both Calgary and Edmonton, as well as had work archived at both the University of Alberta as well as Thompson Rivers University. Aside from art, she spends her spare time reading, listening to music, long-boarding, and rock climbing.