From our exhibitions to our programming, the MacKenzie strives to create a welcoming space where everyone belongs – not just for our visitors, but for our staff and volunteers.
Out of our incredible community partnership with the Saskatchewan Abilities Council, we have had the honour to work alongside Dave de la Forest, first as a volunteer, and now as a member of our staff. Dave has graciously shared his story with us, and it highlights the importance that art and creativity have on building strong and meaningful community engagement.
I’m more of a sports guy. I volunteered for the Grey Cup, Memorial Cup, the Briar, and the Regina Folk Festival, so my first impression of volunteering at the MacKenzie Art Gallery was “Why am I here?”.
But since I started coming to the Gallery every week, my life has changed. I got used to talking to people and being around art. I learn something new every day being here.
I started volunteering here through a partnership with SaskAbilities. After a while, I was doing such a good job, I started wondering how I could become a Facilitator, and learned how from the other Gallery Facilitators. Now, as a new Gallery staff member, I’ve learned how to be a team leader. To have nice people to work with and share stories with is awesome.
When I’m on the bus heading to Wascana Rehab Centre or to the Gallery, I smile because I’ve got it made. I’d been waiting for an opportunity like this for a long time. I really wanted a job that I enjoyed going to. And it doesn’t get old because every time I come into the Gallery, I’m still learning.