The Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society, has been accredited under Imagine Canada’s National Standards Program.
The society manages the Central Cariboo Arts Centre in Williams Lake along with various cultural grant and assistance programs for arts and culture organizations.
“With this achievement, we join a growing community of more than 200 organizations dedicated to operational excellence,” said executive director Leah Selk in this week’s announcement.
The Standards Program is a Canada-wide set of shared standards for charities and nonprofit organizations.
To meet the stringent guidelines for certification Selk explained that organizations must conform to 73 standards designed to strengthen their practices in five fundamental areas.
These areas of operation include board governance; financial accountability and transparency; fundraising; staff management; and volunteer involvement.
She said the Imagine Canada accreditation program required the arts and culture society to produce a full package of processes to meet the intensive standards, a process which took two years of work by staff and volunteer directors.
“Achieving accreditation means that we’ve reached a milestone, but the entire process helped us fill in some gaps we hadn’t addressed until then,” said CCACS president Jane Perry. “Overall, it was a most worthwhile process and we’re very pleased to have achieved accreditation.”
Perry said the society owes a large debt of gratitude to past president Graham Kelsey and past vice-president Melissa Newberry for laying the groundwork for the accreditation.
“Graham Kelsey was the major catalyst and coach for the project,” Perry said, adding that Kelsey knows the certification process from the inside out and has helped many other non-profit groups with setting up management systems.
Bruce MacDonald, president and CEO of Imagine Canada said it is no small feat for an organization to earn the Standards Program accreditation.
“It’s a rigorous, peer-reviewed process that is meant to build public trust and confidence in the charitable sector,” MacDonald said. “These organizations take accountability and operational transparency very seriously. We’re glad to have them on board.”
The goals of Imagine Canada’s Standards Program are to increase the transparency of charities and nonprofits, and to strengthen public confidence in individual organizations and the sector as a whole.
Trust is the foundation for what matters to the program, its stakeholders and those who support the program, MacDonald said. “Accredited organizations invest in what matters: trust.”
Perry said CCACS does not take the trust of its stakeholders and partners lightly. “Since being established in 2010, we’ve worked to earn that trust by acting ethically and with transparency,” Perry said. She said that having the certification from an independent third party provides a greater level of confidence in the organization for taxpayers, donors and community stakeholders.
“The CCACS is proud to display the trust-mark as our commitment to excellence within the non-profit and charitable sector, and is excited to share this achievement with the community,” Selk said.
The society manages the Central Cariboo Arts Centre in Williams Lake on behalf of the City of Williams Lake and Cariboo Regional District Areas D, E, and F; offers a grants program to distribute project grants to nonprofit groups and societies in the Central Cariboo, as well as providing assistance with respect to arts and culture matters (funding, projects, etc.). The CCACS also maintains an up-to-date calendar of all arts and culture events in the Central Cariboo, and manages the Performances in the Park summer concert series in Boitanio Park.
More information is available on the organization at www.centralcaribooarts.com.