Every Moment Matters National Volunteer Week – April 14 to 20, 2024

April 2, 2024

National Volunteer Week provides the perfect occasion to recognize and celebrate the invaluable contributions of veterinarians, veterinary technicians/technologists, students, and all other volunteers who generously devote their time and skills to support the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association's (CVMA) diverse projects aimed at strengthening Canada's veterinary profession.

The 2024 National Volunteer Week theme, Every Moment Matters, reminds us that even the smallest actions can create profound impacts. Each interaction, gesture, and effort of our volunteers contribute to positive and meaningful change in veterinary medicine.

From coast to coast to coast in formal and informal settings, volunteers create caring, collaborative, and compassionate communities. During this year’s National Volunteer Week, we celebrate the contributions of Canada’s millions of volunteers: their actions, their understanding, and their genuine concern for the world around them. 

We are grateful for the over 600 volunteers who support the association through their work on our Executive, Council, various standing committees, advisory groups, and task forces, and reviewing our journal articles. CVMA’s volunteers take time from their demanding schedules to act as ambassadors in media interviews and represent CVMA and the veterinary profession on 30 different external boards, associations, legislative and policy-making groups, both in Canada and abroad. Please find a list of all our volunteer committees and members here.

Some of the many examples of how volunteers have contributed to CVMA’s efforts are listed below:

The members of the Animal Welfare Committee (AWC) review and respond to animal welfare issues of national and international concern. The AWC advocates for and promotes animal welfare through the veterinary lens to veterinary professionals, various animal industries, government, and the public. The AWC produces evidence-based position statements, provides applicable support to our lobbyists, and actively participates in national and international animal welfare focused committees, boards, and working groups. Issues are prioritized according to a harm and risk-based analysis. AWC activities reflect the interests of the CVMA membership by responding to Council and Executive direction and aligning with the member informed Strategic Plan for the association.

Members of the National Issues Committee (NIC) work together to provide leadership on identifying and addressing national issues that affect the veterinary profession. The NIC supports the interests of veterinary professionals through a variety of activities including developing position and policy statements; contributing to dialog between the CVMA and regulatory authorities; working with CVMA Executive and Council on developing organizational priorities and implementing associated strategies; and advocating for the profession in engagements with a range of stakeholders across government, industry and academia.

The Communications Advisory Group (CAG) advises the CVMA on internal and external communications initiatives. Volunteers lend their expertise to various campaigns including National Tick Awareness Month and many other initiatives. The CAG also provides expertise and insight into our annual social media awareness campaign which the CVMA has executed since 2015. Each month, the CVMA shares various social media messages and graphics intended to raise awareness about animal health and welfare issues and actions their owners can take to help prevent illness. This year’s social media calendar is more robust than ever and the CVMA looks forward to sharing these important messages with members and the public.  

The Professional Development Committee (PDC) helps advance the continuous, professional growth of its members and the veterinary team through continuing education events and workshops. The scientific program offered at the annual CVMA Convention allows veterinarians and other members of the practice team to enhance professional practice and connect with peers from across Canada.

Volunteers of the National Examining Board help with the administration of Canada’s veterinary licensing examinations, participate in the veterinary college accreditation process, and make recommendations to CVMA Council on all other matters involving the assessment and enhancement of veterinarians in Canada.

Volunteers of the Animal Health Technology/Veterinary Technician Program Accreditation Committee (AHTVTPAC) recommend accreditation standards for animal health technologist/veterinary technician education, respond to requests for CVMA accreditation of AHT/VT programs, participate in accreditation site visits, and review and propose amendments to standards for education and training of qualified animal health technologists/veterinary technicians.

Editorial Committee volunteers oversee the operation and editorial content of The Canadian Veterinary Journal and the Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research. These two publications could not exist without the volunteer contribution of the dedicated editors and numerous peer reviewers.

The Students of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association was established to provide a student forum in veterinary medicine and allow for the exchange of students' ideas and information with the profession, the CVMA, and other relevant organizations. The SCVMA Committee facilitates the communication between CVMA Council and students at the five Canadian Veterinary Colleges. It is supported by a faculty member who sits on the Student Liaison Advisory Group. The SCVMA Committee may present recommendations to CVMA Council regarding matters concerning the Association and particularly matters of interest to students.

The Wellness Committee’s objective is to develop and promote veterinary wellness initiatives and programs at a national level to complement provincial programs and help groups and provinces in expanding their wellness initiatives. The Wellness Committee continues to add content to the CVMA website and highlights relevant resources under the categories of Emotional and Mental Health, Physical Health, and Veterinarian Wellness. The CVMA Mentoring Program is another program that is closely linked to member wellness. Note: The CVMA Wellness Advisory Group became the CVMA Wellness Committee in early 2024 to reflect the momentous help the group has provided in fostering member health and wellness throughput the past several years.

The CVMA’s achievements are due to the devotion of our many volunteers. We sincerely thank you for donating your time, expertise, and for making each moment matter.