CVMA | News & Events | National Volunteer Week — April 18 to 24, 2021

News, Events & COVID-19 RESOURCES

National Volunteer Week — April 18 to 24, 2021

April 21, 2021

National Volunteer Week is an ideal opportunity to honor the veterinarians, veterinary technicians/technologists, students, and other volunteers who donate their time and expertise to the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s (CVMA’s) various projects in support of Canada’s veterinary profession.

This year’s CVMA Volunteer Week theme, “Volunteering is Love in Motion,” is truly fitting given the extraordinary way our volunteers contribute their passion to the CVMA and to the veterinary community as a whole. The time and effort volunteers dedicate to the Association is immeasurable and the individuals are invaluable. Much of the success of the CVMA is due to thousands of volunteers. We depend on the contributions of our devoted volunteers across Canada to help the Association achieve a variety of goals and objectives, and ensure the voice of the Canadian veterinary profession is heard across the country and around the world. We are indebted to them for their service.

Over 600 volunteers support the work of the Association, through their work on our Executive, Council, various standing committees, advisory groups, and task forces, and by reviewing articles for our journals. CVMA’s volunteers take time from their demanding schedules to act as ambassadors in media interviews and represent the CVMA and the veterinary profession on 27 external boards, associations, legislative and policy-making groups, both in Canada and abroad. Some of the many examples of how volunteers have recently contributed to CVMA’s efforts are listed below:

Volunteers on the Animal Welfare Committee (AWC) advocate and promote animal welfare to the animal industry, government, and the public. During 2020, the AWC reviewed and revised a number of position statements in preparation for member discussion, including: Humane Slaughter of Farm Animals; Euthanasia; Free-Roaming Owned, Abandoned, and Feral Cats; Elective and Non-Therapeutic Veterinary Procedures for Cosmetic or Competitive Purposes (Formerly Cosmetic Alteration); Partial Digital Amputation (Onychectomy or Declawing) of Non-Domestic Felids Kept in Human Care; Use of Animals in Science; Humane Mass Depopulation of Animals; Trapping of Fur-Bearing Animals; Use of Lead Fishing Sinkers and Lead Shot in Canada.

Members of the National Issues Committee (NIC) provide leadership and advocacy on national veterinary issues affecting the profession. During 2020, the NIC reviewed and revised position statements in preparation for member discussion, including: Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine; and Surgical Procedures Performed on Animals. The NIC has also developed and launched SAVI: The Stewardship of Antimicrobials by Veterinarians Initiative to pilot a national veterinary antimicrobial use (AMU) stewardship system aimed at enhancing veterinary decision-making with respect to AMU. SAVI is comprised of mutually supporting stewardship and data collection elements, with a 4-year project lifecycle (2019–2023). The CVMA is also working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and other stakeholders to share and promote information to prevent African Swine Fever from infecting Canadian swine. As well, the Association has offered the federal government the assistance of its Canadian Veterinary Reserve, comprised of volunteer veterinarians who can be deployed in case of a major foreign animal disease or civil emergency involving animals.

The Business Management Advisory Group (BMAG) helps the CVMA with one of its 3 priorities; “A successful career, a balanced life.” These volunteers provide guidance and input into the Business Management Program’s objectives with the goal of fostering CVMA members’ personal and professional well-being.

Each year volunteers on the Communications Advisory Group help choose the theme and slogan for the annual Animal Health Week campaign and provide guidance throughout the campaign’s preparation and execution. The Group is once again providing expertise and insight into the extended social media awareness campaign. Each month the CVMA shares a social media message and graphic intended to create more awareness of animal health and welfare issues, and what animal/pet owners can do to help or prevent illness.

The Professional Development Committee (PDC) helps advance the continuous, professional growth of CVMA members and all veterinarians. The scientific program, workshops and activities offered at the Annual CVMA Convention enable veterinarians and other members of the practice team to enhance professional practice and connect with peers from across Canada. Volunteers on the National Examining Board help with the administration of Canada’s veterinary licensing examinations, participate in the veterinary college accreditation process, and review and evaluate credentials on behalf of some of the provincial licensing bodies.

Volunteers on the Animal Health Technology/Veterinary Technician Program Accreditation Committee (AHTVTPAC) work to identify and promote standards and accreditation for animal health technologist and veterinary technician programs. The AHTVTPAC constantly reviews accreditation standards in collaboration with the accredited programs in Canada and partners such as the American Veterinary Medical Association, to remain current with rapidly changing requirements and evolving needs in veterinary practice. 

The CVMA’s Canadian Veterinary Reserve (CVR) is a national, volunteer membership of qualified Canadian veterinarians who make themselves available to rapidly assist governments in responding to outbreaks of foreign animal disease and other large-scale emergencies and disasters affecting animals.

The volunteers of the Editorial Committee oversee the operation and editorial content of The Canadian Veterinary Journal and the Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research. These 2 publications could not exist without the volunteer contribution of the dedicated editors and numerous peer reviewers.

The Students of the CVMA (SCVMA) Committee and the Student Liaison Advisory Group (SLAG) link the CVMA with student veterinarians and faculty members at Canada’s 5 veterinary colleges. In 2020, the SCVMA Committee planned the 2021 SCVMA Symposium with the theme “One Conference, One Community, One Health,” organized by the Ontario Veterinary College, and hosted virtually due to the pandemic.

The Veterinary Wellness Advisory Group’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 own wellness initiatives. The Advisory Group 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.

The CVMA’s achievements are due to the devotion of our many volunteers.

View a complete list of CVMA’s volunteers here.


We sincerely thank you for donating your time and expertise; your love in motion!


If you would like to volunteer for the CVMA or are interested in serving on a particular committee and wish to find out more, please contact the CVMA office or your provincial representative on CVMA Council. You can also consult the About CVMA section of this website for additional information. 


CVMA committees, boards, task forces, etc. are established by Council to address specific issues, recommend action to Council, and provide annual reports. Members interested in volunteering can complete a CVMA Volunteer Form and return it to the CVMA office.