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Celebrating our second BESTi partner, Kelowna’s Cool Arts Society - a team dedicated to providing fine art opportunities to adults with diverse abilities. Founded in 2003 by Sara McDonald to address the lack of accessibility for artists in the diverse ability community - today, artists and their work have been featured and celebrated across BC!
BESTi—the Building Excellence & Sustainability Together Intensive program is a partnership between Central Okanagan Foundation, City of Kelowna, the Non-profit Lifecycles Institute, Vantage Point and Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union.
"The BESTi program has been transformative for Cool Arts because we reflected on the organization’s current structure, set priorities within our capabilities, and at the same time build capacity. With the BESTi support and guidance of our amazing consultant, Weldon Leblanc, we feel empowered, energized, and unstoppable, which ultimately supports our raison d'être—the Artists of Cool Arts!”
Building a community practice for local knowledge leaders and consultants was designed into the BESTi program—leading Cool Arts Society on their capacity journey was Weldon Leblanc.
“I loved the comprehensive approach of the BESTi program. It reinforced to me that consultants need to meet organizations where they are and focus on the capacity challenges holding organizations back. My group thrived on the peer-to-peer learning environment. They learned that they didn't have to do it all right now.
Once they recognized their organization lifecycle, they breathed a sigh of relief—that it was ok not to be perfect and 'do it all' right now. This allowed them to focus on building the organization for the future with a focus on addressing their capacity challenges. As a consultant, I found the BESTi program to be the perfect living laboratory for not-for-profit organizations - and an opportunity for consultants to hone their skills.”
To learn more about Cool Arts Society or to donate, visit
Follow along as we continue to highlight our BESTi participants over the next few weeks.
Photo credit: courtesy of BESTi partner, Cool Arts Society