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Helpers: Taking tickets or painting walls, Julie Beare gives back at the Indie

‘It would be easy to retire and do nothing, but there are a lot of things that need doing. Volunteering is part of being human, part of who we are, where we look at helping’

Julie Beare has volunteered with Sudbury Indie Cinema, a not-for-profit co-op, in several different ways over the years: from painting the lobby to taking tickets. She is a charter member of the co-op and enjoys connecting with other movie-goers as part of the Sudbury Indie Cinema experience.

“I just love movies. I’m not a fan of the big screen, chair rattling. I love older movies, alternative movies.  Beth (Mairs) created an opportunity to show alternative films that otherwise may not come to Sudbury.”  

Beare got involved approximately five years ago when she retired and wanted to volunteer.  

“It would be easy to retire and do nothing, but there are a lot of things that need doing. Volunteering is part of being human, part of who we are, where we look at helping. I want to make a difference.”

She heard talk of the Indie Cinema idea and thought: “Sounds interesting. I don’t know how to get involved.”  

Then, when memberships were being sold, she joined the co-op to have a voice in decisions being made, to know what was needed and how her skillset could fit.  When the building became a reality, she became more actively involved, “doing everything from selling tickets and concession items to vacuuming and painting.”

“I talk to people and promote Sudbury Indie Cinema. Beth and the staff are wonderful. They keep going and reinventing to ensure the Indie stays strong in Sudbury. I am learning to be a guest programmer and looking forward to doing more when the building reopens.”

Beare gives the best of herself to what she really enjoys, and her Zoom background at the beach (I am impressed) says it all.  Her “go-with-the-flow” attitude is refreshing.

“Volunteering is an opportunity to do something I enjoy, at my pace, when I have the time. I do the things I really want to do. Volunteering with Indie Cinema helps staff focus on their work.”

Indie Cinema has adapted through the pandemic to showcase films virtually. They also provide community arts space to other organizations.

Beare contributes however she can, and enjoys the Sudbury Indie Cinema atmosphere. She feels that being involved helps others, but that she, too, gets something out of the experience.  

“During COVID, it’s important to show people stories of what’s going on in the world, so other voices are heard. Part of the Indie Cinema experience is connecting with other movie-goers after the film, not the typical experience at a blockbuster film screening. I like to ask others what did you think about that? What about this? We are not afraid to look at the not-so-good things happening in the world and invite people to open their eyes and come to their own conclusions.”

Beare also volunteers her time to St. Peter’s United Church. She has kept busy through the pandemic, as she feels there is still much to do. Admittedly not very tech-savvy, Beare has adapted to navigate Zoom meetings quite well. It is through these Zoom meetings that she is able to contribute to these places she enjoys volunteering.

Julie Beare’s Volunteer Words of Wisdom

“Don’t think that you can’t volunteer. Think about what you’re passionate about. Think about what you want to do and the time commitment you can give. Volunteering is not work when you have fun doing what you enjoy in life.” 

Erin Medakovic is a freelance writer and editor in Sudbury, and a contributor.