Volunteer Committee Descriptions

Volunteer Committee Descriptions

Our volunteer crew is broken down into different committees that deal with different aspects of the Festival. Each committee is run by a committee leader, who is a veteran volunteer who understands the flow of the Festival. The committee leader works closely with the Volunteer Coordinator as well as the VFMF staff to organize the volunteers and the committee’s needs for the Festival.

Please read through each description carefully, and select your top 3 preferences in your application. There is a committee for everyone - choose one that aligns best with your values, interests, and skills, to make the most of your Festival weekend.

ACCESSIBILITY
ACCESSIBILITY SECURITY
ADMINISTRATION 
ARTISAN MARKET & COMMUNITY VILLAGE
ARTIST CHECK-IN
BACKSTAGE LOUNGE
BEER GARDEN 
BIKE LOCK-UP   
BOX OFFICE ADMIN
BOX OFFICE PRE-SALES
BOX OFFICE SITE
CD TENT 
COMMUNITY  
CONCESSIONS 
DECORATIONS
ENVIRONMENT 
FESTIVAL BOOTH 
FOLK BAZAAR 
GATE 
GATEKEEPERS 
GREEN ROOM
HOTEL HOSPITALITY 
INFORMATION BOOTH
INSTRUMENT STORAGE 
KITCHEN 
KITCHEN PRE/POST-FEST
LABOUR POOL
LANTERNS 
LAUNDRY
LITTLE FOLKS 
MASSAGE 
MEDIA 
MEMBERSHIP/DONATIONS
NATURE 
NEIGHBOURHOOD LIAISON
OFFICE 
PARTAY!
PERFORMER TRANSPORT 
PHOTOGRAPHY  
PRIVY COUNCIL 
RAFFLE
SECURITY 
SIGNAGE
STAGE 
STREET TEAM
TRANSPORTATION PRE/POST-FESTIVAL
VIDEO
VOLUNTEER ASSISTANTS 
VOLUNTEER GATE 
WATER
WEEKEND TRANSPORT
YOGA  
50/50 


ACCESSIBILITY 

We are a determined group whose main aim is to create a barrier-free Festival site for those who might otherwise find the outdoor location difficult to negotiate. We provide assistance, information, and a variety of services to help facilitate ease of use for our patrons with alternate needs, including but not limited to persons with disabilities, mobility restrictions and seniors. We work hard and have fun. The Accessibility committee contains sub-committees for Guest Services and Site Access.

Requirements: Committed, enthusiastic volunteers who have experience or training working with people with alternate needs. Please describe your experience in the “related skills” section of your application. This committee is welcoming and adaptable for all volunteers with alternate needs.

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ACCESSIBILITY SECURITY

We support the Accessibility committee by monitoring the accessible seating areas at each stage. You will find us stationed in multiple locations around the site, ensuring that everyone is safe and cared-for.  

Requirements: Committed, enthusiastic volunteers who have experience or training working with people with alternate needs. Please describe your experience in the “related skills” section of your application. Volunteers must be 18 years or older.

 


ADMINISTRATION

The Administration crew is the Festival office onsite, the backstage go-to place for all things Folk Festival. We are here to direct you to the right person or place, and to help answer any procedural or operational questions you may have.

Requirements: New volunteers assigned to this committee are selected based on previous office and administration experience. Knowledge of the Festival is preferred. Please describe your experience in the “related skills” section of your application.

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ARTISAN MARKET & COMMUNITY VILLAGE 

The Artisan Market is comprised of artists and artisans who create their own handcrafted items, while the Community Village showcases a wide variety of local and global non-profit organizations. We are responsible for setting up, maintaining, monitoring, and taking down their many booths inside the festival.

Requirements: Volunteers are needed during the days leading up to the Festival and during the Festival itself, so volunteers’ availability must be flexible. Please indicate your availability on your application. The ability to lift up to 50 pounds is required.

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ARTIST CHECK-IN

Artists come to us to check in onsite. We answer their questions, hand out badges and information packages, and help with site transportation and shuttle services for artists when needed.

Requirements: Volunteers are usually accepted on a referral-only basis, and first-time volunteers are not normally accepted. Low turnaround. A good knowledge of Vancouver, as well as a second (or third) language is an asset. Experience with public relations and guest services are required.

 


BACKSTAGE LOUNGE

Just what it says - a hangout zone with refreshments and snacks for the artists to relax backstage. Our responsibilities include serving beer, cider, and wine to artists, bussing tables, and creating a safe and friendly environment for everyone.

Requirements: Volunteers must be 19 years or older. First-time volunteers are not normally accepted. Low turnaround. Shifts require an ability to be on your feet for extended periods, and the ability to lift up to 50 pounds. Previous serving experience and a Serving It Right certificate required.

Serving It Right link: http://www.servingitright.com/index.html

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BEER GARDEN 

Sponsored by Big Rock, the Beer Garden is a fast-paced but fun environment. We serve beer, cider, and wine to beer garden patrons, bus tables, and create a safe and friendly environment for patrons.

Requirements: Volunteers must be 19 years or older. Shifts require an ability to be on your feet for extended periods, and the ability to lift up to 50 pounds. Previous serving experience and a Serving It Right certificate required.

Serving It Right link: http://www.servingitright.com/index.html

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BIKES 

As no bikes are allowed onsite or to be chained to the perimeter fences surrounding the grounds, the Festival provides a secure bike lock-up in 2 lots for the hundreds of bicycles that show up over the course of the Festival weekend. We are responsible for the storage and guardianship of these bikes.

Requirements: Volunteers should expect to be on their feet and mobile throughout the Festival.

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BOX OFFICE ADMIN

The Box Office committees are split into three sub-committees: Admin, Pre-Sales, and Site. Box Office Admin is responsible for all things money, mainly dispensing and collecting cash to all stations handling it. We are divided into runners, balancers and counters.

Requirements: Volunteers are usually accepted on a referral-only basis. Volunteers must have experience with cash handling, sales or accounting. Please describe your experience in the “related skills” section of your application.

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BOX OFFICE PRE-SALES

This committee is responsible for the sale of tickets prior to the Festival, through the Festival office.

Requirements: Volunteers must have experience with cash handling, sales or accounting. Ticket Zone knowledge an asset. Please describe your experience in the “related skills” section of your application.


BOX OFFICE SITE

This committee is responsible for the onsite sale of tickets during the Festival.

Requirements: Volunteers must have experience with cash handling, sales or accounting. Ticket Zone knowledge an asset. Please describe your experience in the “related skills” section of your application.

 


CD TENT 

The place where all things music and memorabilia are sold! Aside from helping with CD and merch sales, we assist artists with their signings throughout the weekend.

Requirements: A friendly nature and comfort with the public are essential. Volunteers would ideally have cash handling, customer service, and sales experience. Spatial organization skills are an asset. Ability to lift up to 50 pounds is required. Please describe your experience in the “related skills” section of your application.

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COMMUNITY 

We are often the first point of contact for Festival guests and the community at large. It is our responsibility to minimize the impact of the Festival on our neighbours, as well as assist guests with parking questions, transit directions, and general Festival information. We control access roads to the Service and Access Gates, monitor parking, and keep traffic flowing at the 4th Avenue drop-off location.

Requirements: Volunteers with experience dealing with the public, and who have gentle negotiation skills are ideal. Volunteers should expect to be on their feet and mobile throughout the Festival.

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CONCESSIONS 

We are the crew responsible for the registration and setup of Festival food vendors. We assist with sign-in and directions, and deal with any vendor needs that arise throughout the weekend.

Requirements: Volunteers with experience dealing with the public, and who have gentle negotiation skills are ideal. Ability to lift up to 50 pounds is required.

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DECORATIONS

If you love to be creative, decorate, and make things look awesome, this is the committee for you! Volunteers will complete their hours prior to the Festival, decorating the site to make it fun and folky. Decorations will be supplied.

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ENVIRONMENT 

The Environment Committee is for volunteers who are enthusiastic and passionate about reducing the environmental impact generated by the 30,000 plus guests we see over the course of the weekend. We understand the value of recycling and composting, and work closely with all committees to reduce the amount of waste being sent to the landfill. We also aim to educate the public on reducing and redirecting waste. When the festival is done, we ship off all the waste and recycled material and clean the site one more time. Our goal is to return the park to the city cleaner and greener than when we took it under our care. Our committee consists of five teams: shift leaders, recycling attendants, retrievers, floaters, and sorters.

Requirements: Ability to lift up to 50 pounds is required. Volunteers should expect to be on their feet and mobile throughout the Festival.

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FESTIVAL BOOTH 

We sell all the fun and folky Festival merchandise that’s available - t-shirts, hats, souvenirs, backrests, and much more!

Requirements: Volunteers should be cheerful folks who like to sell, who are efficient and calm cashiers, and artistic types who enjoy creating displays. Experience with sales & cash handling is ideal. Spatial organization skills are an asset.

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FOLK BAZAAR

We work with the outside vendor market and are responsible for the set-up, loading assistance, monitoring, troubleshooting and tear-down of the 150+ vendors that make up the Folk Bazaar.

Requirements: Volunteers should enjoy a challenge, and working with the public.

Ability to lift up to 50 pounds is required. Volunteers should expect to be on their feet and mobile throughout their shift. Some pre-festival shifts are available - please indicate your availability on your application.

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GATE

We are the big WELCOME crew for the Festival! We are responsible for taking tickets, wrist-banding people, selling programs at both the East and West gates, answering questions, and problem solving.

Requirements: Volunteers should be outgoing and friendly and have experience dealing with the public. Knowledge of the Festival is an asset.

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GATEKEEPERS 

Someone has to keep order in the park before and after the Festival weekend - that’s our job! We liaise with the Site Crew to facilitate access to the site prior to the Festival’s opening.

Requirements: Volunteers must have daytime weekday availability. Please indicate your availability on your application.

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GREEN ROOM

Our committee has multiple tasks: we are responsible for the set-up and tear-down of the backstage area, decorations, hospitality for the artists, caring for emcees, working closely with production crew, and getting meals for artists, stage crew, and emcees.

Requirements:

Volunteers must be 19 years or older. Shifts require an ability to be on your feet for extended periods, and the ability to lift up to 50 pounds. Previous serving experience and a Serving It Right certificate required. First-time volunteers are not normally accepted. Low turnaround. A good knowledge of Vancouver, as well as a second (or third) language is an asset. Experience with public relations and guest services are required.

Serving It Right link: http://www.servingitright.com/index.html


HOTEL HOSPITALITY 

We are the first point of contact for Festival artists when they arrive at their hotel, and the general go-to crew for information about the Festival and the city. It’s our job to ensure artists have the most memorable stay in Vancouver possible! We also host the performer after-party each year.

Requirements: A good knowledge of Vancouver, as well as a second (or third) language is an asset. Experience with public relations and guest services are required. Food Safe is an asset.

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INFORMATION BOOTH 

We are the ones who answer general questions about the Festival, the site, the neighbourhood and the city, as well as operate lost & found, a public bag check, complaint department and message centre.

Requirements: Volunteers on this committee should have a good knowledge of Vancouver and the Festival. A background in customer service or public relations is an asset.

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INSTRUMENT STORAGE 

We’re responsible for the check-in and storage of performers’ equipment and personal items.

Requirements: Volunteers should have experience dealing with the public, including specialists who look after instrument and electronic repairs. Ability to lift up to 50 pounds is required. Please describe your experience in the “related skills” section of your application.

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INVENTORY

We are an efficient and highly organized committee who look after office supplies that may be required by committees, and track the distribution of programs and wristbands throughout the Festival. Low turnover.

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KITCHEN

Welcome to the committee that stokes the fire that runs the Festival! We are responsible for the set-up, preparation and serving of meals throughout the Festival weekend. Someone has to make sure the 1400+ volunteers and hundreds of Artists and crew are fed for three days!

Requirements: Volunteers would ideally have previous kitchen, food preparation, or serving experience. Must be comfortable working in a fast-paced but fun environment. Food Safe is recommended. Volunteers must be 16 years or older.

Link: http://www.foodsafe.ca/main/course_search

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KITCHEN PRE/POST-FEST

This committee completes the set-up and striking of the backstage kitchen.

Requirements: Volunteers complete their shifts on the Thursday before the Festival, and the Monday following. Ability to lift up to 50 pounds is required.


LABOUR POOL 

We work together with Administration to fill gaps throughout the weekend, taking care of odd jobs, errands and important things that must be dealt with. Our committee requires people who are willing to do something new at the drop of a hat, and to wait patiently while they are on duty. This unique opportunity allows volunteers to get a taste of multiple committees in one weekend!

Requirements: Volunteers should be able to lift up to 50 pounds, and be prepared for any type of work. Ideal for first-time volunteers.

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LANTERNS 

We are a group of fun-loving and creative people who have time both before and during the Festival to dedicate to the maintenance and creation of our lantern collection. If you enjoy playing with tissue paper and glue and don’t mind missing the last few sets each night to help the patrons off the site by lighting their way with our lanterns, this committee may be for you.

Requirements: Knowledge of lantern making is not necessary, but a creative streak is needed. Must be available to attend committee meetings for workshops starting in late May. Low turnover.

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LAUNDRY

We work hard behind the scenes, ensuring that the laundry is done each day for various committees. Our main tasks include transporting, washing, and folding. Come along for the ride if you’re someone who likes things clean and smelling fresh!

Requirements: Must have access to a vehicle.


LITTLE FOLKS 

We are responsible for the entertainment of over 1500 children visiting our area. The Little Folks area is designed to include the entire family, and our job is to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable time. We are the perfect committee for creative volunteers who want to spend their shifts assisting children with crafts, artwork, and face painting. Volunteers are not responsible for the care of children as the Little Folks area is not a drop off, or daycare.

Requirements: Experience with children is recommended. A Criminal Record Check may be requested.

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MASSAGE 

We are a group of RMTs (Registered Massage Therapists) and other care body care professionals, mandated to provide 20 minute treatments and flying finger treatments to performers, Festival staff, and volunteers with physically demanding duties.

Requirements: Experience and accreditation is required. Unfortunately, we cannot accept volunteers who have not completed a registered course. Please describe your experience in the “related skills” section of your application.

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MEDIA 

The Media committee greets and checks-in arriving media representatives, arranging interviews between them and performers on site as well as accompanying television crews when necessary. We handle people from print, image, and broadcast who want interviews with performers, or who wish to record (with permission, time limits, no audience blocking) or broadcast from the site. We also oversee the Media Will Call at the Main Gate.

Requirements: Good communication skills and patience are required. Shifts require an ability to be on your feet for extended periods. Experience dealing with the media is an asset.

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MEMBERSHIP/DONATIONS

This committee is responsible for educating guests on the benefits of membership and donating to the Festival. Each year we find new and creative ways to engage the public. If this sounds like your area of expertise, consider joining us!

Requirements: Volunteers should have a good knowledge of the Festival, including its history and impact. Customer service and public relations experience is ideal. Volunteers who are comfortable asking for monetary contributions are preferred.

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NATURE 

Located at the pond, our committee provides a saltwater marine tank with local marine life and discusses with visitors the importance of creating marine protected areas. In addition to educating the public about the eco-system, we are responsible for removing debris from the pond, keeping people out of the pond network and keeping people from damaging the sensitive riparian habitat around the pond.

Requirements: Knowledge of marine habitats is an asset. Volunteers should be comfortable talking to the public.

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NEIGHBOURHOOD LIAISON

We are the eyes and ears in the neighbourhood surrounding the site. We update our neighbourhood map, deliver letters, parking passes, and Festival passes to our neighbours. It’s our responsibility to answer questions and alleviate any concerns our neighbours may have. On the Friday night of the Festival we oversee access through the Neighbourhood Gate.

Requirements: Volunteers must be able to walk for long periods during letter delivery. Volunteers should be outgoing and friendly and have experience dealing with the public.


OFFICE 

We work out of the Festival office, completing our hours before and after the Festival. Our tasks may involve sales, data entry, sorting or any myriad of other things. Because we’re a pre-Festival committee we are expected to complete 30 hours of volunteer work (but we have the whole festival off to enjoy!).

Requirements: Administration or office experience is recommended but not essential.

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PARTAY!

We are the crew that handles the set-up, operations, and tear-down of our Volunteer after-party. Bring along your creativity and decorating skills!  

Requirements: Volunteers should have experience with serving, event planning, or customer service. Volunteers must be 19 years or older.

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PERFORMER TRANSPORT

We are the crew responsible for driving artists and their equipment throughout the site. A calm and friendly demeanour is required, as is some knowledge of the Festival. Requirements: First-time volunteers are not normally accepted. Low turnaround. Volunteers should have a current driver’s license, and be comfortable driving multi passenger golf carts and/or larger freight vehicles. Careful, calm driving is essential. Please submit a driver’s abstract to volunteers@thefestival.bc.ca

(link: https://onlinebusiness.icbc.com/clio/)

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PHOTOGRAPHY

We aim to capture the VFMF from all angles – onstage, backstage, audience, sponsors, little folks, festival culture, community vibe, volunteers, staff, environment, etc. We focus strongly on the community aspect of the festival. Our photographers strive to show a complete picture of the Festival from an audience and participant point of view. The images are used for VFMF marketing, programs, and advertising. After each Festival a complete collection of images is delivered to the VFMF for in-house use.

Requirements: Volunteers are expected to have their own equipment and have a familiarity with event photography. Please submit a sample of your work by link in your application, or by email to volunteers@thefestival.bc.ca. Applicants will be contacted shortly after submission.

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PRIVY COUNCIL

This special group is responsible for creating a festive yet restive atmosphere in the park’s most important rooms. We maintain the cleanliness and restocking of essentials for the many portable bathroom facilities around the park. A small but essential crew.

Requirements: Volunteers should be able to lift up to 50 pounds and be on their feet and mobile during shifts.

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RAFFLE

We are a group of volunteers dedicated to helping raise funds for Festival operations. We get to dress up in crazy costumes and sell tickets, both roving through the Festival audience and from a stationary Raffle Tent, for the chance to win a variety of fantastic prizes. We need outgoing individuals who can cheerfully encourage Festival-goers to part with their hard earned cash in support of our fabulous event.

Requirements: Sales experience is an asset, but the essential requirements are friendliness and willingness to approach the public. Volunteers must be 18 years or older.

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SECURITY

We are the largest crew on the Festival site, responsible for monitoring the safety and security of the guests, artists and crews. Volunteers should be confident, calm, assertive and able to positively deal with multiple challenges. We have a number of sub committees responsible for different areas of Festival operations.

Requirements: Volunteers must be 18 years or older. Security experience is not required, but experience dealing with the public is an asset. Volunteers should expect to be on their feet and mobile throughout shifts.

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SIGNAGE

We are responsible for all signage on and around the Festival site. We work with the Site Crew to map out the area, what signage is needed and when, scheduling, and directing each crew on the best methodology to succeed.

Requirements: Spatial organization skills are an asset. Some pre and post-Festival shifts are available - please indicate your availability on your application.


STAGE

There are six small stages and one main stage located throughout the Festival, so no wonder this is one of the largest committees at the Fest! We are responsible for the technical set-up and running of all of the performance stages throughout the Festival site. Each stage crew is a separate unit working under the direction of a stage manager and professional sound engineer. Volunteers on our crew should expect to put in extra hours during the course of the Festival.

Requirements: Stage volunteers should have a basic knowledge of stage and performance requirements; familiarity with sound equipment, microphones, etc. would be an asset. Volunteers should be 18 years or older and be able to lift and carry up to 50 pounds. There may be a position for pre and post Festival off-site events as well. Please describe your experience in the “related skills” section of your application.

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STREET TEAM

We are an enthusiastic and dedicated group who work pre-Festival helping promote the Festival to the community around us. We distribute posters and promotional materials to designated neighbourhoods as well as attend community events to hand out materials and spread the word about the amazing VFMF!

Requirements: Volunteers should be outgoing and comfortable speaking to the public. Volunteers on this committee should have a good knowledge of Vancouver and the Festival. Volunteers must be able to walk for long periods during poster distribution. This is a pre-Festival committee, so volunteers must complete 30 hours.

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TRANSPORTATION PRE/POST-FESTIVAL

Our jobs are completed the week before the Festival and the Monday following, which means we get the Festival weekend off. We do everything from picking up/dropping off musicians at the airport to delivering wheelchairs to and from the Festival site. You could find yourself driving guests to the late-night after-parties or taking performers to YVR for an early morning flight.

Requirements: Volunteers should be familiar and comfortable with driving around the Vancouver area. Careful, calm driving is essential.Volunteers must have a valid Class 5 or Class 4 BC driver’s license and a clean driver’s abstract. Volunteers should have flexible availability in the week leading up to the Festival and the day after the Festival.

Please submit a driver’s abstract to volunteers@thefestival.bc.ca

(link: https://onlinebusiness.icbc.com/clio/)

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VIDEO

We are a small crew of video professionals and hobbyists who support the publicity folks with b-roll and archive footage. We do on-site filming, but most of our volunteers hours are completed in post-production editing.

Requirements: Experience with High Definition video filming and your own equipment is required. Experience filming live performances is an asset. Volunteers should be able to lift up to 50 pounds. Please submit a sample of your work either by link on your application or by email to volunteers@thefestival.bc.ca

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VOLUNTEER ASSISTANTS

Our team is unique, as we are run like a mentorship program. We spend our weekend helping out multiple committees to get a taste of what the Festival has to offer. With the guidance of team leads, we work with committees including Community, Accessibility, Concessions, Kitchen, Bike Lock-up, Environment, Water, Security, Nature, Privy Council and Gate.

Requirements: Ideal for of young, first-time volunteers.

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VOLUNTEER GATE

We are the crew that welcomes and checks-in every volunteer to the Festival. We see over 1400 volunteers each day, distributing their wristbands, badges, T-shirts, handbooks and programs, and directing them to where they need to be.

Requirements: At peak hours, this Gate becomes extremely busy - experience dealing with the public in a fast-paced environment would make the ideal team member. Knowledge of the Festival is an asset. Volunteers should be able to lift up to 50 pounds and be on their feet and mobile during shifts.

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WATER

Numerous self-serve water dispensing stations, hooked up to the City water supply, are conveniently located throughout the Festival. Our team is required to be present at those water stations, clean the dispensing hoses, and speak to the public about the importance of water conservation and alternatives to plastic water bottle use.

Requirements: Everyone is welcome!

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WEEKEND TRANSPORT

As our name implies, we are responsible for driving artists and equipment to and from the Festival site, from Friday evening to Sunday evening. This involves shuttle service between the airport, hotels, and the festival site, as well as offsite transportation of instruments or supplies.

Requirements: Volunteers should be familiar and comfortable with driving around the Vancouver area. Careful, calm driving is essential. Volunteers must have a valid Class 5 or Class 4 BC driver’s license and a clean driver’s abstract. Volunteers should have flexible availability. Experience dealing with the public is an asset.

Please submit a driver’s abstract to volunteers@thefestival.bc.ca

(link: https://onlinebusiness.icbc.com/clio/)


YOGA

We are a small committee made up of Hatha certified yoga instructors, who are comfortable teaching all-level classes throughout the weekend. Classes will consist of mainly standing poses, so no mats are required.

Requirements: Volunteers must be instructors with at least one year of experience teaching classes on a regular basis, to groups ranging in size anywhere from 1 to 100.  Up-to-date yoga teacher insurance is mandatory. Volunteers must be available for all 3 afternoons and both mornings.

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50/50

Similar to the Raffle committee, we are full of outgoing, enthusiastic volunteers who get to dress up in costume and help fundraise for the Festival. We sell tickets for our nightly 50/50 draws by roving through the Festival audience and also selling from a stationary tent.

Requirements: Sales experience is an asset, but the essential requirements are friendliness and willingness to approach the public. Volunteers must be 18 years or older.

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