Volunteer FAQs

Are there any volunteer opportunities?
Yes! Our openings will be posted online on a first-come, first-served basis during our public registration, which is scheduled to open July 19th 2016 at 7:00 PM est.

I volunteered with CityFolk last year—when does Early Bird open this year?
If you were part of our CityFolk team in 2015 and finished the season in good standing (i.e. you completed all the shifts you signed up for, had a good attitude and complied with our Volunteer Code of Conduct & Harassment Policy), you will receive your Early Bird Invitation to CityFolk before public registration. This provides you with the opportunity to return to the Crew you volunteered in last year, as well as have first pick of available shifts before public registration opens.  Our early bird registration will open online July 12th, 2016 at 7:00 PM.

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I volunteered last year, but I want to volunteer in a different Crew for 2016. Can I get an Early Bird Invitation for a new Crew?
Our Early Bird Invitations are a perk used to incentivize volunteers who wish to return to the same Crew. Currently, they’re only available for the Crew you volunteered in last year; however, we know this is something some of our volunteers would like to see changed. We are always on the lookout for the means to accommodate this request, as we are grateful to those of you who have been with us for a number of years.

How old do I have to be to volunteer for CityFolk?
In order to volunteer with us, you need to be at least 14 years old by the beginning of the festival (so by Thursday, September 15, 2016). Keep in mind there are certain Crews that have different age requirements (e.g. any position involved in serving or selling alcohol has a minimum age of 18).

But I’m 13! Can’t you make an exception?
While we appreciate your interest and enthusiasm in joining our team, we unfortunately can’t make an exception for this rule. But we look forward to seeing you at the next festival, so mark next year’s event on your calendar!

I’m away during registration, can I sign up early?
Unfortunately there are no opportunities to register early. If you can access the internet while you’re gone, you can still go through the registration process. If you don’t have access, perhaps you can ask a trusted family member or friend to do the registration for you. Good luck!

Why can’t I volunteer with more than one Crew?
Having our volunteers work all their shifts with one Crew helps us to keep things consistent and means that you don’t have to learn the ropes for a new activity every time you come in. Our Crew Leaders also depend on the experience of their team to keep things running smoothly, and to help new volunteers get the hang of the day-to-day activities & expectations of their Crew.

However, if you hate routine and love the unknown, check out our Floaters team. Members of this team fill in across the festival in whatever Crew needs a little extra support—so who knows what you’ll end up doing!

How do I volunteer for the Photo Team?
If you are interested in applying for our Photo Team, we require a photography-based résumé and online portfolio. We suggest highlighting your ability to take engaging photographs of people outside and in a busy environment. Please keep in mind that we typically have only 2-5 positions to fill each year.  *You can email your resume and portfolio to photography@cityfolkfestival.com*

Does the Photo Team get to take pictures of the CityFolk artists?
volunteers3No, volunteers on our Photo Team do not have the opportunity to take photos of our artists.

Our volunteer Photo Team focuses on capturing our volunteer program in action. We have over 1000 volunteers who make our festival possible, and we need group shots, portraits, action shots and crowd shots of the volunteers at our great event.

How many shifts do I have to sign up for?
We ask that you sign up for a minimum of 3 shifts, although some Crews may require more. Each shift is approximately 4 hours long but can vary depending on the Crew’s requirements. Please read over the duties and requirements of any Crew you may be considering volunteering for to make sure that you can meet the expectations of the position for the length of your shift.

If all the spots fill up before I’m done registering, can I go on your waiting list?
Our registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and we, unfortunately, don’t offer a waiting list for registration. We encourage all of our volunteers to sign up right away when registration opens.

A bonus of volunteering at CityFolk is that if you volunteered last year and were in good standing, you might be eligible for our Early Bird Registration which means you have access to registering before the general public.

Can I sign up to volunteer with a friend?
volunteers5Absolutely! We often have volunteers working together in Crews throughout the festival site. To increase the chances of this happening, you and your friend should sign up for the same shifts at the same time, using separate computers. However, because volunteers are placed where they’re needed, we can’t guarantee that you’ll work together; your Crew Leader may need you to work separately during your respective shifts.

 

I want to sign up with my family (children, partner, sibling, etc)—is there anything special that we need to know?
Yes, there are a few of things that you should keep in mind:

  • Each family member needs their own PRIMARY email address; if the same email address is used for more than one volunteer as their PRIMARY email, the files will merge and cancel out all but one of the registrants. Sharing the same SECONDARY email address is fine and will cause no problems.
  • Much like volunteering with a friend, we cannot guarantee that family members will be able to volunteer on the same shift, or if they do, that they’ll be assigned to the same roles/tasks.
  • We recommend that your respective Emergency Contacts are not someone who is working at the festival at the same time as you.

What is Accessibility Standards Customer Service Training? Why do I have to do it for the festival?
Accessibility Standards for Customer Service is a provincially-driven act created to increase awareness and services for people with disabilities. All organizations that provide goods or services directly to the public are affected by this act, and that includes volunteers for CityFolk.

Do I have to complete the Accessibility Standards Customer Service Training before registration? Where do I have to go to do it?
The training can be completed anytime between when you register and when the festival starts. The training takes approximately 45 minutes and is available for free online at: http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/serve-ability/index.aspx.

Please note, there is no certificate or proof of completion. If you’ve done the training before, you do not need to do it again. Once you’ve completed the training, please update your training information in CVENT to reflect completion.

Do I get to see shows for free?
Definitely! That’s one of the great benefits of volunteering at CityFolk. You can see shows on your days off, and before or after shifts. To be entitled to free admission throughout the festival, you must attend all of the shifts that you sign up for.

  • New volunteers: You must attend orientation night or complete your first volunteer shift before attending any shows.
  • Returning volunteers: If you’re in good standing, you will be able to go to shows before your first shift.

What happens if I can’t attend one of my shifts?
We can’t run the festival without our volunteers, so we’re counting on your attendance! It’s expected that you’ll show up for all of your scheduled shifts, even if you signed up for more than the minimum. In order to avoid missing shifts, make sure not to request more shifts than you are sure you can commit to.

Remember: In order to keep your free show privileges, you must attend all of the shifts that you’re scheduled for.

 

Can my time at CityFolk count for high school hours?
Yes! Make sure to bring your school-issued form with you and have your Crew Leader sign it immediately following each shift.

Do I need to go to Orientation Night?
We highly recommend you attend the orientation session that we hold at the festival site to find out the details of your assigned duties, as well as get a tour of the festival grounds and see all the key volunteer areas. It’s also a great opportunity to meet your Crew Leader and the team of volunteers you’re going to be working with!  *New First Year Volunteers, you are required to attend Orientation Night in order to gain access to free shows at the festival*

Is there any volunteer parking onsite?
No, there is no onsite volunteer parking. However, we are located centrally at Lansdowne Park, so we recommend using public transportation, walking when possible, or taking advantage of our fantastic (and free!) Bike Park valet service, located outside of the festival gates.

What does the festival do with tips?
Tip money collected at the beverage areas of the festival supports volunteer appreciation initiatives. Primarily, the funds provide the delicious food that is prepared for volunteers at the Festival Kitchen, but it also supports other recognition initiatives like on-site random draws, the post-festival volunteer appreciation party, off-season get-togethers and our Service Award Ceremony.

What do funds raised through silent auction, autographed commemorative posters and 50/50 tickets go towards?
These funds directly benefit music education initiatives in the greater Ottawa community.

Blues in the Schools is an award-winning educational program created to promote the history and culture of Blues music by bringing national and international artists and educators to local schools for two-week residencies.

Be in the Band puts young musicians in touch with other young musicians as potential bandmates, and recruits professional musicians to mentor and provide technical support and equipment so that participants can take full advantage of a quality ensemble experience.

Bluesfest School of Music and Art (BSOMA) is dedicated to supporting cultural development within the greater Ottawa community by creating opportunities through education that will allow students to discover, explore and deepen a relationship with the arts.