Volunteer Handbook

BMO Bank of Montreal

Table of Contents

  • Welcome to the CityFolk Family
  • Location, Location, Location
  • Important Dates
    • Volunteer Orientation
    • CityFolk Festival & Marvest
    • Volunteer Appreciation Party
    • Volunteer Survey
  • Volunteer Perks & Benefits
    • T-shirt, meals & shows
    • Volunteer Village
    • Welcome Centre and Bag & Coat Check
    • Bike Park
  • Hours of Operation
  • Greening Initiatives
    • Biking, water bottles & reusable plates
  • How to Volunteer at CityFolk
    • Step 1: Start on your reading list
    • Step 2: Take care of any outstanding business
    • Step 3: Get a pre-festival tour of our site at Lansdowne
    • Step 4: Get ready, get set…
    • Step 5: …GO!
    • Step 6: Get some closure
    • Step 7: Repeat
  • Transportation to the Festival
  • Youth Volunteers
  • Volunteer Code of Conduct & Harassment Policy

Welcome to the CityFolk family!

Thank you for volunteering with us! We consider our volunteers part of our folk family and we’re delighted to have you join us at this year’s musical family reunion.

During your time here, we’ll make it our mission to ensure that you have the support and resources that you need to make your volunteer experience as fun and relaxed as possible. We’ve done our best to explain our expectations to you as clearly as possible so that you know what we expect from you. In return, we ask that you use those resources whenever possible during your time here and do your best to follow the guidelines as they’ve been set out.

Speaking of helpful resources, this Volunteer Guide is one of the biggest ones we’ve got, so make sure to read it carefully before your first shift. In addition to reviewing our policies and letting you know just about everything you should expect during the festival, it also lets you know what other resources we’ve created to help you out and where to find them.

See you soon!

Your Volunteer Services Team

Jamine Ackert, Interim Volunteer Manager
Sarah Speed, Administrative Systems Coordinator, Volunteer Services
Kate Urban, Administrative Assistant, Volunteer Services                                                                                                                                                          Kristi Reynolds, Administrative Assistant, Volunteer Services                                          

Location, location, location!

Our home is Lansdowne Park at 1015 Bank Street. Additional programming will be happening along Bank Street in various bookstores, bars and coffee shops, so take a look at the schedule online at our new home on the internet: www.cityfolkfestival.com.

Important Dates

Volunteer Orientation — WEDNESDAY, September 11 @ 6 PM

Our volunteer orientation session gives you the chance to meet with your Crew Leaders, take a site walk, and get some details about your duties before the festival starts. Both new and returning volunteers are welcome and new volunteers who attend will have access to shows for free BEFORE they complete their first shift.

Our volunteer orientation is on the Great Lawn at Lansdowne Park on Wednesday, September 11th @ 6 PM.

CityFolk Festival — Thursday, September 12th to Sunday, September 15th, 2019

Marvest—our musical harvest of local music will be happening again this year! In addition to the paid programming at the festival site, we also have free programming for Marvest which can be found along Bank Street.

Our volunteers are welcome to check out the Marvest festivities before or after their shift, but should note that there is no priority as seating is on a first-come, first served basis.

For a further explanation of what Marvest is, please click here.

Volunteer Appreciation Party — TBA

Stop by to celebrate your Volunteer time with us! Youth welcome! Due to limited capacity, guests are not permitted.

Volunteer Survey

We want to hear all about your CityFolk volunteer experiences, which is why we have an annual survey to get your feedback. You’ll receive an email from us on Sunday, September 15th with a few questions evaluating your experiences here with us, as well as a spot to offer whatever other comments you may have. All of your responses are kept confidential and are noted in aggregate form only. One lucky survey responder will win a festival pass to CityFolk 2020!

Thank you in advance for your responses, we look forward to hearing from you.

Volunteer Perks & Benefits

Volunteering with CityFolk comes with certain perks including:

  • Free CityFolk t-shirt!
  • Free meal for every shift you work during the festival!
  • Free access to shows when you’re not on shift, even if you’re not working that day!

Returning Volunteers: You have access to shows before your first shift.

New Volunteers: If you attend our Orientation Session on the 11th, you’ll have access to shows before your first shift; if you don’t attend the session, you must work your first shift in order to see free shows.

Other benefits our volunteers can take advantage of include:

  • Access to Volunteer Village
  • Volunteer Village is our volunteers-only space next to the Horticulture Building
  • Inside the Village volunteers will find a sitting area, private washroom facilities, as well as our usual “Folk-It Up” space in the floaters tent where you can customize and personalize your folk t-shirt

Welcome Centre/Bag & Coat Check:

  • This is THE place for volunteers to go for warm beverages
  • Volunteers have access to our free & secure Bag & Coat Check for any items they don’t need during their shift; any bags entering the festival are subject to inspection, so bring only what you need and leave the rest with us!
  • Make sure that all bags and personal items are collected from the Bag & Coat Check before it closes (see Hours of Operation section for more details)

Festival Kitchen:

  • All volunteers receive a complimentary meal for every festival shift worked prepared for them in Festival Kitchen
  • Every meal offers volunteers a vegetarian option; although best efforts are made to address dietary concerns, not all restrictions can be accommodated

Bike Park

  • All of our volunteers have access to our free Bike Park, where they can park their bike, unicycle, skateboard or any other non-motorized mode of transportation

Hours of Operation*

Bike Park

  • Thursday, Sep 12 – 4PM – midnight
  • Friday, Sep 13 – 4PM – midnight
  • Saturday, Sep 14 – 1PM – midnight
  • Sunday, Sep 15 – 1PM – 10:30PM

Festival Kitchen

  • Weekdays: 4:30 PM – 9:00 PM
  • Weekends: 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM & 4:30 PM – 9:00 PM

*Festival Kitchen is closed between 1:30PM and 4:30PM on weekends

Volunteer Check-In (located in the store-front of Horticulture Building)

  • 11:00 AM – 9:30 PM (daily)
  • Free show check-in is accessible until 9:15 PM

Welcome Centre/Bag & Coat Check

  • 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM (daily)

*Hours of operation are subject to change until the festival starts; please check online for the most up-to-date information.

Greening Initiatives

Although the leaves are changing colour, here at CityFolk we’re still trying to keep things green. Here are some of the ways that you can help throughout the festival:


All of our volunteers have access to our free bike park, stay tuned for hours of operation!

Bring Your Own Water Bottle–B.Y.O.(W.)B.!

Although the festival is no longer a plastic water bottle free zone, help us to reduce waste and show the earth some love by bringing your own water bottle. We have refill stations around the park if you need a top-up and you don’t want to feel guilty about how much plastic you’re using.

Eat-in at Festival Kitchen!

Sit and enjoy your meals at Festival Kitchen and help us cut down on the amount of plastic cutlery and take-away containers that we use.

How to volunteer at CityFolk

Step 1: Start on your reading list

Go to https://cityfolkfestival.com/volunteer/ to see the resources that all of our volunteers should read before the festival, including:

  • Volunteer Handbook: This is your go-to for what we expect from you and what you should expect from us during the festival.
  • Job descriptions: Know what you’ll be doing before the festival and avoid being surprised on your first day.
  • Volunteer Code of Conduct & Harassment Policy: This is our very clear and concise explanation of what behaviours are and aren’t acceptable, as well as how we deal with inappropriate behaviour.
  • Volunteer FAQs: Have a question that wasn’t covered in one of the other resources? Take a peek at our FAQs and see if we’ve already covered it.

If you have any questions or need any clarification about anything you’ve read, feel free to email us at volunteers@cityfolkfestival.com.

Step 2: Take care of any outstanding business

  • We require all volunteers to complete the online Accessibility Standards Customer Service Training before the festival. It’s free and takes about 45 minutes.
  • After you’re done, make sure that you’ve updated your file to let us know that you’ve completed the training. Go to http://accessforward.ca/front/customerService/ to complete the free online training.

Step 3: Get a pre-festival tour of our site at Lansdowne

  • Come to our Volunteer Orientation Session on Wednesday, September 11th @ 6PM!
    • Although attendance is not mandatory, all volunteers (new & returning) are strongly encouraged to attend.
    • In addition to getting a tour of the new site, you’ll also meet your Crew Leader, get some information about your duties, attend specialized training sessions (if necessary) and meet some of your crew-mates.

Step 4: Get ready, get set…

  • Check your email to review what time your shift starts at and to read any new emails that you’ve received from Volunteer Services and/or your Crew Leader(s)
  • Pack what you need for your whole shift. You’re going to be onsite for at least 4 hours and September weather can be fickle, so consider bringing the following:
    • sunscreen for those hot September afternoons
    • sweater, scarf, mitts & hat for those chilly September evenings
    • umbrella/poncho and an extra pair of socks for September thunderstorms
    • a pair or two of appropriate footwear (e.g. runners, non-slip closed-toe shoes, work boots, rain boots, etc.)
    • reusable water bottle
    • a piece of photo ID (you’ll need it to check into Volunteer Check-In)
    • signed Parental Permission Form (you cannot volunteer if you do not have it with you and you need one)
    • any medication that you may need during your shift
    • Once you’ve received your volunteer t-shirt, add that to your list of things to bring!

Step 5: …GO!

  • Head on over to Lansdowne! Check out our “Transportation to the Festival” section to see the different ways to get here.
  • Check in at the Volunteer Check-In (located in the store-front of the Horticulture Building) before your shift (make sure you have your ID!)
    • If you’re coming to see a free show, make sure to check in by 9:15 PM
  • Pop over to the Welcome Centre and drop anything you don’t need off at the Bag & Coat Check.
  • After you’ve received your volunteer t-shirt, feel free to stop by the Folk-It Up space to personalize your tee.
  • Stop by Festival Kitchen for your complimentary meal so that you’re not working on an empty stomach.
  • Meet up with your Crew Leader and the rest of your team and put your best face forward!

Step 6: Get some closure

  • Attend our Volunteer Appreciation Party (Details TBA) and revel in all the good times had at this year’s festival.

Step 7: Repeat next year!

Transportation to the Festival

Lansdowne is in a fairly central location and is very accessible to the public, so getting down to the festival should be a breeze!

  • Walking: Our Bank Street location means that volunteer pedestrians will have sidewalks and street lights to make their trek to and from the festival a safe and pleasant experience
  • Biking: There are a number of bike paths leading directly to the festival site. Please take a look at this Cycling Map from the City of Ottawa to plan your best route.
  • Bus: OC Transpo busses 6 and 7 stop directly in front of Lansdowne. Use the NEW Travel Planner to chart your journey. Bus stops are approx. 3 minutes’ walk from the festival main gate.
  • Para Transpo: Pick Up and Drop Off Location TBC, however it is in Lansdowne Park, very close to the Festival Site.
    Car drop-off:There are a number of spots around the festival site where you can arrange to be dropped off for your shift and picked up after.
  • Driving: We highly recommend taking one of the other modes of transportation listed here, as there is no parking onsite for volunteers.

Youth Volunteers

We have a number of crews that include youth volunteers: 50/50 Raffle, Bike Park, Envirodish, Festival Kitchen, Floaters, General Store, Green Team, Info Booth, KidZone, Volunteer Trailer, and Welcome Centre. All information and policies provided to our volunteers applies to our youth volunteers, as do the following

High School Volunteer Hours Tracking Form

Volunteering at CityFolk is a great way to get some of those high school volunteer hour requirements out of the way as soon as school starts. Make sure to get your Crew Leader to sign off on your hours at the end of each shift.

Parental Permission Form

If you are a volunteer between the ages of 14 and 17 years of age when the festival starts (September 12th, 2019) you must print off and have your parent or legal guardian fill-out and sign the form.

All Youth volunteers must bring the completed permission form to the Volunteer Trailer on their first shift in order to attend their shift.

Provincial Information for Youth Volunteers

Every volunteer should be knowledgeable about the tasks they’re asked to do. In order to ensure that your time here passes without injury, make sure to carefully review ALL of the information that we provide to you, ask ANY questions you may have, and review some information for youth volunteers, which can be found on the Ministry of Labour’s website.

And for any parents out there who might be wondering if there’s anything that they should know before their teen heads out to volunteer, the Ministry of Labour also provides some information for parents of volunteers, which can be accessed to help set your mind at ease.

More Useful Information

  • Cancelling a shift: If you need to cancel a shift, you need to let your Crew Leader know as soon as possible. Your Crew Leader will provide you with their particular requirements for cancelling a shift (e.g. text, email, call), so please contact them in by their preferred method.
    • If you cannot contact your Crew Leader for any reason, please email volunteers@cityfolkfestival.com with your (i) name; (ii) crew; (iii) shift time; (iv) location; (v) reason for cancelling.
  • First Aid: We have roving First Aid teams throughout the festival site.
  • Lost & Found: During the festival, all lost items that have been found will be held in the Info Booth.
  • Assisted Volunteering: If you are a volunteer who requires assistance, please arrange to have your support worker with you. They do not need to register (unless they’re planning on volunteering separately) and they will be offered complimentary access to the festival when they check-in with you at the Volunteer Check-In.
  • Accessibility Team: We’re proud to say that Lansdowne is a very accessible site; most patrons should not have any issues accessing any of the programming onsite, regardless of their level of mobility. That being said, our Accessibility Team is available for any volunteers or patrons who have any issues with access.
  • Project SoundCheck: Project SoundCheck was a project that launched in 2015 to address sexual violence at large gatherings, and specifically focused on music festivals. It focused on training music festival volunteers in bystander intervention. You can follow the links below to access more in depth information and training.