Apply to Volunteer
Hello Prospective Volunteers!
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the Edmonton Folk Music Festival! Volunteering is one of the best ways to support and contribute to the festival. Our volunteers share a passion for the Festival and folk music, a foundation that continually inspires the growth and engagement of a thriving volunteer community, which we often refer to as our 'Festival family'. Make new friends, help put on a world class festival, and enjoy the music!
Applications to volunteer will be available on February 1st for the 2019 Festival (August 8-11).
Have questions? Contact us.
What will I do?
Over 2500 volunteers carry out a wide variety of tasks working on 60+ crews using a wide spectrum of physical, technical and interpersonal skills. As 80% of existing volunteers return each year - and they have first choice to return to their volunteer role or change crews - you may not get your first preference in year one. New volunteers are placed on a first-come first-served basis considering preferences as well as skills, interests and qualifications for individual crews.
The more choices you offer the better. Some crews (like photography, publications and performer hospitality) have long waiting lists, so please be flexible and do not be discouraged. We make every effort to find the best fit for each volunteer and we strive to make each volunteer experience enjoyable!
For information about which crews do what jobs, see our Volunteer Crew Descriptions
Expectations (your commitment):
Our volunteer community is the heart of the festival. We expect all volunteers to contribute positively to their festival family.
Respect and Kindness - Treat the volunteer community, performers, patrons and everyone at the festival with respect and kindness. Be open to new ideas and discussion, and be familiar with our Code of Ethics and general festival guidelines.
Teamwork - Although there a many crews working in many areas, we are one big TEAM making the festival happen. Help your crew mates and others when needed, focus on solutions and problem solving, and generally contribute positively to your crew and wider volunteer community.
Be an ambassador - Our volunteers are our ambassadors - they introduce performers, patrons and others to the Edmonton Folk Music Festival community, and make up the majority of their experience. We expect volunteers to represent the organization in a positive way, respect festival property and information, and be general ambassadors year-round (share the Festival Spirit!).
We expect all volunteers to read and adhere to our Code of Ethics.
Festival Crews - Most volunteers are placed on Festival crews - plan to be available to volunteer all four days. Each person on a Festival crew contributes 20 hours throughout the four days.
Pre-Festival Crews - Some crews work primarily pre and post Festival. These volunteers contribute a minimum of 40 hours. There are limited opportunities for most pre-Festival crews, as most volunteer tasks occur during the Festival.
Teardown - All first-time volunteers (and 50% of returning volunteers) contribute an additional 3-4 hours helping take the festival down and clean the park. This is a great opportunity to experience the festival's footprint first hand, and also allows new volunteers to meet others from various crews and at different points in their volunteer careers. You can read more about teardown on the Volunteer FAQ page.
A note on children and youth volunteers - Children 11 and under may attend the Festival free of charge, but childcare arrangements must be made whilst parents are working volunteer shifts. Kids 12 through 17 may apply to volunteer or must have a youth ticket.
Each crew meets before the Festival to receive updated information, plan for the weekend and often to arrange their volunteer schedule. Attendance at the crew meeting is important. New volunteers must also attend one Open Office Night (schedule for June & July) and New Volunteer Orientation (scheduled the week of the festival).
*Please do not complete a police check until you have been placed on a crew. The festival can only reimburse fees for confirmed volunteers.*
Volunteer background checks are completed at Open Office Nights (only for crews that require them) and are then processed by Edmonton Police Service (EPS). The EPS will not process applicants who live outside of Edmonton (St. Albert and Sherwood Park are considered outside of Edmonton) but we can make alternate arrangements. Further information on what is needed to complete a police check is provided once you are placed on your crew.
We have the utmost respect for the skills, time and passion volunteers bring to the festival. All festival volunteers receive the following:
- A volunteer badge (provides festival access)
- Meals from the festival kitchen (Thursday and Friday dinner; Saturday and Sunday lunch and dinner)
- Access to volunteer after parties (Friday, Saturday and Sunday)
- A volunteer t-shirt for the current year
- A program book for the current year
- A volunteer handbook
- Parking and shuttle service to the festival
- Name and crew in Program Book and on Wall of Fame (as long as placement occurs prior to deadline)
Are you a student? EFMF volunteers have the opportunity to apply for the 'Go Wildly Forward - Don Snider Scholarship'! Further details here.
Who will contact me?
The Manager of Volunteers (Marianne) or Volunteer Manager Consultant (Vicki) will contact you to confirm your crew assignment. After you accept your volunteer assignment, you will be contacted by your crew coordinator to discuss specific tasks, and to provide schedule and crew meeting information.
What if I don't get accepted?
Please do not be discouraged - we often have more volunteer applicants than available positions. We strive to place new volunteers prior to ticket sales in June. If you have not heard from us by the end of May, please contact us.
A Final Word
The Edmonton Folk Music Festival is successful because volunteers work together as a team to provide excellent services to patrons, performers, and other volunteers. The success of the festival is therefore dependent upon volunteers contributing fully to their crew and completing all scheduled shifts. Our volunteers are passionate about the Festival and folk music. If you are looking for a rewarding volunteer experience, and would like to be a part of the EFMF volunteer community, we would love to hear from you.