With about 60 crews, our volunteers are responsible for running every aspect of the festival!
Do you know your way around a calculator? Do you have extensive cash handling experience? If you said yes to both of these questions, consider our Admin crew. A key responsibility of this crew is preparing floats and deposits. Volunteers applying to this crew may need a criminal record check. Due to the specialized needs of this crew, it is unlikely that first-time volunteers will be chosen.
This is a very small crew dedicated to supporting our Finance team. Volunteers applying to this crew may need a criminal record check. Due to the specialized needs of this crew, it is unlikely that first-time volunteers will be chosen.
Access Road Traffic
Access Road Traffic is one of three crews that direct vehicles at the festival site. They are responsible for all vehicles coming into and going out of the backstage area, including performer buses, delivery trucks and golf carts. Additionally, they monitor the food vendor service road and the emergency access road. Volunteers need to be assertive, able to stand for four hours at a time and have customer service skills.
ASL (American Sign Language)
Did you know that the festival offers sign language interpretation at the Festival? If you have the skills to support this initiative, this may be the gig for you.
The Audience Services crew plays an important role at the festival. These volunteers are often approached by folks who are new to the festival community so they have the chance to show them the ropes! This crew is also responsible for selling program books, providing daytime storage service for patrons and answering audience questions. We are looking for people with strong customer services skills and a friendly demeanour.
The folks on this crew are charged with providing secure storage of instruments and personal items backstage. They also assist the Transportation crew with loading instruments and gear. This area is a fast-paced environment with a high level of responsibility. It’s also a fun and rewarding atmosphere with opportunities to mingle with performers backstage. We look for people with strong customer service skills, physical strength and endurance to move equipment and who can handle items with care.
Bike Ride to Site
This crew supports the bike ride between Winnipeg and Birds Hill Park, which departs on Wednesday morning and returns Monday morning. We are looking for fit cyclists who have endurance for long rides, can support our participating riders, and have bike repair skills. First aid training is also an asset.
The Cargo crew works out of the Fairmont Hotel. They transport instruments and stage equipment to and from the site with cargo vehicles as well as staff the lockup area at the Fairmont. Volunteers on this crew should be organized, attentive to detail and have the physical strength and endurance to move equipment. A valid driver’s license is required.
This crew runs the festival’s Guest for a Day program. This program brings community groups to the site and provides guided tours, meals and transportation. Community Folk volunteers need considerable knowledge of the festival, good leadership skills and a desire to give something back to the community. Duties include giving a festival orientation to a group of people prior to the festival and hosting that group for a day at the festival for the day.
Daytime Stage MCs
This small crew is responsible for providing information and messaging to our audience and introducing workshops and performers. If you are comfortable with a microphone and have strong public speaking skills, consider this volunteer opportunity.
The Daytime Stages crew is responsible for setting up equipment, running the stage and striking down all sound equipment on each of the Daytime Stages. The commitment made by these volunteers tends to be slightly above average in terms of time. We’re looking for team players who have a basic knowledge of stage and sound equipment and the physical strength to work this crew.
If you have a passion for learning about music, then this is the crew for you! This crew supports our education program, the Young Performers Program. Duties involve setting up and tearing down the venue, assisting the instructors and providing hospitality to all participants. Volunteers need to be available on the Wednesday and Thursday prior to the festival and out at the festival on Friday. This is a very small crew with little turnover and requires strong problem-solving skills and the ability to work independently.
The volunteers in our Family Area present and facilitate entertainment, games and hands-on activities for festival participants. It is the job of this crew to ensure that everyone in the Family Area has a safe and enjoyable time. We are looking for folks with patience, creativity and lots of energy to work in this area. Please note that joining this crew requires a child abuse registry check. This popular crew has little turnover year-to-year.
Festival Campground Box Office
The Festival Campground is home to almost 6,000 people during the festival. The Box Office crew provides box office services and solves related problems in the campground. We look for people with customer service skills, honesty and cash-handling experience. Volunteers applying to this crew may need a criminal record check.
Festival Campground Enviro
This crew spreads the word to “leave only your footsteps” in the Festival Campground. Duties include servicing the toilets, collecting recyclables, distributing garbage bags and providing green awareness. The success of this program is dependent upon getting campers to buy in. Be prepared to walk, get a little dirty and have a great time on this fun crew! Comfortable shoes and a hat are recommended. This crew also requires a few volunteers with valid driver’s licenses to transport recyclables to the backstage area.
Festival Campground Safety
This is one of the largest crews with over 200 volunteers. The main role of this crew is to act as ambassadors to the 6,000 campers who come to stay in the Festival Campground. A good pair of walking shoes and a sense of humour are a must! We are looking for people who know how to handle tense situations and keep a level-headed frame of mind. These volunteers promote awareness of potential camping hazards and help enforce the campground regulations, ensuring a safe and fun camping experience for all! Volunteers must be 18 or over in order to volunteer on this crew. Conflict resolution training or skills is an asset. Volunteers applying to this crew may need a criminal record check.
Festival Campground Traffic
The shepherds of Festival Campground, these volunteers ensure that vehicles enter and exit the campground safely. They are the first faces our campers see when arriving and the last they see when leaving. We are looking for people who can be assertive and friendly (e.g. “Yo, dude! You can’t park like that!”). These volunteers must have the ability to stand for four hours at a time.
Festival First Aid
Using professional education and skills, volunteers on this crew will assist in the administration of first aid to patrons both on the festival site and in the Festival Campground by assessing and treating patients within a specific scope of practice. Volunteers applying to this crew may need a child abuse registry check and criminal record check and will also be required to attend all mandatory, pre-event training sessions covering topics relating to standard first aid and CPR. Previous first aid and CPR qualifications are an asset.
Festival Music Store
Members of the Festival Music Store crews sell artist product and related merchandise and provide financial support to the store. We are looking for people with cash-handling experience and/or an accounting background or financial experience as well as those with customer service skills. Volunteers applying to provide financial support to this crew may need a criminal record check.
Folk Fest in the City
Did you know that the festival produces a Folk Fest in the City? It’s our annual gala fundraiser to support our community programs. Is fundraising or event planning your thing? Well, what are you waiting for – get in touch with us!
The Green Room is a reserved place for performers to relax prior to their performance. It is important that volunteers in this area have strong customer service skills, are hospitality oriented and able to solve problems. This area caters to our performers and therefore requires people to be respectful and professional. Fluency in languages other than English is an asset. This crew has little turnover and generally does not accept first-year volunteers.
Green Room Access
This crew works as the gatekeepers to the Green Room. Have you worked the door of a club? Are you able to make good decisions under pressure? Assertive but friendly volunteers are needed in this area to ensure that only folks with proper credentials are allowed access.
The Hand-Made Village is a shopping area of the festival featuring some of the best crafters from across Canada. These volunteers assist with artisan set-up and tear-down, provide storage facilities and hospitality for artisans and solve problems related to the area. They also check in with the vendors periodically to make sure everything is running smoothly. Volunteers should have skills in the area of customer service and problem solving as well as the strength to carry product.
The Hotel Hospitality crew works out of the Fairmont Hotel, assisting performers and guests with registration, distributing performer information packages and relaying messages. These volunteers work independently and therefore need to be able to solve problems. They should have good general knowledge of the festival. Fluency in languages other than English is an asset.
This crew provides services to volunteers and performers on site including program distribution, general information, help with lost backstage passes and other issues that might arise. A good general knowledge of the festival is imperative.
Does being organized and tracking inventory suit your personality? Consider becoming a member of the Inventory crew. They are responsible for maintaining merchandise levels as well as managing reusable mug sales. In addition, they are responsible for ensuring that all program book sales outlets are stocked and ready for selling.
This large crew is given the task of planning, preparing and serving backstage meals for performers, guests and volunteers. That’s more than 4,000 people! Food-handling experience is not required but is considered an asset. Attention to detail and accuracy, as well as the ability to stand for four hours are requirements. Closed-toed shoes and a hat are also needed to do this work. This crew has a reputation for providing a fun and rewarding experience. Come and help feed the masses!
Main Gate Box Office
The Main Gate Box Office crew provides box office services and solves related problems (like, “I lost my tickets! What do I do?”). We look for honest people with customer service skills and cash-handling experience. Volunteers on this crew should also be prepared to work in a fast-paced environment (during peak line-up times) and work calmly under pressure. Volunteers applying to this crew may need a criminal record check. Similarly, you might be interested in the Festival Campground Box Office!
Main Gate Traffic
Directing 15,000 people in cars is an immense task. Our Main Gate Traffic crew takes great pride in being able to direct vehicles in and out of the main parking lot with professionalism and competency. They also assist pedestrians who are crossing Festival Drive returning to the Festival Campground. Volunteers interested in the Main Gate Traffic crew should be assertive, have the ability to stand or walk for four hours and have a good general knowledge of the festival.
The Main Stage crew is responsible for setting up and striking down all sound equipment for the Main Stage performances and sound checks. The commitment made by these volunteers tends to be slightly above average in terms of time. We’re looking for team players who have an intermediate knowledge of stage and sound equipment and the physical strength to work this crew.
The Media crew arranges requested interviews between accredited media and performers, staff, and artisans during the festival weekend. Experience in dealing with the media and technology is a definite asset. We also like volunteers on this crew to have a good general knowledge of the festival and the ability to solve problems.
Mental Health Response
Festival environments can sometimes overwhelm people or bring up feelings we don’t normally experience. This crew provides on-site wellness strategies as well as crisis intervention to all people at the festival on an individual basis or as a coordinated response to an event that has a larger impact on our community. Volunteers require specialized skills and are not typically recruited from our general volunteer pool.
Did you know that the festival partners with organizations working with new Canadians to introduce them to the festival organization? This crew is comprised of support workers (connected to the organizations we partner with) that provide festival-based training and on-site support to these volunteers.
Our Photography Crew volunteers are all professionals with professional photography skills and a good general knowledge of the festival. It is their job to capture memorable moments during the festival weekend. If you are interested in joining this crew, please give our office a call. A recent portfolio is required. This is a small crew with little turnover.
Poster volunteers put up posters and deliver rack cards and brochures to promote the festival. The volunteers who work on the Posters crew have completed their hours before the festival starts. For this reason, it is a very popular crew. As with all crews that work year-round, volunteers are required to work 40 hours to earn a festival pass.
Members of the Production crew will assist the Production Department by accepting deliveries and returns at the site before and after the event, logging requests and questions, assembling crew boxes with supplies, as well as setting up, organizing and cleaning up the Production Office and surrounding area. Ideally, these volunteers are available for pre-festival and post-festival shifts.
Quiet Campground Box Office & Safety
The Quiet Campground is home to about 1,500 people during the weekend of the festival. The Box Office crew provides box office services and solves related problems. We look for people with customer service skills, honesty and cash-handling experience. Volunteers applying to this crew may need a criminal record check.
This crew also takes care of the safety and wellbeing of our quiet campers. We’re looking for folks who can be positive festival ambassadors while enforcing our Quiet Campground regulations. Volunteers should be outgoing, able to solve problems, and be on their feet for a four-hour shift.
You may have seen some folks walking the festival site wearing absurdly colourful hats, waving their arms, yelling “Raffle Tickets!” – this is our Raffle Crew! Aside from selling raffle tickets and collecting money, these crew-members must have a commitment to fundraising for the festival. We look for people with an outgoing personality and cash-handling experience when recruiting for this crew. If you’re friendly, somewhat persuasive and don’t mind being on your feet (or wearing a colourful hat), consider joining this great crew.
Operating in the Festival Campground, this crew provides a safer space for women and trans folks to come together and build a community within the Folk Fest community. They work on creating awareness about sexual consent and respect and want to share that message with our festival friends. These volunteers require specialized skills and are not typically recruited from our general volunteer pool.
Our Schlepper crew is responsible for transporting instruments, supplies and passengers on the site with golf carts and small vehicles. A valid driver’s license is mandatory. In addition, we look for people with customer service skills, organizational ability, physical strength and endurance and problem solving skills. There is little turnover with this crew and they do not generally accept first year volunteers.
Our in-house Security program will train volunteers to successfully pass provincial licensing and then provide high quality security services at the Festival. Successful graduates will become part of the Festival’s Security crew. Security volunteers work with existing crews and teams such as Site Safety, Festival Campground Safety and Tavern. The primary purpose of this team is to fulfill the festival’s Security needs in our Folk Friendly way that you know and love. This program offers an unparalleled opportunity for individuals to increase their skills and gain work experience at our festival, at no cost to participating volunteers. Application is open to all volunteers who are willing to dedicate themselves to the festival’s Security team.
The volunteers on our Signage crew are responsible for the placement and tear-down of all festival signs and banners. This work takes place pre- and post-festival. Knowledge of the festival site, physical fitness and a valid driver’s license are assets for joining this small crew.
If you have a passion for the environment, this may be the opportunity for you. Our Site Enviro crew promotes environmental awareness and ensures the festival site remains clean. Main duties include collecting all garbage, composting and recyclable materials on site, as educating patrons at our waste stations about what should be thrown where. They also de-litter the site, make sure there is enough toilet paper and hand sanitizer in the biffies. This is a great opportunity to make a difference at the festival. We look for volunteers with a ‘green attitude’ who don’t mind getting a little dirty, have the physical endurance to work this crew, and like engaging with the public.
Do you know a lot about the Winnipeg Folk Fest? Are you friendly? Have the ability to stay calm under pressure? Then we need you on the Site Office crew! The volunteers that work as part of the Site Office crew are able to solve problems and must have a good general knowledge of the festival. The office is a communication and information centre for Production staff and a communications base for emergency procedures. A laid back attitude, good interpersonal skills and a flexible schedule are all important attributes of a Site Office volunteer.
This is another of our large crews with over 200 volunteers. The crew patrols the festival site, maintains crowd security and enforces policies set by the Winnipeg Folk Fest. You are an ambassador for the festival so think PR in everything you do! Smile and chat with the folks that you meet, whether it’s patrons, performers or other volunteers. The volunteers interested in working on this crew must be able to remain calm under pressure and deal with tense situations. They also need to be able to walk for four hours. Conflict resolution training or skills is an asset. Volunteers applying to this crew may need a criminal record check.
If you have experience with bartending and have earned a “Serving it Safe” certificate, give our Tavern a try. This is one of the most fast-paced environments on the festival site. The crew handles all alcohol on site, providing beer, wine and coolers in our three taverns (front-of-house, backstage and satellite). If you are friendly, responsible and can pour well, you’d be a great addition to this crew. Volunteers must be 18 years of age and may be subject to a criminal record check. There is an expectation that you can lift 50lbs.
Do you know your way around a calculator? Do you have extensive cash handling experience? If you said yes to both of these questions, consider our Tavern Admin crew. A key responsibility of this crew is handling beer, wine and cooler sales in our three taverns (front-of-house, backstage and satellite). If you are friendly, responsible and can balance a sales report well, you’d be a great addition to this crew. Volunteers must be 18 years of age and may be subject to a criminal record check.
Keeping our Taverns safe while patrons wet their whistle is what this crew does! The crew patrols the taverns, maintains crowd security and enforces policies set by the Winnipeg Folk Fest. You are an ambassador for the festival so think PR in everything you do! Smile and chat with the folks that you meet, whether it’s patrons, performers or other volunteers. The volunteers interested in working on this crew must be able to remain calm under pressure and deal with tense situations. They also need to be able to walk for four hours. Conflict resolution training or skills is an asset. Volunteers applying to this crew may need a criminal record check.
Are you able to repair instruments and stage equipment? Do you have basic knowledge of stage and sound equipment? If so, you might make a perfect Technical Services volunteer!
Our Transportation crew assists performers and guests at the airport and transports passengers between the airport, hotel and site. They are also responsible for scheduling and supervising bus transportation throughout the weekend. These volunteers must have a valid driver’s license and the physical strength and endurance to move equipment.
An initiative that began with a conversation around a fire one evening is now our new Treehugger crew. Tasked with taking care of our trees, these volunteers generally have work experience as arborists or landscape labourers.
If you have experience shooting live video, this might be the crew for you! The Video Screens crew films the footage that is shown on the Main Stage screens each night. This is a crew with very specific skills and has little turnover.
This crew operates year-round to support the work of the festival office, with the pace quickening right before the festival! The work includes answering phones, photocopying, cleaning, sorting, stapling and any number of other miscellaneous jobs that come up throughout the year. If you have basic administrative experience, are capable of multi-tasking, are customer-service oriented and can work under pressure, this may be the opportunity for you. Volunteers must be available during the week. As with all year-round crews, volunteers are required to work a minimum of 40 hours throughout the year.