Volunteer at the Festival!
There’s different volunteer positions at our Festival, each with different responsibilities and qualification requirements. To find out more about each volunteer position at the Festival, check out the descriptions and apply below. Orientation for general volunteers will occur on the Thursday or Friday before the Festival. Volunteer leads should expect to be engaged in the months leading up to the event, and be an active part in making the Festival come to life by helping train volunteers during the general Festival orientation.
Please note that the information below is for our 2022 positions. We’re working on updating our positions for 2023 and hope to open that process very soon! Please stay tuned for details.
Beer Garden Crew
The beer garden crew keeps the party going! Your job is to serve alcoholic beverages to festival attendees and paddlers with a smile. This is a social position, where people come together to hang-out, laugh, cheer, and be merry! You will be one of the most popular volunteers, putting on a smile on the face of everyone you serve. As a server, you will require a “Serving it right” certification that you can obtain here.
Kids Tent /Cultural Crew
The Kids Tent is a fun and active festival space dedicated to entertaining kids of all ages. You will be part of the committee that plans and executes activities that kids will love; like crafts, sidewalk chalk drawing, bubble blowing, dancing, singing, face-painting, and more!
The Cultural Tent is a space dedicated to celebrating Chinese culture, traditions, and Chinese-Canadian history. Volunteers on the Culture Crew will coordinate and host the Culture Tent. You will plan and execute many of the traditional Chinese ceremonies such as the Dragon Boat Eye Dotting Ceremony. Volunteers should have an appreciation for Chinese-Canadian culture, arts, and history. The Festival will also have a space dedicated paying tribute to the Lekwungen peoples on whose traditional territory Victoria stands, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with Victoria continue to this day.
The Environment Crew has one of the most important responsibilities of The Festival; ensuring The Festival grounds and the Inner Harbour remain clean at all times. You will be in charge of making sure waste and recycling bins are positioned where they are needed most and emptied regularly. Stray garbage and recycling must be picked up and disposed of quickly so that it doesn’t end up polluting the ocean, where an abundance of sea life thrives. Overall, you will be responsible to encouragement festival goers and racers to respect the ocean and land by cleaning up after themselves.
Volunteer Support Team
Help support the Festival’s volunteers! You’ll help greet and check in all volunteers at the Festival, make sure they have the information and uniforms they need, and understand the Festival’s ground rules and schedules. And when it’s time for a break, you’ll help volunteers refuel in the Volunteer Lounge.
The volunteers on the Information Crew will be located at the Info Desk and help answer questions of festival attendees and direct them where things are located on the grounds. You will handout festival programs and also help with the coordination of lost & found items, and lost children. You will have a means to communicate with many of the other volunteer crews. Overall, you are there to help people out.
Cultural Program Volunteers
This crew is responsible in helping welcome cultural program participants to the stage or to the site. You will be responsible for working with different staff and volunteers to ensure the performers have everything they need in terms of sound equipment and staff setup. You will attend to the various needs of the performers to make sure they are enjoying themselves and everything is running smoothly. As there may be times you make announcements over the sound system, public speaking skills are required.
We need trustworthy individuals for this crew as you will be handling cash and selling raffle tickets. You will be stationed at a 50/50 raffle table, making sure the sales of the tickets and the reporting of the sales go smoothly. We need people that like to smile and encourage festival attendees to take their chances on winning big! You will also be responsible to handout treat bags to people at the exits of the festival.
Dock and Marshalling Crew
This position brings you to the front line of the races!
The Dock Crew is responsible for stabilizing the boats by holding the lines so that paddlers can safely go in and out of the boat. Training consists of how to hold the lines, tie the lines, and learning the commands of the Dock Master. Dock Crew volunteers must know it is a physically demanding position that requires people to be on their feet.
The Marshalling Crew is an active and important role within the festival. Marshalling Crew Volunteers work under the Crew Marshall to marshall teams. Using a manual system such as a megaphone will mean volunteers will have to walk around and call out the teams to attend to the crew marshalling area.
Food Sales Volunteers
Eligibility & Requirements
Volunteers are required to commit to at least 2 shifts between the Saturday and Sunday of the Festival weekend. These can be on separate days or on the same day, according to your schedule and ability.
Criminal Record Check
Certain roles may require a criminal record check before volunteering with us. We will let you know if you need one.
Waiver & Declaration
We require all volunteers to fill out our waiver and declaration prior to volunteering with us. Download the forms here, please fill it out at your earliest convenience and send it through this form here.
Maintaining a Safe and Inclusive environment
Our Festival welcomes everyone to be part of the event and engage in a respectful way, regardless of their background, culture, ability, sexuality, or other factors. Our volunteers agree to help us maintain this welcoming environment for all.
Managing your volunteer schedule
The Volunteer Coordinator will assign volunteers to shifts based on availability, preference, and suitability for each role. Once you have been scheduled, you will receive an email that will link you to your schedule. Find your name and you will be able to find your shifts!
Your Rights and Responsibilities
All Festival volunteers bear certain rights and responsibilities. We ask that all volunteers abide by the following policies:
- To be treated with respect, and feel comfortable with bringing any concerns to the attention of Festival Officials
- To feel safe and properly prepared while volunteering
- To be properly informed of our policies and regulations
- To feel comfortable with the tasks assigned and be able to request a change of crew depending on availability
- To have the Festival Official’s expectations of them clearly explained, and be able to express their expectations to Festival Officials
- To be recognized for their contribution to the festival
- To have food and water provided at Volunteer Registration table during shifts
- To be provided a volunteer t-shirt
- Be courteous and helpful to all members of the public and answer all questions to the best of your ability
- Follow the instructions of Festival Officials and Staff. If you have questions, seek clarification right away.
- Know the site layout and the responsibilities of all crews
- Behave in a respectful and courteous manner to staff, and fellow volunteers
- Check in and out for your shifts at the at Volunteer Registration table.
- Arrive for your shift 15 minutes early
- Wear your Volunteer T-shirt while on shift
- Contact your Festival Official or the Volunteer Coordinator if you are unable to make a shift
- Remain sober and substance-free during your shifts
- Refrain from making personal calls or texting during your shifts
- Complete a waiver
- Complete and submit any necessary certification, including a Criminal Record Check for the Event Safety Crew or Serving It Right certificate for the Beer Garden Crew
- Be a team player – we may need your help in other crews!
We will have handwashing stations and hand sanitizer to reduce the spread of germs. We ask you to bring a personal water bottle that you do not share to keep hydrated.