Volunteer

Join our Volunteer Crew

Wordfest works with approximately 200 volunteers every year. Volunteers assume a variety of roles that contribute to the success of the Festival, including working in teams during Wordfest and year-round support in the Wordfest office and at special events.

If you have any questions about volunteering, please email volunteers@wordfest.com.

Volunteer with us

Contact Us

403-237-9073

volunteers@wordfest.com

Office Hours By Appointment Only

Office Address

If you’re looking to swing by the new Wordfest office, please note that confirming an appointment ahead of time with Wordfest staff is strongly recommended. Please also note the public hours of the Memorial Park Library building when planning your visit.

Wordfest
2nd Floor, Memorial Park Library
1221 2 St SW, Calgary, AB  T2R 0W5

Parking Information

Benefits

  • Free access to most Wordfest events when space is available
  • 50% off tickets that are purchased in advance*
  • Free volunteer t-shirt
  • Complimentary snacks and beverages in the Volunteer Hospitality Suite
  • Volunteer wrap party following the Festival
  • Opportunity to participate in a world-class literary event and network with other literary enthusiasts

* Tickets must be purchased for yourself only and does not include special events or workshops

Festival Volunteer Positions

October 10 - 15, 2017

Artist Liaison

Artist Liaison is often the first direct contact artists have with the Festival. Members of the Artist Liaison crew welcome and provide critical information to authors upon their arrival. Artist Liaison crew members may also be responsible for escorting artists to their events. Crew members work very closely with the Transportation crew, Wordfest staff and Wordfest authors. Familiarity with Wordfest, Festival venues and the downtown core is an asset.

Wordfest Youth Program

The Wordfest Youth Program is the educational component of Wordfest. For five days each October, Wordfest Youth hosts an eclectic mix of talent, bringing the ideas and words of great writers alive and up close to youth in Calgary and the Bow Valley. In 2015, approximately 10,000 students attended Wordfest Youth programs.

Volunteers for the Wordfest Youth Program are responsible for meeting with school groups at Wordfest venues and being available to assist students, teachers and parents before during and after Wordfest Youth events. Basic French is an asset as there is some cross-over with Festival des mots events. Volunteers should enjoy working with children and must pass a security background check.

Book Sellers

Book Sellers are responsible for setting up the Wordfest bookstore as well as selling books before and after events. Book sellers will be responsible for accurately inputting sales into a user-friendly tablet software as well as handle cash and credit. Retail or sales experience is an asset.

Festival Des Mots

Festival des Mots hosts emerging and award-winning Francophone writers from across Canada and French-speaking countries.

Volunteers for this crew should be comfortable communicating in French and should enjoy working with youth as there is some cross over with the Book Rapport program. Volunteers working children’s events will be required to pass a security background check.

Floaters

Not sure which crew is right for you? Floaters are not assigned to a specific crew and may be placed in multiple different positions throughout the festival. Floaters may also be “on-call” to fill in for last minute cancellations or other spur of the moment opportunities. Floaters are generally a mix of new and veteran volunteers with flexible schedules and a willingness to help out in many different areas.

Front of House

The Front of House crew assist with audience care, including greeting, ticket taking, ushering, crowd control and enforcement of house rules.

Hospitality

The Hospitality team manages the Volunteer Hospitality suite ensuring snacks and beverages are properly stored, served and disposed of. The Volunteer Hospitality suite is also where volunteers come to hang out in between shifts, eat a meal and play games. Experience in the food industry and/or completion of a food handling course is an asset.

Production/Stage managers

The Production/Stage Management crew assists backstage at events helping with set up and strikes. Other duties include stage management and troubleshooting throughout the Festival. Some heavy lifting may be required for this position. Stage management experience an asset.

Transportation

Wordfest needs daytime drivers to get very important people picked up from the airport and safely to their events. We provide the vehicle; you provide the license. Our driving territory includes UofC, Calgary Airport, Inglewood, the downtown core as well as the occasional out of town and Banff trips.

Transportation crew members must be over 25 years of age (for insurance purposes), have a valid class 5 license with a clean driving record and the ability to interact with artists in a friendly, respectful and professional manner.

Survey and Contesting Crew

The Marketing team is responsible for distributing Festival guides, posters and handbills to local businesses and communities. Wordfest will identify hot spots to hit throughout the fall and send out a call for volunteers to help deliver to these areas. Materials can be quite heavy, but it is up to volunteers if they want to walk, cycle or drive, and they must provide their own transportation. Volunteers will also be asked to report on how many items were delivered to each location as well as return any unused materials.

In addition to distribution, this crew will be responsible for administering and collecting patron surveys and contest entries during Festival week. Every year, Wordfest takes the pulse of the Festival audience with a fun survey to fill out after events. Volunteers participating on this crew should enjoy engaging with the public and promoting the survey and contests, while gaining on-the-ground marketing experience.

Operation Office Move (Oct 6 & Oct 18)

Pack ‘em up and move ‘em out! The Wordfest office moves twice – first, the office packs up and travels over to the Westin Hotel and our main venue. At the end of the Festival we move it all back to the Wordfest office. We need strong individuals who are willing and able to lift heavy objects to support this essential move. Each move takes between 2-4 hours depending on the amount of help. Volunteers with trucks, vans and cars are greatly appreciated!

Off-Festival Volunteer Positions

Wordfest is always seeking volunteers who are available to help with a number of tasks and projects throughout the year.

Read and Review Participants (Ongoing)

Wordfest receives numerous manuscripts and new works from writers and publishers for consideration for each year’s Festival. Volunteer readers sign out these new books from the Wordfest library, preview them at home, then submit a short review with recommendations. This feedback is invaluable to Wordfest’s Director and artistic staff for selection of the Festival lineup.

Administration (Ongoing, busy leading up to Festival)

Leading up to the Festival volunteers are needed each day in the Festival offices to answer phones, prepare mail outs and process ticket sales.

Special Events (Ongoing)

Special events crews can do anything from Front of House to Booksellers and Production during off-festival events. Volunteers will be notified of opportunities as they arise.

Become a Wordy Do-Gooder

Are you connected with a club, social group, youth organization, a community organization, a school parent council or association? Our volunteers are encouraged to help spread the word about the Festival and year-round events to their peers and social networks in Calgary. If you have ideas on how volunteers could help promote events or fundraise for the Festival, please get in touch. And we always want to learn more about how our volunteers are connected to the community and what they are passionate about. If your employer offers matching donation programs or if you belong to a community organization that recognizes the outstanding volunteerism or charitable giving of its members, we want to know. Please share your thoughts and stories with us by contacting info@wordfest.com.