Below you will find answers to our most commonly asked questions.
Are there any volunteer openings?
Our 2014 public registration will be available online at www.ottawafolk.com on June 24 at 12 PM (noon).
Is there an early bird registration for returning volunteers?
Early Bird registration is open to 2013 returning volunteers ‘in good standing’, which means volunteers who performed effectively in their role and successfully completed all of the shifts that they signed up for. The Early Bird invite is for volunteers who want to return to the crew they volunteered in last year. A private invite will be sent out on Monday June 16th, 2014 to those who qualify. Early bird registration is open from noon on Tuesday June 17th, 2014 to noon on Monday June 23rd, 2014. If you would like to try a different crew this year, you will register after Early Bird closes. Public registration opens on Tuesday June 24th, 2014.
How old do I have to be to volunteer?
In order to volunteer at Ottawa Folk Festival you need to be at least 14 years old as of the date of your first shift (so basically by September 11, 2014). Keep in mind there are certain crews that have different age requirements (such as any positions involved in serving or selling alcohol, the minimum age is 18).
Please make an exception – I’m only 13!
Although we appreciate your interest and enthusiasm in joining our team, we are unable to make an exception. Mark next year’s event on your calendar!
Why can’t I volunteer in more than one crew?
We want to encourage new volunteers to register. Placing a limit of one crew per volunteer allows new volunteers a chance to gain from this great experience!
How many shifts do I have to sign up for?
We ask that you sign up for a minimum of 3 shifts. All shifts must be in one crew. Each shift is approximately 4 hours but varies depending on each crew’s requirements. To be entitled to free festival admission, you must attend all of the shifts that you sign up for.
Is there a waitlist?
Unfortunately we don’t offer a waitlist for registration. Our registration is on a first-come, first-served basis, so that’s why we encourage all our volunteers to sign up right away on June 24 at 12 PM. One added bonus in volunteering at Ottawa Folk Festival consecutive years is that you can be eligible for early bird registration.
Aside from age, what are the basic requirements to be a festival volunteer? Am I qualified?
All volunteer positions require Accessibility Standards Customer Service Training, and most positions require fluency in English (with French being very beneficial), basic customer-service skills, a friendly and professional demeanour, a willingness and ability to follow directions and abide by volunteer policies, and a commitment to making the festival a wonderful experience for everyone.
What is accessibility customer service training?
Accessibility Standard for Customer Service is a provincially driven act created to increase awareness and services for people with disabilities. It states that all volunteers must complete customer service accessibility training when serving the public. Accessibility Customer Service Training takes approximately 45 minutes and is available for free on-line at: http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/serve-ability/index.aspx
Please ensure that you have completed your training before the festival begins. If you have already taken the Accessibility Customer Service Training, you are not required to take it again.
Do I get to see shows for free?
Absolutely! That’s one of the great benefits to volunteering at Ottawa Folk Festival. All volunteers who meet their minimum shift requirement are able to access the entire festival for free. This means you can see shows on your days off, and before and after shifts.
Do I have to do a shift before I see a show for free if I am a first time volunteer?
Returning volunteers from 2012 and/or 2013 will be able to see concerts before their first volunteer shift. For everyone else, we ask that you attend our mandatory volunteer orientation before accessing free shows.
Can my time at Ottawa Folk Festival count for high school hours?
We definitely encourage high school students to volunteer at Ottawa Folk Festival as a way to get their volunteer hours. All we ask is that you bring your volunteer form with you each shift so that your Crew Leader can sign off for your hours.
Can I volunteer with my friend?
We often have volunteers working together in teams throughout the festival site. In order to be together you need to sign up for the same shifts (most crews have multiple slots for the same shift). We can’t guarantee anything as registration fills up quickly. Keep in mind that you must both register separately so using two computers is the fastest/easiest/most effective way to ensure that you’re getting the same shifts. Although you may sign up for the same shifts, sometimes Crew Leaders may need you to work separately.
I’m away during registration – can I sign up early?
There are no opportunities to register early. If you can access the internet, you can still register while you are away. If you do not have access, perhaps you can ask a family member or friend you trust to do registration for you. Good luck!
I am already registered, how do I sign into my account?
Use the link that was sent to you after you completed your 2014 registration and enter your confirmation number
Is my agenda final?
You can make changes to your agenda up until September 9th at noon (Please note this date may vary for some crews and if so, the dates will be clear in the emails sent from your crew leader). You are welcome to change your shifts for other available ones or you can add shifts if you like. Ottawa Folk Festival and your volunteer team are counting on you to complete all of the shifts you sign up for, so please be sure to remove any shifts that you are unable to commit to.
How do I change my schedule?
Sign into your volunteer account, click MODIFY REGISTRATION and scroll through the first two pages of registration until you reach the shift selection page. To add a shift, select the shift and then ‘click to add shift’. To remove a shift, click ‘MY SHIFT, click to remove’. Remember to click finish on the final page of registration to finalize your changes.
What happens if, once I’m registered, I want to make changes but there are no shifts left to move to?
Unfortunately we don’t have a waiting list for registration so if your crew is full you won’t be able to change shifts. One option is to talk to volunteers in your crew during the festival and see if they would like to switch shifts with you.
Do I have to show up for all of my shifts?
It is expected that you show up for all of your shifts. The festival can’t run without our volunteers! In order to keep your volunteer privileges for the festival and to remain in good standing for future festivals we need you to complete your scheduled shifts.
What do I do if I find out, after I register, that I can’t honour my shifts?
If you cannot attend one of your shifts, please immediately remove this selection from your itinerary using the online process. Keep in mind that you will need to select another shift in its place to keep your 3 shift minimum.
How do I cancel my registration?
Sign into your volunteer account and click CANCEL REGISTRATION to remove all of your shifts. After September 9th, you will no longer be able to cancel registration yourself. Please make sure to contact your area leader immediately if you are no longer able to volunteer, leaving clear details of your full name and your reason for cancellation.
What do I do if I can’t make it for my shifts once the festival starts?
If you are unable to attend any shifts during the festival, notify your crew leader immediately by email, or email firstname.lastname@example.org leaving CLEAR details of your name, crew, assigned shift you are cancelling, and reason for cancellation.
Do I need to go to orientation night?
Orientation Night begins on September 9th at 6:30 PM. It is mandatory that you attend this session held at the festival site to find out the details of your assigned duties as well as tour the festival grounds and key volunteer areas. It’s also a great opportunity to meet your Crew Leader and the great team of volunteers you’re going to be working with! **NEW THIS YEAR If you are a new volunteer you must attend the orientation night or complete your first shift before you receive access to free concerts.
Is there any volunteer parking on site?
There is limited parking available at Canada Parks after 5:00 PM. We highly recommend using public transportation, walking when possible, or taking advantage of our fantastic (and free!) Bike Park valet bike parking service.