Volunteer Details


Thank you for joining us! We hope you enjoy your experience with us, and we also hope you will tell your friends and family about the magic of the festival and encourage them to join in the fun. As a volunteer with the Canmore Folk Festival, you are part of a big and wonderful team that works together to create an amazing event – we couldn’t do it without you.

You are our ambassadors and our philosophy is to treat people well, have fun and smile. And then smile some more!

We use the following guidelines in an effort to make your experience a positive one.

As a volunteer you have the right:

  • TO be identified as a volunteer and to be treated as a co-worker, with respect and a zero tolerance of abusive behavior.
  • TO be properly informed about the Festival, its policies, programs, services, and procedures.
  • TO know what is expected of you.
  • TO be recognized for your contribution to the Canmore Folk Music Festival.

As a volunteer you will receive:

  • A three-day pass for the festival.
  • A volunteer T-shirt that must be worn while you are on shift.  Please do NOT transfer it to anyone else for the duration of the festival.
  • Backstage snacks and beverages.
  • A private wee-hour party for volunteers only after the main stage concert ends on Sunday and Monday night.
  • A selection of volunteer appreciation prizes to be drawn at random throughout the weekend.  Please check at the info booth to see if you have won anything.

What we expect from you:

  • Your smile!
  • 10 hours of your time working during the festival at tasks assigned by your area coordinator or 18 hours pre-festival.
  • Do your job to the best of your ability.
  • Always conduct yourself in a professional manner.
  • Show up on time, ready to work, and treat others with respect.
  • You must make arrangements for the care of your children during your shift.
  • Adherence to the Volunteer Code of Conduct, available on our website.

you are part of a big and wonderful team that works together to create an amazing event


Our Festival is an outdoor festival, which means that it’s critical that you come prepared.  Here is a list of hints that will help to make your volunteering experience a positive one.

  • Bring your own water bottle. There will be no water sold at the food vendors this year, but free water is available at drinking stations throughout the site and backstage in the volunteer hospitality tent.
  • Make sure you have comfortable footwear that is weather appropriate.
  • Pack a hat, sunscreen, warm clothes, waterproof ground cover, rain gear, flashlight, sunscreen and bug spray. It has been known to rain torrentially at this festival and some years even snow.
  • Be ready for anything Mother Nature can throw at us.
  • Read all of the information given to you by your coordinator so you know what is expected of you.
  • Know how to contact your coordinator. Save his or her cell phone number on your phone.
  • Know exactly when and where all of your shifts are and arrive early for any last-minute briefing.
  • Ensure you have eaten before your shift. Most shifts are at least four hours long and only bathroom breaks are allowed.
  • Wear your volunteer T-Shirt, Wristband, and Access Pass when you are on shift.



Saturday- Gate opens at 3pm

Sunday & Monday

Corral Starts –9:30 AM
Gate Purchases – 10 AM


Sunday – 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Monday – 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM


Saturday – 4:30 PM to 11 PM
Sunday – 4:30 PM to 11 PM
Monday – 3:30 PM to 10 PM


Canmore Miners’ Union Hall
Daily: 1:00 PM to 11 PM
Music starts at 1:30 PM


(Canmore Civic Centre)
6 PM to 9 PM



7th Ave. beside Union Hall
Monday – 8 AM TO 10:30 AM


(Canmore Golf & Curling Club)
Sunday and Monday night
Immediately after the main stage concert ends until 2 AM



1.  Look at YOUR safety first.

2.  Call 911 then your coordinator.

3.  If it is safe to do so protect equipment in your area.

4.  Follow instructions from your coordinator and the Emergency Response Plan that is provided to each coordinator.


→ Make sure you know where to get help!

If the situation is serious, ALWAYS CALL 911!

→  FIRST AID IS LOCATED near the main gate.


→  Always take lost children or direct parents to the information booth. An announcement will be made on stage.


→  If the site needs to be evacuated, instructions and directions will come from announcements on stage. You may be asked to assemble at the muster point. Always stay calm. Coordinators will be responsible for contacting their individual crew, safeguarding equipment and exiting area.


→  Report unusual or potentially dangerous situations such as wasp nests, broken glass, faulty electrical lines, etc. to your coordinator.


Volunteers are asked to complete an Incident Report whenever there is:

→  A lost child.

→  A near miss situation – an incident in which injury almost occurred but did not.

→  A major incident (one that is life-threatening or may lead to permanent disability) requiring on-site first aid and stabilization until emergency medical assistance arrives on the scene.

→  A vehicle accident (whether you are involved as a driver or as a witness).

→  Damaged, lost, or stolen equipment.

BE SURE to write down as much information as possible regarding the circumstances of the incident. Gather statements from witnesses as soon as possible while the event is still fresh in their minds.  Incident Report forms are available in both paper and soft copies. You can request one at the Volunteer Information Booth or from a coordinator. Completed forms can be passed on to us at the same locations.


All volunteers agree to adhere to the following:

  • I will be a responsible ambassador for the Festival and represent the Festival in a positive way. Smiling is mandatory.
  • I understand that I need to disclose any prescription drug use that may impact my decision-making ability or motor skills to ensure that I am working in a safe and appropriate volunteer area.
  • I understand that my wristband is non-transferable and remains the property of the Canmore Folk Music Festival. It can be repossessed:
    • IF I bring alcohol onto the site
    • IF I use or possess illegal substances on-site
    • IF I commit illegal, violent or unsafe acts
    • IF I am under the influence of alcohol or drugs while on duty
    • IF I fail to fulfill the required hours of volunteer duty or the responsibilities of the job I have been assigned (i.e., 10 hours of festival volunteer work during the festival or 18 hours pre-festival).
  • I will NOT reserve seating in any of the audience areas until after the morning tarp rush.
  • I will refer questions from the media involving policy or sensitive issues to the Festival Director or  General Manager.


Welcome – or welcome back, as the case may be. If you’re an experienced member of the Canmore Folk Music Festival’s Volunteer Family, you’ll no doubt notice a couple of small and subtle changes this year.  If you’re new to us, here are a few additional bits of info you’ll need for the weekend:

  • Our backstage hospitality area, as you can see, is quite small, with hundreds of people needing and wanting to access it each day.  In an effort to help reduce congestion, we’ve established a “Volunteer Lounge” alongside the east fence just past the backstage Resource Recovery Centre.  There you’ll find shade, picnic tables, maybe a lounge chair or two in which to grab a nap – and some great sightlines to the stage.
  • We will not be distributing water in single-use plastic bottles, nor will the food vendors on the festival site be allowed to sell bottled water. There are four “hydration stations” serving up municipal water on the grounds for your use as well. If you have forgotten to bring your water bottle with you, we will have a limited number of free bottles backstage.
  • There is NO SMOKING backstage. Please leave the site via the back gate and make your way to the designated smoking zone, where a bucket of sand will be provided and which will be well marked.  Please do not smoke right beside the gate or where your smoke will float into the food area or Green Room.
  • The performers’ Green Room is provided for our artists to chill out, mingle, get to know each other before their workshops and get prepared for their stage appearances. There is no access to any festival staff or volunteers unless already approved.
  • For safety reasons, there will be no access to the rear of the Main Stage except for authorized personnel or when approved by our backstage manager (artist liaison).


In the backstage area, behind the Stan Rogers Stage, you’ll find two tents. One offers hot meals for performers, coordinators, and VIPs. The other, dubbed the Blue Moon Café, is where we offer light snacks and beverages to all volunteers.

The Blue Moon is a ‘snacketeria’ – from morning until night you’ll find an array of hot and cold beverages and all the major food groups: carbs, proteins, fresh fruit and veggies, the odd cauldron of soup, stew or chili, and sweets.  From yogurt and granola cups at breakfast to wraps and pitas at lunch and dinner, we aim for healthy and fresh, but it is not meant to feed you all day every day.  The food backstage is donated by our local restaurants, purchased from our local restaurants or prepared by the volunteers on the kitchen prep crew.  It’s meant to be shared by anyone with backstage access – not taken out into the crowd and shared with friends.  Please be respectful of our limited budget and the large number of volunteers (500+) who will access the Blue Moon Café throughout the weekend!

Occasionally you will see other volunteers enjoying a hot meal in the performer’s tent. Each coordinator has a small number of meal passes to share with those volunteers who go way above and beyond the requisite volunteer hours. Anyone accessing the performers’ meal tent must show one of these passes or the neck lanyard identifying them as a performer or coordinator.


The Canmore Folk Music Festival has stepped up its game plan for the environmental impact we have on this park and this community. Last year we managed to divert 94 percent of all the waste that would otherwise go to a Calgary landfill into productive recycling streams. This year our goal is 98 percent and more, and to do this we need to enlist the help of every single coordinator and volunteer.

We can start with the first R – reduce. Bring your own water bottle and coffee mug and re-use them all weekend.  If it’s feasible for you, bring your own plate and cutlery as well. You’ll find a hot water sink in the backstage area – please do not try to wash your dishes when the food crews are in the middle of meal service and their own cleanup. This year we are also monitoring our water usage throughout the weekend, so please be mindful!

Familiarize yourself with the tenets of our recycling program. Visit one of the Resource Recovery Centres and ask the crew what is and isn’t going to find a second home in the recycling streams. Things like styrofoam will go straight to a landfill. Please do not bring anything on site that will end up as trash.

Please help be our eyes and ears on the new water stations. On a hot day, people might find it tempting to use the nozzles as water guns. If you see the stations being mishandled or abused, please try to stop the activity in a polite but firm manner.


Following the conclusion of the main stage concerts on Sunday and Monday night we’re throwing a party for all of our volunteers at the Canmore Golf Club, with live performances and once-in-a-lifetime jam sessions by some or all of our evening’s performers in an intimate atmosphere. Dancing is highly encouraged. Admission is free but it is ONLY open to volunteers. Cash bar, snacks will be provided. This year’s performers are Leeroy Stagger on Sunday night and Las Cafeteras on Monday. Doors open at 11 PM Sunday and 10 PM Monday.

You are the heart of the festival community. We could not do it without you!


Hosting a festival for thousands of people takes a toll on the park. Help us restore our site to its natural beauty on Tuesday after the festival. There is a job for everyone, from taking down fencing to stowing everything away for next year. We’ll provide lunch and refreshments.

Bring work gloves if you have them and wear appropriate footwear and clothing.  Site strike is not a mandatory part of volunteering, but it is a great way to keep that festival buzz alive for one more day.  Just come to the backstage area on Tuesday after the festival and we’ll put you to work, as few or as many hours as you can give us.



Our planning for this year’s festival has placed a particular focus on preserving and celebrating the special culture that our festival has fostered over the years. We know and appreciate that you, our volunteers, are at the center of this vision. You are the people who have created the culture and we look to you to preserve and celebrate it and to teach others “how to folk”!

We depend on you to do the important jobs to pull this festival together – from building our site, preparing meals, providing hospitality, greeting guests at the gate, keeping our site safe and “green”, directing traffic, counting the beans, or taking care of our amazing artists, among many other countless jobs.  Equally important, though, is your role as an ambassador for the festival.  When any of our guests look lost or need assistance, we count on you to offer guidance.  This will help us ensure that our festival culture, continues on for decades to come

You are the heart of the festival community. We could not do it without you!

Thank you, SMILE, and have fun!