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June 16, 2019

9 Places to Volunteer this Year

9 Places to Volunteer this Year Timeraiser is this weekend and that means matching non-profits who need volunteers with people who want to volunteer. These opportunities are open to everyone, even if you don’t go to Timeraiser. By Karin Olafson   April 29, 2015   Little Big Street construction by…

9 Places to Volunteer this Year

Timeraiser is this weekend and that means matching non-profits who need volunteers with people who want to volunteer. These opportunities are open to everyone, even if you don’t go to Timeraiser.

 

 

Little Big Street construction by Beakerhead volunteers in preparation for its opening on September 10, 2014.

Photograph by Neil Zeller Photography

The 10th Calgary Timeraiser takes place on Thursday, April 30 at Flames Central. If you have your ticket, you’ll spend the evening chatting with the 25 non-profits looking for volunteers and the bidding your volunteer time in exchange for a chance to win artwork by local artists.

We got a preview of they types of volunteer positions nine of the non-profits are looking to hire. These opportunities are open to everyone, even if you won’t be bidding at Timeraiser.

Arts Commons

Previously known as the Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts, Arts Commons is a multi-venue arts complex downtown.

Volunteer positions to be filled

“We want to demonstrate that Arts Commons is not a stuffy arts centre, but a place for everyone and anyone to engage and enjoy and participate in the arts,” says Alex Bonyun, the centre’s communications manager. “Our primary focus will be on recruiting a large group of volunteers to help make our facility welcoming to all visitors and to improve the patron experience.”

Volunteers that meet this goal will help patrons with parking, finding venues, answering questions, finding taxis, and more. Other volunteer jobs Arts Commons is looking for include VIP guest services, photography and videography, special events and administrative functions.

Required skills

Personable, friendly, outgoing and not afraid to take initiative and assist.
Great verbal and communication skills.
A passion for the arts and for Calgary.

Volunteer hours

Minimum two shifts per month. Team captains should commit to one shift per week.

Months volunteers are needed

All year, but mostly between September and June.

Number of volunteers needed

“As many as we can get!” says Bonyun. “We hope to have more than 20 people in multiple locations throughout the building every day that there are events.”

Interested volunteers can visit artscommon.ca/volunteer for more information.


Beakerhead

This is a five-day festival dedicated to art, science and engineering. Each September, pop-up events and hands-on experiences encourage Calgarians to immerse themselves in a world of collaboration and learning.

Volunteer positions to be filled

This year, Beakerhead is implementing crews. According to Michelle Htun-Kay, the marketing and communications director at Beakerhead, the crews “are like committees, but better: they’re the groups that will help shape and deliver Beakerhead 2015.” The crews to be filled include:

Catharsis Catapult Competition Crew
Curiosity Rovers Crew
Swiss Watch Crew
Stay Stoked Crew
Photography Crew
Graphics Crew
Social Media Crew

In addition, volunteers are also needed for administrative tasks, planning, on-site coordination, heavy lifting and light lifting.

Volunteer skills

Beakerhead is open to everyone. Even if you are wanting to develop a certain skill, such as social media, photography or event logistics, there are opportunities to volunteer and use your experience for personal development.

Most volunteer positions are for individuals 18 and older, but there are opportunities for younger volunteers through a school program or with their parents.

Volunteer hours

Volunteers can work as many or as few hours as they are able.

Months volunteers are needed

Volunteers are needed all year, but there are two influx periods. January and February is when new Beakerhead crews are formed. May and June is when Beakerhead rolls out its recruitment for the September festival.

Number of volunteers needed

The more volunteers the better, but the Beakerhead team usually works with an active volunteer pool of 350.

Interested volunteers can visit beakerhead.com/volunteer for more information.


Calgary Fringe Festival

This is an annual festival that celebrates theatre. It supports local, national and international artists.

Volunteer positions to be filled

The Calgary Fringe Fest has a range of volunteer positions that need to be filled. A few of the positions include:
Information booth volunteer
Box office volunteer
Usher
Fringe ambassador
Concession sales
Set-up and strike crew

Required skills

No previous experience is needed to volunteer here. Michele Gallant, the festival director and producer, says that it’s possible to find positions for almost anyone. Helpful skills include good organization skills, basic accounting knowledge and good people skills.

Volunteer hours

Volunteers are asked to work a minimum of two four-hour shifts during the festival itself (July 31 to August 8). Throughout the year, volunteers can help out whenever they are available.

Months volunteers are needed

In addition to volunteers for the festival itself, volunteers are also needed for promotion. Festival promotion begins in May and runs through to August.

Number of volunteers needed

Anywhere from 100 to 150 volunteers will be needed. Many volunteers will work more than the minimum, though. Last year the Calgary Fringe Festival had 85 scheduled volunteers.

Interested volunteers can visit calgaryfringe.ca for more information or contact volunteer@calgaryfringe.ca.


Crohn’s and Colitis Canada

This organization was founded in 1974 with the goal of raising money for crohn’s and colitis research.

Volunteer positions to be filled

The organization is looking for volunteers to fill a variety of different leadership roles.

Volunteer skills

Logistics
People management
Community outreach
Event planning
Marketing and communications

Volunteer hours

Between two and four hours per month.

Months volunteers are needed

Volunteers are needed throughout the year, but the most volunteers are needed for November, as November is an awareness month for crohn’s and colitis.

Number of volunteers needed

“Our aim is to find a great fit between a volunteer, their interests and skills and how they can become involved,” says Allison Sayles, the non-profit’s development coordinator for Southern Alberta. “For us, it’s less about a specific number and more about the quality of experience we can offer.”

Interested volunteers can download the application form and find more information at crohnsandcolitis.ca.


Distress Centre

This organization offers compassionate and accessible crisis support 24-hours a day to individuals who need help or just need someone to speak to.

Volunteer positions to be filled

The Distress Centre is looking to fill positions for crisis volunteers. These volunteers help callers handle or manage a crisis by offering confidential service.

Volunteer skills

All volunteers go through extensive training and must be over 18 years old. Other essential skills for these roles include:
Good computer skills
Good listening and communication skills
The ability to be calm and level-headed in a crisis
Able to follow policies and procedures
Good spoken and written English

Volunteer hours

“After 3 weeks of comprehensive training which totals 39 hours, volunteers commit to 48 volunteer shifts over one year, with a minimum of 4 shifts per month,” explains Kaylee Knox, the Calgary contact centre team lead. “Each shift is 4.25 hours in length, meaning volunteers receive over 200 hours of crisis intervention experience in their first year of volunteering with us.”

Months volunteers are needed

Volunteers are needed throughout the year.

Number of volunteers needed

The Distress Centre is always looking for volunteers, but training classes are capped at 30 prospective volunteers.

Interested volunteers can visit distresscentre.com for more information or email volunteer@distresscentre.com.


Grow Calgary

Grow Calgary is a group of urban farmers that grow organic prodce for the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank. The organization also develops programs that encourage Calgarians to make healthy food choices.

Volunteer positions to be filled

All farm labour positions need to be filled. Grow Calgary is also looking for individuals with specialized skills, such as construction or engineering, to help with specific projects.

Volunteer skills

No previous farming experience is needed, but volunteers must be willing to get their hands dirty and do manual labour such as planting, turning soil, spreading mulch and harvesting produce.

Volunteer hours

Grow Calgary hopes volunteers can commit to 25 hours over the farming season. This works out to roughly 1 hour per week.

Months volunteers are needed

May through October.

Number of volunteers needed

There is no cap on numbers. Grow Calgary needs volunteers every weekday evening and weekend day throughout the farming season.

Interested volunteers can find more information, visit growcalgary.ca/volunteer.


KidSport Calgary

This not-for-profit organization aims to make sure all kids are able to play sport, regardless of their socio-economic position.

Volunteer positions to be filled

KidSport is looking to fill several specific positions. The positions to be filled include:
Administrative support
Graphic design
Bookkeeping
Database management
Grant writing
Fund development
Social media.

Volunteer skills

KidSport volunteers should have exceptional time management skills, communication skills and organization skills.

Volunteer hours

“With a team of only three full time staff, we value our volunteers’ time and we would hope that our volunteers can donate whatever time they have available,” says Dayna Hyman, the manager of events and volunteers. “Ideally, we would love to have our volunteers on board for at least 15 hours [per week].”

Months volunteers are needed

KidSport runs all year round so volunteers are needed for the whole year.

Number of volunteers needed

“We are thankful for all that sign up and join our team,”says Hyman.

Interested volunteers can visit kidsportcalgary.ca for more information or contact Dayna Hyman, the manager of events and volunteers.


Made By Momma

This organization is 100 per cent volunteer run. Its goal is to provide healthy, nourishing meals and care to mothers and young children who are in difficult situations. The organization also provides baby essentials, children’s items and supportive in-home visitors.

Volunteer positions to be filled

Made by Momma is looking to fill several positions, including:
Event planning
Fundraising support
Delivery drivers
Bakers

Volunteer skills

Made by Momma requires volunteers with a variety of different skills. The organization jokes that if you have any skill, Made by Momma will be able to find a way to use it. The only required skill is a passion for volunteering.

Volunteer hours

There is no minimum requirement. Made by Momma volunteers commit to help out anywhere from a couple of hours per month to several hours each week.

Months volunteers are needed

Volunteers are needed throughout the year.

Number of volunteers needed

Made by Momma is seeking 3 women to join the Board of Directors.

The team is also looking for 20 volunteers for the Gallery Calorie event in Inglewood on June 20 and any interested runners or walkers to join the Made by Momma team at the Calgary Marathon on May 31. There are also a number of other roles and opportunities available.

Interested volunteers can find more information at madebymomma.org/volunteering/.


Wordfest

This not-for-profit organization brings readers and writers together with special programming and the annual Wordfest literary festival. The festival runs in October each year.

Volunteer positions to be filled

During the Wordfest festival, volunteers are needed for:
Driving authors to events
Ticket taking and ushering
Production (stage managers and production assistants)
Hospitality (creating a fun environment for volunteers)

Volunteers are also needed for marketing and distribution of the festival guides, and in the weeks leading up to the festival.

Volunteer skills

Volunteers looking for key positions should have leadership skills. Individuals who are less experienced in leadership are also needed and should be customer-focused, passionate about the arts and keen to learn.

Volunteer hours

Volunteers must be able to commit to a minimum of one event shift, which is four hours in duration.

Months volunteers are needed

The majority of volunteers are needed for the festival, which runs in Calgary and the Bow Valley from October 13 to 18. Volunteers are also needed in the weeks prior to the festival and the weeks afterward.

Number of volunteers needed

For the October festival each year, Wordfest works with approximately 200 volunteers.

Interested volunteers can visit wordfest.com/volunteer or email volunteers@wordfest.com.

Timeraiser takes place on April 30 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Flames Central, 218 8 Ave. S.W., timeraiser.ca.

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