Volunteering with the Fest
Fill in an Application to Volunteer!
The Vancouver Writers Fest is a charitable cultural organization that relies heavily on volunteers as part of our operations. Volunteers are important to us, and we do everything we can to ensure a positive experience for everyone—especially our volunteers!
Our flagship Festival Week (October 16–22, 2023) takes place almost entirely on Granville Island, with around 14 events happening per day (though, the first and last day of the Festival have fewer events). Each event typically has around eight volunteers associated with it, in addition to the roles directly tied to the Festival’s venues. (And, some of our volunteer roles are geared towards supporting our operations before Festival Week even begins!)
Some of the wonderful things our volunteers do:
- Help with mail-outs, stuffing envelopes, general office admin, and reception.
- Walk writers to and from readings/events or help in general with author hospitality.
- Liaise with Festival staff, stage managers and other volunteers.
- Transportation hospitality volunteers drive authors to and from YVR airport, as well as to media interviews, and other in-town transportation needs.
- Work with the Festival bookseller setting up and selling books at the Festival Bookstore and events.
- Sell and distribute tickets at Festival venues.
- Deliver Festival program guides and posters to specified locations along a designated route, and keep it stocked from early September until the end of the Festival.
- Working special events or short shifts at the beginning of events where conventional ushering isn’t required.
- Be ready for anything!
- Be available to help with a variety of tasks during the Festival, from running last-minute errands to filling in when regularly scheduled volunteers cancel their shifts on short notice.
Food & Beverage:
- Assist Festival Food & Beverage staff with set-up and clean-up during Festival Week.
- Assist with service at our signature Sunday Afternoon Tea.
- Help with concession ticket sales, bartending and snack orders at evening events.
- Be present to provide event and ticket information to patrons in the event lineups outside venues.
Front of House:
- Ushering and patron assistance at venues during events.
- Assist Production staff with venue set-up and strike, moving chairs and signs, equipment pick-ups, technical needs on site, and assisting stage managers.
Raffle Ticket Sellers:
- Work with a partner to sell raffle tickets to patrons before events and during intermissions.
What to expect:
Details about expected commitments, shift times and volunteer benefits can be found on our application page.
Please note: all volunteers will be expected to fully read through the Writers Fest’s volunteer manual for further program policies, expectations, and Fest information. The handbook will be made available in October to all accepted volunteers who complete an application on MyImpact.
There will be volunteer orientation evenings on Granville Island on October 10th and 12th. Volunteers will be asked to attend just one of those evenings.
Volunteers can expect to get a sense of scheduling around mid- to late September.
Volunteers must be 16 or older to apply.
Access Information for Volunteers
All Writers Fest venues have wheelchair accessible entrances, and the volunteer offices are stair-free on the ground level. Venues with multiple floors can be accessed by elevator. Volunteers will have access to bathrooms at all venues and offices, which are gender-neutral and each contain one accessible stall with handrails. Volunteers can be provided with chairs during their shifts, and will have access to seating during their breaks. Volunteers will also have access to a kitchenette and places to refill water.
Please let us know if you have any access needs and/or if you have any questions about accessibility and accommodations! For more detailed accessibility information for volunteers (as pertains to volunteer services and area), please view this document. For more information on our venue accessibility, visit our accessibility page.
If you have any questions about volunteering with the Vancouver Writers Fest, please contact Volunteer Services at email@example.com or call 604 681 6330 x 101