Crew in Profile

July 2018 | First Aid Services

Safety and Security is one of our biggest Management Areas for a reason. CFMF takes the safety of our volunteers and patrons as our first priority. Every red shirt you see on the Island is there to help make your experience safer. Security is the primary element of that area, but just as critical is our First Aid Services crew, their supply and information tent, and the diligent and qualified volunteers who make it seamless. Every member of the First Aid Services crew is a health care professional, and all of them are either Registered Nurses, or Medical Doctors, so you can rest assured that your cuts and bruises are in good hands.

You can always find these folks in their tent next to Lost & Found / Info, but they are also active across the Island. Some of these volunteers will be roving with ‘red shirts,’ keeping an eye out for hazards, and providing first aid where necessary. You’ll always know them from their distinctive white volunteer shirts. First Aid Services solves problems on site, but they are also committed to harm reduction where possible. A few of these volunteers help administer the Drug and Alcohol Awareness information sessions in advance of the Festival, which are quite popular and informative. If you scrape your knee, brake your arm, or just get a little sunburnt, you’re in capable hands at Calgary Folk Fest. Just look for the white shirts.

June 2018 | Arts Market

Our Festival is much more than just music; the Arts Market is another great to place to see the work of fantastic local artists and artisans. The Arts Market crew facilitates the planning and presentation of the Market by organizing the vendor jury process, assisting vendors with set-up and strike of their tents and booths, and liaising with vendors over the course of the festival. It’s a small, tight-knit group of volunteers, who really get to know each other over the course of their pre-festival hours. By the time they get on site, it’s a well-oiled machine. Crew Coordinator Simon Macleod attests that the crew is energized by being around such excellent vendors and getting to know the people that run them. The Arts Market crew take particular pride in this area  because they also played a part in choosing who gets to be there. Like all crews, the Arts Market volunteers are also big fans of the Hospitality Area, and appreciate being close enough to the stages to sneak in a song or two during shift breaks.

May 2018 | Artist Lounge Food

Every crew at the Festival has its own unique in-jokes and traditions, but some crews are so tight-knit that these jokes span decades. Artist Lounge Food is one of the closest crews at the Fest, with very little turnover and excellent banter. Their duties are to provide food and snacks for the artists and other guests in the Artist Lounge at the Festival, and occasionally even provide a full lunch for artists who can’t make it to Hospitality between sets. Artist Lounge Food attests that their success is due to the strong teamwork from the hard-working Crew Coordinators. Sharon Keelaghan has been on the crew for 15 years, and has seen it develop over the years. She recalls having Hospitality drop off a bunch of leftover stewed meat and helping brainstorm the extra food into a delicious wrap which has become an Artist Lounge staple that return guests always ask about. Sharon attests that it’s not hard to keep spirits up because it’s a strong team of which everyone is capable and knows what to do.

April 2018 | Family Area

Folky families know, one of the best Folk Fest features is that kids 12 and under are totally free to attend the Fest! With so many tikes cruising around Prince’s Island, and no more plates to nab, there is a strong need to keep the youngsters entertained. Enter the Family Area crew! These dedicated volunteers make sure the Festival is fun for kids of all shapes, sizes, and ability levels. The Family Area features musical entertainment geared for kids, arts, crafts, bubbles, a bouncy castle, and the pièce de résistance, the box city! The Family Area crew is constantly brainstorming new ideas for the arts and craft stations, and has to work together to keep the kids engaged and entertained. Crew Coordinator Peanut White attests that the Family Area is “the funnest crew on the island, our job is to make children happy, and have fun while doing so.” Even if you don’t have kids of your own, make sure to make a pass by the Family Area to see where the magic happens.

March 2018 | 50/50

From the ashes of the summer raffle, Folk Fest birthed… the 50/50 draw! Using a high-tech tracking system, 50/50 volunteers patrol the festival searching for daring patrons, brave enough to risk their hard earned dollars for the possibility of winning the jackpot. The money is tallied every day and then it resets for another round. 50/50 volunteers divide and conquer, covering the whole site, staying visible and talking to as many patrons as they can. Armed with a clipboard and a smile, our valiant 50/50 crew gets excited by the prospect of engaging with enthusiastic patrons, conjuring up dreams of winning the jackpot. They also get to spend the festival marching across the whole site, catching a tune or two in between sales.

July 2017 | Volunteer Information

The Volunteer Information Tent is a clearinghouse for all things volunteers. Have questions? We’ve got answers. Forgot where to go? Want to know what’s on the menu in Hospitality? Need to fill out an incident report? Broke your lanyard? How about your free program? We’ve got it all covered, and more! Located behind the Main Stage, in a well-marked GlobalFest Trailer, the Volunteer Information Tent has a great group of volunteers eager to serve you! And we don’t just keep them in the Tent all day, oh no – they also help out other crews when they are short-staffed, or really busy! So keep an eye out for those trusty Volunteer Information volunteers…they could be ANYWHERE!

June 2017 | Program Sellers

Volunteers receive a Festival program for free, but we rely on the sales of these informative booklets from our patrons to help support the Festival. This is where the trusty Program Sellers crew comes in! Our Program Sellers can be found throughout the Festival grounds, but have a stationary tent located near the Main Gate. Patrons want artist information, and we are happy to supply! Most of the volunteers have been on the team for years, which is why they work and play so well together. It’s a great crew for volunteers who like walking, music, and meeting new people. It’s also easy to identify a Program Seller, because they will likely have stickers all over their badge. They have their Crew Coordinator, Ruth, to thank for that ;)

May 2017 | Festival Parties

Volunteers work hard during their shifts, and are treated to some well-needed dance therapy at night. Yes, we’re talking about the Festival Parties. These parties are a coveted perk of being a volunteer, and there is a crew that works hard each night so you can relax, enjoy, socialize and dance the night away. This small team of volunteers aims to make the evenings both a success for its guests, as well as provide a secure environment for everyone. You’ll see these friendly faces operating coat check, overseeing the main entrance, and bussing throughout the ballrooms. They even provide a little ‘muscle’ from time-to-time, when bands need help unloading equipment, or a tasty pizza order has been delivered. The parties can sometimes be a stressful place to be, but you’d never know it with the cool, calm and collected members of the crew. Many have been on the team for years, and know how to keep things casual and safe for everyone who enters. In down times, you may even see a dance or two behind coat check ;)

April 2017 | Bicycle Lock-Up

Is a Folk Festival really a Folk Festival without a bike lock-up? We are grateful to have an amazing team of volunteers who supervise the comings and goings of up to 900 bicycles and other assorted modes of transportation a day. The crew works hard to monitor everyone who steps into the lock-up area, and, after 16 years of exceptional service, our record is clean. Keeping track of so many people and objects can sometimes seem like a daunting task, but the volunteers always manage to keep their spirits up and bike conversations high (there is always a unique bike or two that make an appearance). Every year there is something new to problem-solve, and 2016 was no exception. The crew had to explain to a surprisingly high amount of very passionate Pokémon Go’ers that they could not go into the lock-up to ‘catch ‘em all.’ Needless to say, our volunteers held their ground! 

March 2017 | Tents

The Tents crew is one of the unsung heroes of the Festival. Without them, we don't have a Festival! They help us, along with other valuable pre-Festival crews, set-up the site so our Festival can safely run. From our side stage covers, to the First-Aid, Public Info and Bike Lock-Up tents, the crew works very hard to ensure we have the support areas we need on Island. Teamwork is very important, since most of the tents require many hands to raise. There is plenty of physical labour, moving tent pieces (fabric and steel) and driving tent stakes to secure tents, but many hands make light loads, and the team works together to make sure no one is strained. With a majority of returning volunteers on this crew, Tents tries to keep things light and the work fun. Several people on the crew enjoy playing music, and there have been a few jams over the years after their shifts. Members of the crew enjoy seeing things come together, and appreciate not having to work during the Festival. Their penance is working tear down on the Monday after the Festival. Everyone also knows that this is our most important day and one not to be missed (for fear of not being called back). Thanks for all your hard work before and after the Festival!

February 2017 | Photography

The Photography crew captures ‘all things Folk Fest’ throughout the year. Whether it’s the SSS events, Festival Hall concerts, or the big Festival in July, these fine folks photograph and archive it all. This team is made up of a great bunch of people who love supporting culture in Calgary, and, naturally, they love taking pictures. Think you have what it takes to be a Folk Fest Photog? Getting on the crew involves an alchemic mix of personality and talent. We want good people first, and great photographers second. The July Festival crew is pretty hard to crack (people rarely retire), but, if you want your foot in the door, you can start by volunteering for a Festival Hall event. You can follow the fantastic work of this crew’s work on the @calgaryfolkfest and @cfmfvolunteers Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr feeds.

Please contact for further Photography crew information.

July 2016 | Rovers

The Rovers crew is one of the many Safety & Security crews we have on the Island. As their name implies, their job is to rove around the Island – they are here to ensure everyone is able to enjoy the Festival in a safe and secure manner. We cannot stress enough how much these fine folks walk!! More often than not, the Rovers are seen as friendly information hubs for our guests. You can catch them giving people directions, offering a helping hand, or promoting the amazing spirit of the CFMF. On the rare occasion that we have a conflict or emergency, our Rovers are ready to help. We believe in having a safe and peaceful Festival, and, because of that, we are almost always able to resolve issues through calm communication and a smile. Volunteers like the Rovers allow us to maintain a happy and healthy Festival. 

June 2016 | Environment

One of our largest crews at the Festival is our Environment team. This crew is responsible for handling compost, recycling and waste throughout the weekend. They also play an important role in educating the public on how to recycle, compost and keep the Island beautiful! It is a tough job, but our passionate volunteers are more than happy to do it! This is where the compost nerds live ;) While they work hard to keep us green, our Environment volunteers have a great time doing it. Did I mention they get to use the cool big bikes? Oh yeah! It is because of the tireless dedication of these fine volunteers that our waste diversion rate has increased by over 45% since 2008 (when we started measuring our total waste production). We are proud to have such an enthusiastic crew helping us keep our home nice and green!

May 2016 | Side Stages

Simply put, the Side Stages crew is a fantastic group to be around. They work together with other crews (our contract sound crew, the backline team, and artist liaison) to get the concerts and workshops started on time. Their goal is to ensure we have a high quality experience for Festival attendees and artists. These busy worker bees deal primarily with stage preparation, music equipment set up and getting artists on and off stage. Side stage work is exciting, pressurized and very time sensitive – changeovers are done in less than 15 minutes. While a little stressful at times, this crew always has returning volunteers – it’s just too much fun! It is also a very diverse crew, with ages ranging from 18 to 60+. Thanks, Side Stages, for being right in the heart of the Festival’s musical experience. Your teamwork and positive attitudes are inspiring! 

April 2016 | Island Box Office

If you have ever entered the Festival through the Main Gate, you know that it is an extremely busy place. There are many crews that help get everyone into the Festival quickly and calmly, and Island Box Office is the crew with the daunting task to wristband ALL of the patrons first. Folks on this crew are responsible for scanning and exchanging tickets, operating will call, and helping out with ticket issues. It is a fast paced crew, with little down time or breaks on the first couple of days. Why do volunteers keep coming back, then? Because of the excitement, the energy, and the eager anticipation of our patrons. Our patrons love our Festival, and they always let our volunteers to know. Feedback and support from our patrons remind us why we do what we do, and help us to make the CFMF great. Island Box Office volunteers are excellent at their jobs, and are amazing at keeping cool amid the friendly (and occasionally vocal) folkie line up. So when you march through the Main Gate this year, don’t forget to thank a trusty Island Box Office volunteer – and while you’re at it, say hi to our Folk Buddies and Main Gate Security volunteers stationed there, too!

March 2016 | Beer Garden

Located in the heart of Prince’s Island Park, the Beer Garden is the place to be (aside from the music, of course). In the shady forest of trees, picnic tables and porta-potties, this lively crew is about more than pouring beer – they make sure that every patron and volunteer (regardless of crew) has the best experience possible. They are an amazing family of like-minded volunteers that have a passion to pour. And boy, do they pour…and pour…and pour. They mentor, encourage and support one another both during and after the Festival. They are a team that sticks together, and supports each other. Even though this area can get hectic, they still make time for some unique activities, including: Sangria bowling, shoot the coordinator in the pie hole and Sunday morning’s What Not to Wear – Fashion Tragedy Fashion Show. So please raise your glass to the crew that ensures we never go thirsty again!

February 2016 | Pot Washing

POT WASHAS! If you’ve stopped by Hospitality during the Festival, you know this battle cry. The Pot Washing crew is loud and proud, and makes sure that everyone knows it. The team spirit on this crew is insane; there is often a waitlist just to get in. How is this possible, you might ask? Doesn’t this crew just wash dishes? I have two words for you: choreographed warm-ups. The Pot Washers go above and beyond the call of duty to make the best experience possible for their team. What started as playful singing of ‘Barrett’s Privateers’ has grown into a fully illustrated songbook (yes, I own a copy). This musical bonding has even sparked a Hospitality rivalry, with other crews starting up their own chants. The volunteer love doesn’t stop at Hospitality crews – if at any point during the Festival you walk past the post washers and call out their name, you can expect an enthusiastic reply. So let’s give three cheers to the crew that made scrubbing a pot one of the best gigs around.