Guest Blog: Volunteering With Your Folk Fest Family
It’s National Volunteer Week and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our incredible volunteers for their commitment at the festival and throughout the year! We absolutely couldn’t make Folk Fest happen without the dedication of our passionate volunteers.
In honour of National Volunteer Week, we are posting our first of many guest blogs. Chelsea Harvich, a former Apprentice and current Main Gate Box Office volunteer, has put into words what volunteering at Folk Fest means to her.
When I first volunteered with the Winnipeg Folk Fest, I had no idea what I was getting into. When I showed up for that apprentice walk around, aged thirteen and wearing an incredibly ugly visor, there was no indication in that humid summer air that I had found something so irremovable, so permanent, that it would be carried in my happy place forever. That was eleven years ago and every year new memories and friends are made, the landscape changes, my fashion sense (slowly, glacially) updates, but that feeling of unmoving vastness stays the same. Perhaps I’m sounding a little too dramatic, I mean, it’s just a music festival, right? Sure, the food always blows me away and the music is great, but it’s just a music festival.
Well, maybe for some people it's just a music festival, but not for the volunteers. You can tell, this is the highlight of their year, ever year, and they expect it to be so for as many decades as they get. That’s why the raffle volunteers are always smiling, even when it’s pouring rain or the sun is ungodly hot. That’s why you can sit at a random table in La Cuisine and make a new friend, even if for the rest of the year you are shy and cannot even imagine talking with random strangers. That big, unmovable something that I sensed so many summers ago? It was the fact that none of us are strangers. We’re fellows, we’re compatriots, tied to each other by the love of music, good food, laughter, dancing and an over-reaching notion that everyone there is happy that you’re there, too. Maybe it’s mushy, maybe I’m crazy, but being able to feel that sweet, simple companionship is so freeing in my adult life. To me, the Folk Fest volunteers are my clan and I can’t wait to dance with them again.
– Chelsea Harvich
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