Guest Blog: Volunteers as Security at Folk Fest
In honour of it being Emergency Preparedness Week, we have a guest blog by one of our volunteers who seized the security training opportunity offered by the festival. It’s important to have people providing security service at our festival who are in-tune with our culture and know our community.
The festival invited volunteers to participate in security training this year. Those of us who responded received an education we can only hope to emulate. The “first applicants” applied themselves wholeheartedly. The education was worth the time and effort.
Our security duties include responsibility to represent for the core values of the Winnipeg Folk Festival. Our model thus includes delivery based on awareness and reflection of festival culture; serendipity, collaborative, creative community, celebrating artistic and governance excellence, environmental sustainability and entrepreneurship. There is comfort in participating as a security guard volunteer with these inclusive and respectful values. Our positions are meant as supports to a safe festival. Many have now completed the training, reassured by the depth and breadth of topics, and the skilled delivery from those who gave their time and expertise to educate us. This year there are now a number of volunteers security guards trained in respectful, proactive solution seeking should/when the need arises.
I’m trying to capture another exceptional experience gained through volunteer connection with the Winnipeg Folk Festival. Anything I write is going to fall short. Heartfelt thanks to Paul Laporte, protection and wellness coordinator, Lynne Skromeda, executive director and all the exceptionally skilled course content facilitators/teachers who were part of this initiative. I have to gratefully acknowledge the proactive focus that afforded this volunteer group the opportunity to increase our skills and capacities. I have confidence that this year’s first volunteer security guard crew understands the expectation and actions that will do justice to the teachings we were afforded.
I look forward to others benefitting and growing from the perspective and challenges that this course offered. This training was completed with intimate knowledge that the people charged with the festival’s security and stability deliver on the principles they espouse.
- Mary van Eerd-Cook
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