It is that time of year again! Only 8 months to the next European Festival, which traditionally takes place the last Saturday in May. The first fall Board Meeting took place at the Scandinavian Community Centre in Burnaby on Monday, September 10th. Once a month, representatives of European Countries get together to plan the Festival. Each country needs to have a minimum of two representatives, once of whom can be at the meetings to take notes.
During these meetings, the group chooses 3 different kinds of volunteers. The most time commitment is expected from the Board of Directors. At this point, all positions are filled, except for the Secretary. If you can attend weekly or biweekly meetings, have the tools to type messages and send them out to the large, ever-changing group, they need to hear from you.
Then there are manager volunteers who take full responsibility for one aspect of the festival. Some of the free positions are looking after the food tent, the cultural tent, the marketplace, the sponsor tent, the children’s area etc. This is not quite as much responsibility as the Board, but it still means you need to find people and delegate. The most challenging roles to fill are that of parking and signage.
Finally, closer to the day of the event are the hundreds of volunteers who each work 2-hour shifts and make this event possible.
What do you get out of it as a volunteer? Besides a great time, you also spend time with like-minded individuals, you get Canadian work experience, you get a chance to learn new skills and you all work together to make this day an event that pulls the European community together. If you are new in town, are here on a work and travel visa, or have only been here for a few years, volunteering is for you!
Check out http://www.eurofestbcsociety.com
A few basic details about the Festival are that it takes place all day Saturday, has a beer tent and Bratwurst and each country gets 20-minutes to showcase their culture on stage. Last year, the S-Bahn came to represent Germany and we had such a great time singing and dancing along with them.