Volunteering: Things You Should Know

Powell Street Festival has an incredibly diverse audience of nearly 22,000 festival-goers. We welcome and strive to be inclusive to all people. Before you volunteer, all volunteers must read the following documents, which help outline the Festival and Society’s history, safety procedures, and policies:

Each year we ask all returning volunteers to acknowledge and reaffirm their understanding and commitment to the Powell Street Festival Society’s policies, outlined in the Volunteer Handbook. 

Festival Volunteer Protocols - FAQ's

As there is limited street parking around the Festival location, we recommend taking the bus, riding your bike (we have free bike valet service), or walking.

Go the Volunteer Booth 15 minutes before your first shift. The Volunteer Coordinator will give you a name tag and a hachimaki headband. They will tell you where to meet your supervising coordinator and give you cheat sheets with instructions for your shift.

The orientation is mandatory for new volunteers and there are three possible dates for you to attend. You will be contacted by the Volunteer Coordinator and asked to RSVP to one of the three dates. Return volunteers are welcome to attend for a refresher or to learn any new information, but it is not mandatory.

No, the volunteer shift requires your full attention.

No. Shifts are assigned based on your preference and shift availability.

Children under the age of 16 are not permitted to volunteer. Minors between the ages of 16 and 18 are permitted to volunteer; however, they require their parents/guardians written consent. Parents/guardians must sign a waiver before the festival.

If you require a letter of verification for service hours please email your request to the Volunteer Coordinator AFTER the festival, but before August 15 of the year.

Outside of the Festival, we offer volunteer opportunities. Learn more about our year-round Committees and Board of Directors.

Festival Code of Conduct

Missing a Shift: Email or call the Volunteer Coordinator with 24 hours notice. If you have a contagious illness, please let us know as soon as possible that you will miss your shift.

Smoking on the Festival grounds is strictly prohibited. This includes the park grounds and indoor venues.

Use of alcohol or illegal drugs/substances at the Festival is strictly prohibited. This includes the park and indoor venues. Intoxicated volunteers will be dismissed from their volunteer duties and will relinquish volunteer privileges.

Suggested Dress Code: Dress comfortably and for the weather. Wear sunscreen, hats, and comfortable footwear. Wear close-toed shoes for Friday setup. Wear your hachimaki (headband) during your shift.

Personal Belongings: Please do not bring valuables to the Festival. There is no designated storage space for your items. Powell Street Festival is not responsible for any lost or stolen items.

Hospitality & Security: Your security is important. Please do not try to de-escalate a situation on your own if your safety is at risk. Contact a Hospitality & Security Coordinator. They are wearing Orange hachimaki (headbands). Hospitality & Security is available via radio; ask someone with a radio to contact them.


  1. Remain calm, take parent/guardian to notify your supervising coordinator
  2. Take parents or guardians to Info Booth.
  3. Info Booth Coordinator will follow the necessary procedures.
  1. Reassure child.
  2. Always find another volunteer immediately to help escort child to the Info booth.
  3. Info Booth Coordinator will follow the necessary procedures.
    1. Remain with the patient.
    2. Request nearby person with a radio to contact First Aid.
    3. In the event of a life-threatening emergency, call 911.

Set up & Take Down: Certain Festival Staff & Coordinators who have First Aid certification are first responders during Festival set up and take-down.

Report any incident immediately to a supervising coordinator, or anyone with a radio. In the event of a life-threatening emergency, call 911.

Signs of heatstroke:

  • heavy sweating
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • rapid pulse
  • muscle cramps

Prevent heat exhaustion by drinking water or electrlyte rich drinks, wearing a hat, taking breaks, and applying sunscreen.

What to do?

  1. Tell your coordinator or a staff member.
  2. Seek shade.
  3. Drink electrolyte rich beverage.
  4. Access first aid.

Signs of an overdose:

  • blue lips or nails
  • dizziness & confusion
  • can’t be woken up
  • gurgling or snoring sounds
  • weak or no breathing
  • drowsiness or difficulty staying awake.

What to do?

  1. Call 911.
  2. Find someone with a radio to contact First Aid.
  3. Administer naloxone (a.k.a. narcon) if you have a kit. Obtain a kit at www.naloxonetraining.com
  • Remain Calm.
  • Listen for emergency announcement.
  • Start moving:
    • To muster area (the open area in the middle of the park).
    • OR Meet up with your family and neighbours.
    • OR In the event of an evacuation, exit Oppenheimer Park via the four corners.
  • Be responsive to those that need assistance.
  • Wait for the arrival of key personnel to direct the next steps.

How To Get Here

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Oppenheimer Park is accessible by foot, bike, car and is wheelchair accessible.

We encourage you to ride the bus, walk or bike to our festival! During the Festival, we have a full Bike Valet for your convenience so you can enjoy the festival without worrying about parking your bike.

By Transit/Foot/Bike

The #4 (Powell/UBC) and #7 (Nanaimo Station/Dunbar) buses go along Powell Street and stop near the corner of Powell and Alexander. You may also take one of the many buses that go down East Hastings Street, which is one block south of Cordova (southern edge of the site). Dunlevy (western edge of the site) is 2 blocks east of Main Street.