Volunteer Job Descriptions

Friendly Talkers

Sign up for these roles if you like interacting with the public, artists, or other volunteers. Some of these positions are mostly seated and some involved standing and moving around.

Friendly Walkers

Sign up for these roles if you like moving around! You will be walking from one end of the site to the other, and often interacting with the public along the way.

Behind the Scenes

These roles are great for introverts who want to help out but prefer a hidden role. You won’t be alone though, you will be working alongside other volunteers or staff. Many of these roles involve a fair amount of lifting, walking, and dolly-ing.

Before and After Festival

Stay involved all year long with Powell Street Festival! We don’t stop celebrating Japanese Canadian Arts and Culture just because the festival is over.

Go back to the volunteer application form…

Read our volunteer handbook with useful information for any role! web or pdf



Friendly Talkers


Volunteer Booth Registration

Help sign volunteers in and out of their shifts at the festival.

Master of Ceremonies (MC)

Become the voice of the Festival! This volunteer position entails speaking in front of an audience on the stages. You will be provided with notes. Seeking English, Japanese, French, and bilingual speakers.

Volunteer Hospitality in Chill Space

Make sure our volunteers are well fed, hydrated, and happy at the Chill Space beside the Volunteer Booth. You may be asked to cut fruit and deliver snacks to volunteers.

Patron Hospitality in Language School

Helping with events, workshops, and ushering people in the Vancouver Japanese Language School.


Friendly Walkers


Children’s Tent Volunteer

Mainly interacting with our littlest Festival goers! You will be for leading activities such as origami, suika wari (watermelon game), face painting as well as doing crafts with children and parents.

Daruma Costume Volunteer

I Am Daruma! A daruma is a traditional Japanese doll. Walk around in our giant Daruma costume to greet and interact with festival goers!

Daruma’s Friend

You are Daruma’s Friend! Walk alongside our Daruma and greet festival goers together! You will be doing the talking for the Daruma and handing out Daruma’s business cards.

Asahi Pitch Game Volunteer

Play ball! Can you strike out an Asahi Baseball star? Pitch balls past the batter’s swing to win an assortment of prizes. Asahi Pitch Game volunteers will take tickets, keep the line organized, explain the rules and prizes of the game, and distribute prizes.

Interactive Zone

Hang out with kids, seniors, and families! Have fun encouraging them to use our Photo-op Boards, interact with our Public Art Installation(s), the Asahi Pitch Game, and our Free Seniors Draw!

Hospitality & Security Volunteer

Be the eyes and ears of the festival! You will patrol the festival site while keeping an eye out for potential issues. Also help Festival goers by answering questions about the Festival.

Food Runner

Make sure our Festival Coordinators are well-fed. Take their orders, pick up their food from vendors, and delivering food in time for their lunch breaks!

Photography / Videography

Capture the heart of the Festival! You will be acknowledged for photos and videos taken. Must bring your own camera!


Help Festival guests complete our survey.

Seniors Tent Hospitality

Make sure our seniors have everything they need to enjoy the festival.


Behind the Scenes


Load-in and Load-out

Very important position! Load-out takes place on the Wednesday and Thursday preceding the festival, and Load-in happens the Monday after. Help us load in and out festival gear and supplies.

Morning Site Sweep Volunteer

Ensure the cleanliness and safety of the area before set-up. Duties include picking up waste and needles with tongs, gloves, and a bucket.

Set-up and Take-down Volunteers

These volunteers are key to a successful festival! We do set-up on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with tear-down happening on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. For Friday Set-up Volunteers, we provide bento boxes and for Sunday tear-down volunteers, we provide dinner afterwards. Involves heavy lifting!

Watch this video about set-up:

Signage Volunteer

Help visitors find their way! Put up signs, posters, banners and boards, and chalking the sidewalks to attract visitors.

Sound & Tech

Must have experience with managing sound and tech at shows or concerts. Assistant out Sound and Tech Coordinators at our stages and venues!

Site Crew

Moving equipment and supplies to support festival production.

Sumo Volunteer

Duties include helping with the Sumo Tournament sign-up and set-up of the tournament. Some heavy lifting may be required.


Before & After the Festival


Advocacy & Outreach

Work on planning and executing advocacy programs and workshops all year long. After volunteering at several workshops or events, consider applying to join the Advocacy and Outreach Committee. This committee promotes the profile of the organization to the cultural, social, political and mainstream communities and participates in Downtown Eastside community-building efforts


Pick up & delivery of supplies for the festival. Must be comfortable driving a pick-up truck and have a valid Class 5 Licence.


Work on planning and executing fundraising initiatives all year long. After volunteering with several fundraising projects, consider applying to join the Fundraising Committee. This committee solicits and secures financial support through sponsorship, donorship, membership, and fundraisers.

Graphic Design

Create posters, newsletters, postcards, social media material, advertisements, and other materials. Ideally have access to Adobe Suite or other design software.

Office Work

Data Management, organizing supplies, preparing for mail outs, preparing documents, and other administrative tasks.


Advertise the festival by putting up posters in different areas across the Lower Mainland.

Pre-seller of Lottery Tickets

Sell (and buy!) lottery tickets for our annual festival fundraiser to your friends, family, and colleagues from May until July. Grand prize is a flight for two to Japan!


Work at artistic events and programs all year long. After working at several events, consider applying to join the Programming Committee. This committee searches and identifies artists, curators, art forms, and art organizations that give voice to the Japanese Canadian community and/or represent Japanese heritage.


Go back to the volunteer application form…

What is a Festival Coordinator (a.k.a. the Festival Committee)?

The Festival Committee is a crew of dedicated volunteers who coordinate the logistics and production of the Festival. Over 30 volunteers each year are recruited for these positions. Most positions demand a full two-day commitment, in addition to preparatory work leading up to the festival!

These volunteer coordinator positions are confirmed in the spring of each year. If you would like to join this committee, please contact Emiko Morita at emiko [at] powellstreetfestival.com or 604.739.9388.

For more information about Festival Coordinators…