Leadership Positions

Do you enjoy working hundreds of hours and getting paid only in eternal gratitude? Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a raucous crowd in the sweltering heat and sticky humidity of an Ottawa summer and wondered just how you got there? If you’re experiencing déjà vu, you’d be perfect for our amazing and incomparable Leadership team! 


RBC Bluesfest Volunteer Leadership

The mandate of the RBC Bluesfest organization is to provide an annual, world-class event showcasing both Canadian and international musicians. In order to achieve this, we annually recruit approximately 3500 general volunteers and approximately 38 Area Leader volunteers. In addition to being responsible for a vital area of the festival, Area Leaders also supervise, support and help to schedule the general volunteers.

The information below details the expectations for all Area Leader positions, regardless of assigned area. If you’d like to be considered for an Area Leader (AL) position, please review the following information carefully before contacting us.

Here’s what we expect from you:

  • Attend Area Leader meetings regularly. Area Leader meetings are held monthly in March, April, May and twice a month in June. Attendance is strongly encouraged as these meetings are vital to the planning of the festival
  • Attend other training and information sessions as necessary. All Area Leaders must attend a training session for Cvent, our volunteer management database. These trainings are typically one-on-one with our Admin Systems Coordinator and can be scheduled during the day or evening. Other sessions might include tablet training with our Accounting team, information sessions with our Sponsorship and I.T. teams, and Smart Serve training.
  • Create the volunteer schedule for your Area. One of the largest tasks you’ll be asked to undertake as Area Leader is scheduling, a critical element in successfully managing your area. To complete scheduling responsibilities, you are required to have high-speed internet, full access to email, and a phone with voicemail. In late February to early March, prior to the launch of volunteer registration, you will identify what shifts are needed to manage your area, how many volunteers should be scheduled for each shift, as well as ensure the job description for the area is up-to-date and accurately reflects the Duties, Requirements and Assets each volunteer needs for that position.
  • Plan and attend your Area’s Orientation session. Orientation sessions are held for new and returning volunteers, no later than one week before the festival begins, and attendance is mandatory for all Area Leaders. Each AL conducts an orientation specific to the assigned area, focusing on how the area will operate, addressing FAQs and (when possible) conducting a site tour. Some of the specialized-training required for certain positions, such as debit/credit operations, Smart Serve refreshers, and information sessions are also held at this time.
  • Manage & support your volunteers before and during the festival. You are usually the first point of contact for your volunteers, both before and during the festival. We are here to provide support and resources you may need in this endeavour, but you are responsible for letting us know what you need in order to take care of your team. A large part of managing your team will be communicating with them before and during the festival; this could include emailing them to introduce yourself, scheduling a pre-festival Supervisor meeting, providing them with documents and resources specific to your area, etc.
  • Manage your area and supplies. Our leaders are responsible for effectively running their area and requesting & maintaining the supplies required for operations, including daily set-up and clean-up.
  • Create a post-festival report. Each Area Leader is asked to submit a final report at the end of the festival to summarize the operations of their area, where they had difficulties, what went well and what changes are needed for the following year.

Additional Requirements:

  • All volunteers in Leadership positions are required to sign an annual non-disclosure form.
  • A Criminal Records Check is required for all Area Leaders. ALs whose volunteer areas are open to youth registrants are required to complete a Police Record Check that captures the vulnerable sector.
  • Succession planning at RBC Bluesfest involves both the Area Leader and the Volunteer Services team. RBC Bluesfest expects that each AL has a succession plan in place for their area when they resign their position.

Here’s what you can expect from us:

  • Free access to all festival shows
  • Daily access to the Outdoor Blues Café
  • Daily parking tickets at the War Museum for each day of the festival
  • Tickets to share with family and friends.
  • Appreciation events like the Volunteer Appreciation Party and off-season parties
  • Smart Serve Certification
  • Autonomy in your area

Area Leaders work under the direction of Volunteer Services Staff:

Anna Wood (HR Manager, Volunteer Services)
Sarah Speed (Administration Systems Coordinator, Volunteer Services)

RBC Bluesfest recruits, interviews, and checks references for all volunteers being considered for an Area Leader position.

If you are interested in a Leadership role at RBC Bluesfest, you are invited to send a current résumé & cover letter highlighting what interests you about the opportunity, and what you have to contribute, to: volunteers@ottawabluesfest.ca