Festival Volunteer Programme

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Festival Volunteer Programme

For 11 days in September, the Toronto International Film Festival showcases the best in Canadian and international cinema to audiences from Toronto and beyond. The true stars of the Festival? Our amazing Festival Volunteer team who makes it all happen! Leading up to the Festival, we aim to recruit hundreds of people to become Volunteers at this world-class event.

Eight Festival volunteers smiling

You can read more about the steps involved in becoming a Festival Volunteer in the outline below.

1. Complete the online application form:

Our application form is available here starting in May. Complete all the required sections, including adding a resume or summary of your work and/or volunteer experience, and your general availability. The application is open until our recruitment targets are met; this means there is no set end date. We recommend applying as soon as possible when the application opens. If you’d like to be notified when the application is open, subscribe to our TIFF Volunteer Alerts to receive Volunteer updates.

2. Application review period:

Applicants will receive an email response by July 10th. Those accepted into the programme will receive information on the next phase of the recruitment process. Please note: Applying to be a Volunteer does not guarantee you will be offered a placement in the programme. Applications are assessed based on your answers to our questions, your stated availability, and the resume that you have submitted.

3. Attend one orientation session:

Those whose application is approved must complete orientation in July. Participation is required as the session will include important information related to volunteering at the Festival. After the session, you will also get to select your Volunteer assignment preferences.

4. Receive an assignment:

In mid-August, after completing orientation and successfully completing the registration process, you will receive your Volunteer assignments based on your selected preferences, availability, and previous experience, and learn the specific needs of the role.

5. Schedule your shifts:

At a set date and time (typically late summer) you will have access to shifts on our online Volunteer database. You choose exactly when and where you want to volunteer from the selection of approved assignments. Please note: all Volunteers are required to complete a minimum of four shifts as part of their commitment to the Festival.

6. Training and preparing for shifts:

Onsite or online training is provided for most Volunteer roles in the weeks leading up to the Festival. At training, you will learn about the tasks of your specific assignment. It is also a great opportunity to ask questions directly to staff you will be working with, or to members of the Volunteer Office. Training materials for most roles are also posted online in advance of the Festival.

7. The Festival:

Get out there and have fun! Volunteers are the heart of the Festival and bring their energy and enthusiasm while helping hundreds of thousands of avid filmgoers. Between shifts, be sure to catch incredible films and take in the Festival atmosphere.

Festival Volunteers contribute to different areas of the Festival’s operations and can expect to work with diverse groups of TIFF staff and Volunteers alike. You can read more about this below. Please note that all the Volunteer opportunities listed require different levels of skill and commitment and are subject to availability.

  • Theatre venues support: Providing customer service and front-of-house assistance by managing lineups, scanning tickets, ushering, and encouraging the public to vote for the People’s Choice Award. With several venues in operation, this is where the majority of support is required.
  • Industry support: Directing delegates to registration and pass-pickup desks, offering information about Industry programming, and assisting with operational tasks at Industry venues.
  • Administrative support: Assisting TIFF staff with administrative and organizational tasks required during the Festival. Duties will vary depending on the position but may include data entry, filing, and assembling materials. Please note that opportunities in this role are very limited.
  • ACE: Getting dispatched with on-the-fly notice to help a specific venue or department in urgent need of support. ACE Volunteers report to a central meeting location at the start of the shift and await further direction.