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.

Three Festival volunteers smiling

Our 2021 Festival Volunteer Application Update

To ensure everyone’s health and safety, TIFF is currently planning to operate in a reduced capacity for the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, pending provincial guidelines. In response, we have decided that we will not be recruiting new Volunteers to fill Volunteer positions in 2021.

If you are interested in receiving announcements about future Volunteer opportunities, please subscribe to our TIFF Volunteer Email Alerts. By subscribing, you will be notified when we begin Volunteer recruitment for the next edition of the Toronto International Film Festival.

Festival Volunteers receive exclusive film access, special offers, the chance to meet other Volunteers, and the feeling that you helped make it all happen!

Questions? Contact the Volunteer Office at volunteers@tiff.net or 416-934-5846 for more information.

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 on this page starting in May. Complete all the required sections, including adding a resume or summary of your work and/or volunteer experience, references, 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 within four weeks of submitting their application. 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 applications are approved will be invited to attend an orientation session. Sessions will be offered throughout the month of July. Attendance is required as the session will include important information on policies and procedures related to volunteering at the Festival, as well as a brief interview to complete your registration process. At the session, you will also get to select your Volunteer assignment preferences.

4. Receive an assignment: In mid-August after attending the orientation session and successfully completing the registration process, you will receive your Volunteer assignments based on your selected preferences, availability, and previous experience, and 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.
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