Free music, fun times: how to get involved with the ECMAs

Free music, fun times: how to get involved with the ECMAs

The countdown is on to the ECMAs — but to be a smash hit, the five-day music fest scheduled to take place in Saint John from April 26-30 needs a little help from its friends.

The festival is recruiting volunteers for 15 different teams handling tasks ranging from social media promotion to artist-wrangling, according to Chuck Teed, the co-chair of local engagement committee for ECMAs and a volunteer with the association for the past 17 years.

"If you have a skill set, you can use it to your advantage," Teed said. "And if you don't we'll still find a spot for you."

Volunteer opportunities include ushering at the awards show, working the conference at the Trade and Convention Centre, and acting as an event ambassador by chatting with, greeting and offering directions to delegates.

Local knowledge wanted

A decent familiarity with what Saint John has to offer is also a plus.

"You need people who know the area," Teed said. "It's always a bonus for delegates to be able to talk to people who can show them around the city."

Volunteers are also needed to take tickets, sell merch, set-up and tear-down, and help with Radio ECMA — which broadcasts 24 hours a day during the festival.

With 215 volunteers already signed up, ideally the festival would like to round out the numbers to around 400, Teed said.

"We're expecting to see some pickup in the coming months as people get amped up for the event."

Not a huge time commitment 

Getting involved with the ECMAs "can be as much or as little of a commitment as you want," Teed said, adding that most people tend to break down the commitment into four-hour blocks.

That being said, "there are some all-star volunteers that will volunteer for everything. Saint John is known for that."

Volunteers can also get a deal on some of the world-class entertainment, cashing in volunteer hours for ECMA dollars, which can get them into shows for cheap or free, Teed said.

"One of the highlights for me is getting to meet people from all over the world who are actively engaged in music in their community," Teed said.

Volunteer information centres for the 2017 ECMAs in Saint John will be held at the ECMA office in Market Square on Saturday, March 25, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and on Thursday, March 30,  from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. An additional orientation session will be held in April 25. For more information, visit their site.