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Wednesday, October 6, 2004

What it would be like to volunteer in Canada?  

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Q:"Dear Ai, I am interested in volunteering and I wonder what it would be like to volunteer in Canada? Could you give me some ideas" -Yuki from Vancouver

A: Thanks, Yuki. Volunteering is one of the best ways to make friends and improve your English. I've done so much volunteer work and made friends (both Canadian and international) through these experiences.
First, decide how much time you have to volunteer and how often you would like to do it. Volunteer opportunities are usually between 10 hours and 40 hours. All volunteers receive a pass (to enjoy the event for free), T-shirts or hats (great souvenirs), and lunch is often provided.
Right now, in Vancouver, there are many summer festivals. I found out about Dragon Boat Festival in the last issue of esl EGG, so my students and I called Lynn, the Volunteer Coordinator for the festival. The festival was a two-day event and we worked two shifts (about 8 to 10 hours). Some students worked at the Pass Holder section where they checked the different kinds of admission tickets for people entering the festival. Some worked in the ticket office. Both positions had lots of communication with local people, so students could practice what they had learned at school.

If you like music, the International Jazz Festival takes place June 25 to July 4, and the Vancouver Folk Music Festival on July 16, 17, 18. If you like Shakespeare, from June 3 to September 26 the Bard on the Beach festival will be perfect for you.

If you like cars and car races, volunteer for the Molson Indy on July 23, 24 and 25. You have to pay a $15 membership fee to do volunteer work for the Molson Indy, but pre and post event parties are included! If you love movies, the Vancouver International Film Festival will provide opportunities to watch films from all over the world. You can have fun without spending any money, but also meet new people.

For more information on volunteer opportunities at these upcoming events, visit the following websites:

International Jazz Festival:http://www.jazzvancovuer.com/
Vancouver Folk Music Festival:http://www.thefestival.bc.ca/
Bard on the Beach: http://www.bardonthebeach.org/
Molson Indy Vancouver: http://www.revv.org/
Vancouver International Film Festival: http://www.viff.org/

Write to "Dear Ai" at aiuchiyama@hotmail.com
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