WordFest volunteers are special to me. And when I say special, I mean special as in, my sanity rests entirely upon their shoulders during WordFest week. There are a few full-time staff members at WordFest, and over 200 volunteers. Needless to say, the Festival itself would not exist without these wonderful people dedicating their time to our organization. With this in mind, we hold a Volunteer Appreciation Party for them each year, shortly after the Festival ends.
Last Friday, we hosted the shin-dig at the Motion Art Gallery, here in Eau Claire Market, which is where we also hosted Wild West WordFest’s media launch. As you can tell, it has now become one of WordFest’s favourite party venues! In previous years, the party has been held in community halls, so this beautiful art gallery played a key role in making this celebration one of the best we’ve ever had. We also had live music from the fantastic performer Ethan Collister and his special guest Caleb Roddick. If you’d like to read more about Ethan’s experience of volunteering his musical talents for us, please visit his blog here.
So aside from the swanky new venue and live entertainment, the WordFest staff got creative and created a few original pieces to perform for the crowd. I created a dubious acrostic poem from the word ‘volunteer’, which spoke mainly about how wonderful they are. Although she wasn’t in attendance, our Marketing Manager Mary Kapusta also created a lyrical piece titled “ode to the sandwich”, which recounted her hunger pangs for deli trays throughout the Festival week.
These deli trays are actually a big part of the volunteer experience at WordFest, as Safeway generously sponsors the food for our trusted army of WordFest helpers, so deli trays like the ones pictured below are a common sight in our volunteer hospitality lounge. Like Mary’s poem says, everyone’s favourite tray is always the chicken tray.
The delicious deli trays from Safeway made a second appearance at our party, and although I ate from these for five days straight during the Festival, I was still looking forward to sampling from them again. Sushi, chicken, sandwiches, cheese and fruit are just a few of the delicious tidbits the volunteers were once again treated to.
So, now that I’ve spent half of my post talking about food, let’s hear what Bryan, our Festival blogger thought about the whole thing. Will he be as focused on the menu as I was? Based on his earlier Festival posts, I’d say there is a pretty good chance he will be!