Frequently Asked Questions

General information

How can I get involved as a volunteer?

The online volunteer application portal opened on February 15, 2018. All interested volunteers will be able to apply for Games time roles through this online portal.

I live outside of Red Deer, can I still get involved?

Absolutely! We will be recruiting volunteers throughout all of central Alberta and there are also venues in Calgary and Kananaskis offering volunteer opportunities.

What is the difference between central and greater Red Deer?

Please see our map of Red Deer to see how we have defined central and greater Red Deer. Red Deer was divided into two areas because if you do not have access to a vehicle, certain venues are less accessible.

What kinds of volunteer roles are there?

From transportation to food services, scorekeepers to bloggers, there is a volunteer role for everyone with the 2019 Canada Winter Games. For further information about the types of roles available see our Games time opportunities page.

Will all Red Deer venues be accessible by public transit?

We are working with Red Deer Transit to ensure access to as many venues as possible. There will be a transportation option to all venues within Red Deer. 

I have disabilities and have a full-time aid, can I still be involved?

Yes, we encourage anyone with a disability to apply to volunteer with the Games. Once you apply, you will be contacted to ensure we match you with a position that best accommodates your accessibility needs. If you have a full time aid/support worker, they will also need to go through the volunteer application process and will be identified through a follow up conversation to your application. 

I have a service dog, can I bring them along?

Yes, once you apply you will be contacted to ensure we match you with a position that best accommodates your accessibility needs. 

Are there any other activities or special events during the Games that I can take my family to?

Yes, on top of the 19 sports and over 150 events, the 2019 Canada Winter Games also hosts a major arts and cultural festival. Details about the festival will be announced closer to Games time.

Where is the best place to get information?

The 2019 Games website and social media channels will always have the most comprehensive and up-to-date information on getting involved with the Games. Visit www.canadagames.ca/2019 and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To stay up to date on events and information from the 2019 Canada Winter Games, sign up for our monthly e-newsletter here.

Are there any volunteer opportunities before the Games?

Yes, there will be some opportunities available in the planning phase. If you are interested, please visit www.canadagames.ca/2019 and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date.

What is the difference between pre-Games, Games time and post-Games roles?

Pre-Games: You may help us recruit and schedule volunteers, assist with special events and work with a specific Functional Area to get everything ready for Games time. 
Games time: You will be scheduled onto shifts in a specific role for your venue and work as part of an overall team of 5,000 volunteers to help us pull off a life-shaping Canada Games experience for athletes, spectators and guests.
Post-Games: You may help us tear-down venue fit-out, help us coordinate our volunteer recognition program or work on other wrap up projects as they arise.

If I want to talk to someone, where do I go or who do I call?

You can call our Volunteer Services team at 403.309.8419 or email volunteers@2019canadagames.ca or visit us at the Volunteer Centre.

Who is Volunteer Central and what will they do with my email address?

Volunteer Central is central Alberta’s volunteer hub. They bring people and community together to meet the volunteer needs of Red Deer and central Alberta. As a legacy of the 2019 Games, the Host Society has partnered with Volunteer Central to develop a skilled volunteer base to assist with future events in Red Deer and central Alberta. Volunteer Central will use your email address to inform you of future opportunities to get involved in volunteering in Red Deer and central Alberta.

Requirements:

Is there a language requirement for volunteers?

Yes, all volunteers must have a working knowledge of English. There will also be a number of roles requiring volunteers to be fluent in both Canadian official languages (French and English).

What is the time commitment to volunteer for the Games?

We ask that all Games time volunteers commit to being available for a minimum of 32 hours from February 13 until March 6, 2019.

What if I am not able to commit to the minimum number of hours required? 

The minimum hour commitment (32 hours) is spread over 22 days from February 13 until March 6. 2019. Many shifts will be in the evenings and on weekends providing flexibility to fit your hours in. If you cannot commit to the 32 hours at Games time, there are many other ways to volunteer with the Games. We are also looking for pre-Games volunteers to help us prepare for the event from now until February 2019. This is a less condensed time commitment. 

Can my kids get involved?

Volunteers must be 16 years of age or older as of February 1, 2019, to be eligible to volunteer with the 2019 Canada Winter Games. Those between the ages of 16 and 18 years will be required to complete a parent/guardian consent form during their screening process.

What is a prolonged period of time for standing?

In the context of a Games environment, a prolonged period of time for standing is five hours without a break. We ask this question as some roles may require an individual to remain stationary in a single spot. All efforts will be made to ensure every volunteer has breaks and rotated through various positions at the venue.

Online Portal:

What information do I need before I apply to be a volunteer?

Before starting your application, please have the following readily available:

  • A valid email address that you monitor often

What if I do not have a computer?

Our Volunteer Centre has computers that you can use to apply. Click here for the location and opening hours of the Volunteer Centre. The Red Deer Public Library also has computers available for people to use with their library card.

I have signed up to volunteer but my contact information has changed, can I update my profile?

Yes, please log into the volunteer portal in order to update your profile settings. Please keep your name, address, email and phone number up-to-date on your profile through the duration of the Games.

I have signed up to be a volunteer; however, I have not received any communications from the Games.

To ensure you are receiving Games communications please check that your email address is complete in your volunteer profile or check your junk mail for any of the following email addresses:

  • @gems.pro
  • @2019canadagames.ca

Make sure to move these email addresses to your inbox to receive future notifications. If you are unsure of your status within the volunteer journey, please send our team an email at volunteers@2019canadagames.ca.

What does my status mean on my application?

The status of your application is where you stand in the Volunteer Journey. As you move through your Volunteer Journey, your status on your application portal updates.

Out of town/overseas volunteers:

I am interested in traveling to Red Deer for the Games. Do you provide transportation and accommodation?

All out of town volunteers have to make their own arrangements for travel and accommodation. Based on your shift hours, food will be provided while you are on volunteer duty.

I live overseas and want to travel to Red Deer to volunteer. Can you help me get my visa? Will you provide for my travel and accommodation?

You will have to make your own arrangements for visa, travel, food and accommodations. Food will be provided while you are on volunteer duty with the Games.

Volunteer Journey:

Am I automatically placed into a volunteer role as soon as I sign up?

The online application form is the first step in beginning your volunteer journey with the 2019 Canada Winter Games. We have a process to review and screen applications based on skills and interests. Following the review and screening of your application, we will contact you via email to advise of next steps towards your placement in a specific role.

Will I be interviewed for my role?

Yes, once you apply online, you will begin your volunteer journey and will be contacted with instructions on the next steps of your process. All volunteers will be interviewed, whether in person or online, based on their listed volunteer role interests. This is to gauge your experience and skill set.

My friend was invited to an in-person interview and I was not. Why?

Based on your selections in your application, you may be invited to an in-person interview. The selection and interview process is specific to the individual applicant. Any updates to your GEMS.pro profile will reflect the level of screening and interviews process.

Why do I need to complete a Criminal Record Check and who pays for it?

For the safety and security of all athletes and volunteers, we require some positions to go through enhanced screening. The 2019 Canada Winter Games Host Society will cover the cost for the initial screening; however, if further follow ups are required, it will be the responsibility of the applicant. Enhanced screening is performed through Sterling Backcheck.

I just had a criminal record check done for work, can I use that?

Yes, if you have had a Criminal Record Check within a year of the date of your application, you can drop it off at the Volunteer Centre. You may also email a copy of it to certifications@2019canadagames.ca.

How will I know if I have been successful in becoming a Games volunteer?

After going through the interview process, you will receive a notification that you are approved as a 2019 Canada Games volunteer. This will also be reflected in your status within GEMS.pro profile. Keep monitoring your inbox for emails from our Volunteer Services team.

Schedules:

Can I request to be scheduled with a friend or family member?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to facilitate requests from volunteers for individuals to be assigned to the same venue, role or shift. All roles will be assigned based on an individual's skill, experience and location preferences, as well as Games requirements. We have over 5,000 volunteers to schedule and over 30,000 shifts! The exception to this is persons with disabilities who have a full-time support person.

I am not sure what my availability will be come Games time, how can I reflect this on my application?

Put your availability down to the best of your knowledge and you can always accept more or less shifts as it changes via GEMS.pro.

What if I don’t know what my schedule is like for Games time?

We can work with you to find shifts that fit your schedule. Scheduling takes place in Fall 2018 and you have the opportunity to accept and/or decline shifts based on what you know about your schedule at that point in time. Even if you will not know your schedule until closer to Games time, we encourage you to submit your application early.

Benefits:

What are the perks of volunteering with the 2019 Canada Winter Games?

There are many perks to playing a key role in the largest event ever hosted in central Alberta, including making lasting relationships with other volunteers and Host Society staff, receiving a Columbia uniform package, gaining experience in the event industry, honing your skills and knowledge and representing central Alberta on the national stage.

Will I have to pay for my uniform?

All Games time volunteers receive a uniform at no cost. Uniforms are provided by Columbia, a National Partner of the Canada Games.

What recognition will I receive?

The Host Society celebrates all Games time volunteers at a recognition event post-Games.

Orientation & Training:

What kind of training will volunteers be given?

There are three critical pieces of training each volunteer will be required to complete:

  1. General Games orientation (online or in-person)    
  2. Role-specific training (online or in-person)
  3. Venue-specific orientation (in-person)

When will I receive an invitation to General Games Orientation?

Once your volunteer status is moved to "approved" you will be invited to completed General Games Orientation, based on your preference indicated during your interview phase. This email will come via email to your address indicated in your volunteer profile.

How will I receive my orientation and training?

Depending on your preferences during the interview phase, you will receive the appropriate invitation. Depending on the interest area you are assigned to, your Role Specific Training may involve multiple components.