Volunteer profile: Chelsea Richer, Festival Chair
The 2019 Canada Winter Games is throwing the biggest winter party Central Alberta has ever experienced and Festival Chair Chelsea Richer is leading the way to create memories to last a lifetime.
Richer is a dedicated Central Alberta community member with a passion for volunteering, music and sport. Red Deer has been her home for more than 30 years, and she is proud to raise three boys, along with her husband Shaun, in this same community.
Chelsea’s involvement with the 2019 Canada Winter Games goes back to the Red Deer is Ready rally in August 2014, where she helped turn the downtown area into a winter wonderland when the Canada Games bid committee visited town.
As Festival Chair, Richer is responsible for working with the Festival Committee and Host Society staff to create a multi-day major arts and cultural winter festival held at the Gary W. Harris Celebration Plaza in downtown Red Deer.
She collaborates with partners and sponsors like the ATB, ATCO, Troubadour Event Management and the City of Red Deer to plan this community celebration. It is a tall order, but one that Richer is more than ready to take on.
“Festivals and music have been a big part of my life and my career,” Richer says.
“This feels like a natural step after getting involved in big events in Red Deer. I have the knowledge and skill set to make a difference on a committee when it comes to planning a festival.”
Prior to a career in marketing, Richer worked in the radio and television industry and helped plan festivals like Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose and Bud Country Fever in Grande Prairie. Richer is also a fitness professional and has a passion for promoting active living in the community.
She leads student workouts before classes, trains youth athletic teams and helps organize the Woody’s Triathlon.
Her role with the 2019 Games combines her passion for sports and arts and she is excited for the opportunity.
“We want this to be our moment for the entire community and everyone that visits and the festival can do that,” Richer explains. “I realized that some people will really connect with sport during the 2019 Games, but others may not and the festival is where everyone will come together.”
Along with staff and volunteers, Richer visited the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg to learn more about how their festival operated and learn from their experiences.
She remembers seeing the smiles on the faces of families and athletes as they took in the music and art. It struck her that the festival is a place where everyone comes together to celebrate and create lifetime memories—an opportunity to build the community.
To host an event of this size, we need the help of over 5,000 volunteers and Richer knows it’ll be an unforgettable experience for those who give their time.
“I think something of this magnitude, Red Deer has never seen,” Richer says. “This is our moment, we can’t do it with just one person. Whether you’re helping with food services, media, at a venue or at the festival, you’re going to be a part of this experience that is bigger than who we are as a city and who we are as a country.”
When asked what she is most looking forward to about the Games, Richer is quick to answer.
“For me, it’s the moment the first night that the festival is open,” says Richer.
“When the gates open and it starts to get dark and we see a winter festival Red Deer has never seen come alive, I can’t wait for that moment.”
Want to be a part of this unforgettable event? Join Richer and Team 2019 by applying to volunteer at canadagames.ca/2019/volunteer.