Canada Winter Games organizers gearing up to recruit volunteers

Organizers of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer have reached the pivotal point of beginning to engage the volunteer community directly.

Organizers of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer have reached the pivotal point of beginning to engage the volunteer community directly.

A meeting next week will be the first stage of recruiting critical planning volunteers who will help lead the way in 23 functional areas of the games such as security, materials management, medical and food services.

An open house for those interested in becoming one of these key volunteers will be held Wednesday, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Pidherney Curling Centre.

“I’m so excited now to start this integration process of where the technical piece meets the community piece,” Lyn Radford, chair of the 2019 Winter Games Host Society, said Thursday.

The games organizers and staff have been busy working for about a year and a half now behind the scenes and have reached this point of calling for the initial volunteers, she said.

“We’re starting our first stage of appealing for volunteers and it’ll start to branch out more and more.” The large call-out for volunteers needed during the games will happen in early 2018.

Tisha Zimmerman, games executive manager of the Venues and Support Services, said the volunteer planners needed now are key positions that involve working with the staff and senior leadership team.

They will be important as well in helping recruit volunteers down the road and need to be people-focused, performance driven, with superior organization and good communication skills. They will also help train other volunteers, Zimmerman said,

There will be a lot of orientation for the volunteer planners, with support very soon from other volunteers. The full planning team will soon consist of 300 to 400 people.

The meeting next week will offer potential volunteers a chance to ask questions and find a role that might best suit their skills. There is an online application process involved.

Radford said a 400-page business plan for the games will be presented to the society’s board in September for approval.

The winter games will run from Feb. 15 to March 3, 2019. There will be 3,600 athletes competing in 19 sports, drawing about 25,000 visitors to Red Deer.

The games are predicted to generate $132 million in economic activity in Red Deer and represent the biggest event to ever be hosted here.

More information about being a planning volunteer is available on the Facebook page: 2019 Canada Winter Games – Red Deer and also online at canadagames.ca/2019

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