Volunteer at OIAF 2023


The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) is one of the world’s leading animation events providing screenings, workshops, and entertainment since 1976. OIAF is an annual five-day event bringing art and industry together in a vibrant hub, attracting artists, producers, students, and animation fans from around the world.

From September 20 – 24, the OIAF transforms the ByTowne Cinema, Arts Court, Club SAW, Strathcona Park, the National Arts Centre, Château Laurier, and the Ottawa Art Gallery into the epicentre of animation.

A festival of this scale would not be possible without the enthusiasm, commitment, and hard work of the volunteers who support OIAF each year.


The Why, What, and How

Why volunteer with OIAF?

Volunteering at OIAF is a fun way to get involved in the animation industry, earn volunteer hours for school, meet new people, and learn new skills. 

Volunteers who complete more than two shifts (a total of eight hours) will earn a Volunteer Pass which gives access to most of the Festival’s exciting events outside of volunteer shifts. Volunteers also get to keep their stylish OIAF 2023 Volunteer t-shirts and their sweet memories.

What do volunteers do at OIAF?

Volunteers are essential to our events in all kinds of ways. Volunteer roles range from Airport Greeter to Wrecking Crew. Experienced volunteers can level up to Volunteer Leaders in roles like Assistant Volunteer Coordinator. All roles, and their requirements, can be reviewed in this Volunteers Position Guide.

The Volunteer Handbook is also available to review with more details about what is expected of volunteers at OIAF.

How do I register to volunteer?

Fill out this Volunteer Form. It includes your personal contact information, availability, and position preferences.

Once you have completed the Volunteer Form, click Submit.

You will receive an email confirming that you have registered as a volunteer. If you do not receive the confirmation email, contact the Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@animationfestival.ca

Within a few weeks, you will receive an email to confirm your assigned shifts.

Volunteer Leadership Roles

For those looking to take on more substantial volunteer responsibilities at the Festival, we are recruiting for several key leadership positions. These positions are best suited for experienced OIAF volunteers, people with expertise in certain fields, and those who want to gain serious experience (beef up that resume!). Volunteer Leaders must be more available– and flexible with that availability– than regular volunteers, as these positions require longer shifts on multiple days. Being friendly, confident, mature, and reliable is a must!

If you are interested in applying, read through the Volunteer Leadership Positions listed below, or in the Volunteers Position Guide. Fill out the Volunteer Form, answer ‘Yes’ to the ‘Are you interested in Volunteer Leadership Roles?’ question, and upload your resume into the form. You will be contacted by the Volunteer Coordinator if you are chosen to interview for a position.


We are currently looking to fill the following Volunteer Leadership Roles:

Virtual Reality Team Leader

The Virtual Reality Competition will be open throughout the Festival in the Arts Court, giving Festival-goers the unique opportunity to watch this year’s competition entries with state-of-the-art technology.

Days/Hours: Thursday, September 21 to Sunday, September 24, 10:00 am to 9:30 pm (you will not be scheduled for the entirety of these hours, but your shifts will be within these hours)

Requirements: Familiarity with VR systems, technical experience and ability to troubleshoot tech, personable

Responsibilities: Train volunteers to use and troubleshoot VR equipment, oversee all volunteers and locations, ensure everything runs smoothly, and assist guests as needed.


Animators’ Picnic Team Leader

The Animators’ Picnic is a Festival favourite with big industry names in attendance. Guests at this Passholders-only event enjoy a complimentary lunch and a pumpkin carving contest.

Location: Strathcona Park

Day/Hours: Friday, September 22, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

Requirements: SmartServe certification, experience overseeing a team, responsible. First Aid and CPR certification is an asset.

Responsibilities: Assist with event coordination, train and oversee volunteers, delegate tasks and resolve issues as needed.


Assistant Special Events Coordinator

Parties and special events are a huge part of OIAF. Work directly with the Special Events Coordinator in the office and on-site at some amazing parties!

Days/Hours: Late August/early September to early October, shifts to be determined

Requirements: Willingness to run around and do what needs to be done, flexibility, availability most nights during Festival Week (September 20 to 24), having own transportation. SmartServe certification is an asset.

Responsibilities: Assist with logistics and collection of supplies, prepare and post signage for each event, maintain constant communication with other teams to ensure successful execution of events, be on location for most parties to ensure that everything runs smoothly (and to troubleshoot as needed), handle a variety of other tasks that will pop up when least expected!

OIAF @ Pique Team Leader

Pique is a late-night party filled with music, gaming, animation, drawing, and drinks, and is a chance for festival attendees to let loose after a busy few days. 

Location: Arts Court

Day/Hours: Saturday, September 23, 6:00 pm to 3:00 am

Requirements: Arrange your own safe transportation home, SmartServe certification, able to work in a fast-paced and highly stimulating/energetic environment, able to multitask

Responsibilities: Assist with event coordination, oversee and delegate tasks to volunteers, assist guests as needed and handle any issues that arise.


All Ages @ OIAF Team Leader

All Ages @ OIAF is a full day dedicated to sharing the many wonders of animation with younger audiences. The day includes screenings of Young Audiences and Teen categories and hands-on workshops aimed toward kids and their families. 

Location: Ottawa Art Gallery & Arts Court

Day/Hours: Saturday, September 23, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Requirements: Responsible, friendly, enthusiastic, enjoy working with kids, good with directions

Responsibilities: Assist Festival staff with event logistics, train volunteers, oversee and delegate tasks to volunteers, interact with and assist kids and people of all ages. Help attendees find their way around the building and troubleshoot with staff and volunteers as needed. 


TAC Assistant

TAC (The Animation Conference) is held at the Château Laurier and the NAC. The three-day event brings together key players in the North American and international markets and provides a forum for active networking, practical information exchange, and trade in a comfortable and intimate environment. If you want to produce animation and meet people in the industry, this is the position for you!

Days/Hours: Wednesday, September 20 to Friday, September 22, 7:30 am to 5:30 pm

Requirements: Professional demeanour, casual business attire, ability to work independently, leadership, excellence at multitasking

Responsibilities: Assist Festival staff with pre-event logistics and venue move-in, supervise volunteers, delegate tasks, assist with registration, ensure everything is running smoothly, assist wherever necessary, and help with move-out at the end of the conference.


Animation Exposé Team Leader

Animation Exposé is a full-day event, hosting a number of talks that bring the animation industry to the public. It is an opportunity for those looking to break into the industry to get to look behind the scenes of the industry and meet with studios and schools at the Animation Exposé Fair.

Location: National Arts Centre

Day/Hours: Friday, September 22, 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm and Saturday, September 23, 8:30 am to 8:30 pm

Requirements: Responsible, personable, lifting heavy equipment

Responsibilities: Assist Festival staff with event logistics, train volunteers, oversee and delegate tasks to volunteers, and interact with and assist guests.

Chez Ani Café Team Leader

Chez Ani Café is set up in the Arts Court and will be open during the Festival, serving coffee, snacks, and alcoholic beverages.

Days/Hours: Tuesday, September 19 to Sunday, September 24, 8:00 am to 9:30 pm (You will not be scheduled for the entirety of these hours, but your shifts will be within these hours.)

Requirements: SmartServe certification, experience with serving/bartending, personable, energetic, able to multitask, able to delegate

Responsibilities: Manage the café, train volunteer bartenders and baristas, keep the café organized, handle cash and card transactions, and provide excellent customer service.


Assistant Volunteer Coordinator

Work directly with the Volunteer Coordinator on-site and in the OIAF Office.

Days/Hours: Early September to early October, shifts to be determined

Requirements: A willingness to learn, personableness, ability to delegate, ability to adapt, and a willingness to do a variety of tasks. Lots of availability during Festival Week (September 20 – 24) is an asset.

Responsibilities: Help coordinate the volunteer shift schedule, assist with volunteer orientation, oversee volunteers, delegate tasks, prepare volunteer passes, answer phone calls and emails, and be willing to complete the plethora of unforeseen tasks that will come up during Festival Week!

Airport Greeter Team Leader

The Festival receives a large number of international guests at the beginning of Festival week and we need your help greeting them as they arrive in Ottawa. You will be in charge of a team of greeters, who will welcome guests and escort them to our Festival Drivers, so they can be shuttled to their destination.

Location: Ottawa International Airport 

Days/Hours: Tuesday, September 19 to Wednesday, September 20, 2023, hours to be determined

Requirements: Friendly, personable, welcoming, and able to delegate

Responsibilities: Retrieve the day’s flight schedule and signage for each guest from Guest Services. Assign a team to locations in the airport, oversee and ensure that guests and luggage get to the drivers in a timely manner. Anticipate flight delays and plan accordingly. Maintain constant communication with the Guest Services Coordinator.

Registration Team Leader

The OIAF Registration desk is open the week of the festival to provide pass purchases and pick-up.

Location: Arts Court Studio 

Day/Hours: Monday, September 18 to Sunday, September 24, 8:00 am to 9:15 pm

Requirements: Thrive in a fast-paced environment during peak times. Personable, energetic, and able to multi-task

Responsibilities: Assist Festival staff with Registration logistics, train volunteers, handle cash and card transactions, and provide excellent customer service.