Tallyho to Olio

Olio Festival celebrates four years of indie bliss

By Angela Espinoza, Arts Editor

If you’ve been following my festival guide these past few months, you’ll know that Vancouver has something going on pretty much every week of the summer. But once August wraps up, what then?

Entering its fourth year now, the Olio Festival is an annual festival that plays host to a number of events. From concerts and film screenings to comedy shows and even art and fashion exhibits, the goal of the Olio Festival is to show off some of the best independent talents Vancouver has to offer.

Artists such as Teen Daze, Brasstronaut, and Dirty Spells will be playing, amongst literally dozens of others. As for comedy, local duo Peter ‘n Chris, who performed sketches at last year’s International Fringe Festival, will be performing, as will improv group The Sunday Service, and my personal favourite team of Graham Clark and Dave Shumka will be recording a live podcast of their hit Vancouver-based series, Stop Podcasting Yourself. Film screenings consist of documentaries Alone Up There, about the rather punishing lives of stand-up comics, and Better Than Something, which was shown at this year’s DOXA Festival, about musician Jay Reatard (1980–2010). One additional film will also be shown, simply titled FDR: American Badass!—all I know thus far is that Mr. Roosevelt (Barry Bostwick) fights werewolf Hitler, and Kevin Sorbo plays Abe Lincoln… why yes, I am flailing my arms in delight while typing. And, again, so very much more!

Now something to keep in mind is that festivals such as Olio, and just about every other event in Vancouver, often only come together due to the many volunteers who lend a hand behind and even on the scene. Whether it’s dropping off flyers, taking and/or selling tickets, getting local businesses involved, or even just answering people’s questions, volunteering is the best thing anyone can do for a cause they care about.

Although Olio is still quite a ways away (September 19–23), those currently involved—such as yours truly—are letting it be known that there’s still plenty of room for volunteers. I’ve been given this open information from one of the Olio representative’s to share with you fine folks:

“To get involved, please email your name, telephone number, and a few sentences about why you want to volunteer [to volunteer@oliofestival.com]. No experience is necessary, but if you have some please let us know.

“Positions available [currently include] Assistant to Sponsorship Director, Web Entry, Production, Guest Services, Production Assistants, Campus Representative, HQ Staff, Designated Drivers, Street Team, Film Event Staff, and Content Manager! Some volunteer positions, like guide distribution and day-of-runners require that you have a car.”

Now, while it feels great to help your fellow man, it’s always nice to earn something on side. Of course, the chill folks over are Olio got you covered there, too!

“Volunteer compensation [consists of] one shift rewarded with guest lists to two shows/events, two shifts rewarded with a single day wristband (day to be selected by volunteer), [and] three or more shifts rewarded with a full weekend wristband.”

Trust me when I say that full weekend wristband is well worth it—that, and, with the rest of them being sold out already, how else are you going to get one?

So whether you just want to attend or are now interested in helping out, be sure to check out one of the many, many shows or exhibits at this year’s Olio Festival—if you think you can handle all the awesome.