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Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival organizers look to fill 100 volunteer spots

This year’s festival happens July 8-9 at Maffeo Sutton Park
Paddlers make their way to the Nanaimo harbour during last summer’s Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival. This year’s event will take place July 8-9 at Maffeo Sutton Park. (Submitted photo)

Organizers of the Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival are hoping to match the anticipated 1,200 athletes and 5,000 visitors with 100 volunteers.

The festival, celebrating 20 years, takes place at Maffeo Sutton Park on July 8-9 and according to a press release, more volunteers are needed. People are required to help set up, assist paddlers on the dock, keep boats at the dock while competitors embark and disembark, and take care of clean up, marshalling, security, site and volunteer support and take-down duties at the festival’s conclusion.

Kyle Chow, festival operations manager, said volunteers are important cogs on the machine that is the Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival.

“We owe much of our festival’s success to our incredible volunteers,” he said in the press release. “This is a chance to do something great, and to help one of the community’s biggest events.”

No experience is necessary and festival staff will provide training and guidance.

“All we ask for is a great attitude and a willingness to work a fun five-hour shift,” said Holly Wylie, festival on-site volunteer coordinator, in the release.

The event will raise money for a cancer ward anticipated for Nanaimo Regional General Hospital via the B.C. Cancer Foundation’s sales of carnations, which can be purchased at Fairway Market in advance. Proceeds will also go to Angels Abreast, a Nanaimo-based dragon boat team.

For information on how to volunteer, or for more information on the Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival, go to

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