- A person who chooses to share their time, skills and knowledge to enhance the quality of life in their community without the expectation of recompense
- A volunteer performs a task at the direction of and on behalf of the City of Edmonton
- A volunteer must complete an application form and be officially accepted by the branch prior to performance of the task
Explore this section if you have any questions about our City of Edmonton volunteer programs.
At the City of Edmonton we are committed to recruiting volunteers from a variety of different backgrounds.
We value the diverse opinions and perspectives that each member of our volunteer organization brings. We believe that through the diversity of our community, we can collectively build a great city.
- Indigenous peoples
- Newcomers to Canada
- People with disabilities
- Students and youth
- Visible minorities
- Individuals transitioning from the Canadian Armed Forces
- Eliminating the gender gap in targeted areas
The City of Edmonton’s volunteerism policy states that volunteerism:
- Promotes citizen involvement, social and civic responsibility, and civic pride
- Contributes to healthy communities and a vibrant Edmonton
- Improves Edmontonians’ quality of life
As a result, the City will:
- Support volunteers and volunteerism in Edmonton
- Provide positive, meaningful volunteer experiences for individuals who volunteer with the City by adopting the Canadian Code for Volunteer Involvement (2001) as its standard for the City’s volunteer management systems
- Encourage all corporations in Edmonton, including the City of Edmonton, to support volunteerism
- Work with voluntary community groups in order to strengthen and recognize volunteerism in Edmonton
If you are interested in a new volunteer position, but aren't sure where to begin, try asking yourself the following questions to determine what kind of volunteer opportunities will be best suited to you:
- If you had all the human and financial resources in the world, what problem would you solve, what would you change, or what would you create? Your answer will tell you what matters the most to you.
- What kind of time commitment are you willing to make? Are you looking for a regular/weekly volunteer commitment or a short-term/one-time opportunity?
- Would you like to volunteer with other people or by yourself?
- Would you like to volunteer from your own home or would you prefer to volunteer at an organization?
- If you would like to volunteer away from home, where is the best location for you? Near your home, your work, your child's day care?
- Do you have specific skills or talents you would like to share with an organization?
- Would you like to develop a specific skill?
- What are your personal goals? Would you like to re-enter the workforce? Meet new people?
*Adapted from an article by Volunteer Ottawa
Community-based volunteering differs slightly than what the city volunteer programs offer. These opportunities connects volunteers with not-for-profits, charities and also encompasses ad-hoc or informal groups. Think about your passions and pursue organizations that align.
Top 5 Community-based Programs
- Edmonton Public Library
- Edmonton Area Hospitals
- Boys and Girls Club
- Local Food Banks
- Sports Organizations
Visit Volunteer Connector to see current community-based volunteer opportunities.
Registration and Requirements
The City of Edmonton recruits youth 13 years of age and older. The age requirements are listed in each position description. If your child is under 13 years old, we do have many positions that are suitable for families. You and your child can volunteer together.
Special events volunteers are required to do a minimum of 20 hours per year. This works out to 4 or 5 events per year.
As a programming volunteer, your hours will vary depending on the program. The minimum requirement will be greater than 20 hours.
Special Event Volunteers
Once you sign up online for a single day special event, you will be invited to a Special Event Volunteer Orientation. At the orientation, we will share upcoming special events, review the City of Edmonton volunteer policies and procedures and answer any questions you may have.
In the orientation invite email, we will inform you of any steps you must complete in the volunteer screening process. Once you have completed these steps and attended the orientation, you will be considered an Accepted Volunteer and will be able to sign up for all Special Event positions at any of our Attractions
Note: A minimum of 20 hours per year is required.
Programming volunteer positions are more complex positions and therefore require more screening. Once you apply online, your application will be reviewed after the application deadline. If your application is successful, you will be invited to an interview where we will complete more screening. If you pass the interview, you will be offered a position and be required to attend training sessions based on your position.
Note: Some programs only accept volunteer applications or only conduct interviews and training during certain times of the year. Due to the large number of applications we receive for some positions, applicants may be placed on a wait list.
Learn and Serve Volunteers
It includes both training and volunteer experience. Volunteers complete 40 hours of training over 10 classes from March to May. There is one follow-up class in September. Training includes classroom sessions, facility tours and hands-on activities. Participants are expected to attend all 11 classes. Example of this is the Master Composter Recycler Program, accepting new volunteers once per year.
Self Directed Volunteers
A self-directed (or self-led) volunteer is someone who:
- Sees a need or learns about a project (launched by an organization with some expertise in the subject)
- Gets resources with instructions and suggestions to support taking action
- Takes action to do the suggested activity on their own time
An example of this would be Capital City Clean Up.
Group volunteer positions would include small groups, families or individuals getting involved in City led initiatives. Examples of this style would be Roots for Trees and the Reuse Centre both of which have their own process for joining.
Highly Skilled Volunteers
Skilled or skills-based volunteering is the practice of using work-related knowledge and expertise in a volunteer opportunity. Agencies, boards and commissions intake in spring and are processed separately through the City Clerk's office.
The City of Edmonton has adopted a variety of screening practices to ensure that volunteers, staff and program participants enjoy and safe and healthy environment. The level of screening required is based on job design and dependent on the positions' interaction with vulnerable populations, and a variety of other factors. Standard screening practice includes risk assessments, position descriptions, application forms, interviews, reference checks, police information checks, orientation and training sessions. For additional information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The position description will tell you whether it is necessary to complete a Police Information Check. This is part of our screening process and helps us ensure that the right people are working with the public, other volunteers and staff. If you are 13-17 years of age, you will only be required to submit 2 reference letters from non-family members.
Your volunteer position description will describe the qualifications and duties to be carried out at the event or program you work with (within Community Facility Services). Most positions are posted on your profile.
You will be given an orientation to the City of Edmonton Attractions at a position-specific Volunteer Orientation. In addition, you will be provided with an orientation to your facility when you start volunteering. When you sign up, you will receive an email about the next orientation.
Training will be provided so you can be successful in your volunteer role. The degree and extent of training varies based on your position. Training requirements are detailed in your position description.
There will be a clearly defined supervisor or coordinator for the program or event to go to for support and direction on the event day.
You must sign in at the beginning of your shift and sign out at the end. Following the completion of a shift, it's the responsibility of the volunteer to log their hours in their profile. Logging your hours ensures you are part of our recognition program.
You are entitled to breaks while volunteering:
- 4 hour shift - one 15 minute break
- 6 hour shift - one 15 minute break and 30 minute meal break
This is a highly sought-after position. There are many people on the waiting list, which can be as long as 80 people. This tells us Edmontonians are passionate about animals! The selection process is completed three times a year and will fill any vacancies in specific shifts at that time.
Having previous experience working with and caring for animals is vital to being selected for an interview. Additionally, we will consider your motivation for volunteering and your availability. Our suggestion is to look for experience with animals elsewhere while you are on the waiting list and update your profile as you gain more experience.
Being a Zoo Aide does not usually involve direct animal contact. It involves cleaning out enclosures, scooping of poop and the preparation of food, among other tasks. It might not be as glamorous as you think. We will go over the many reasons our volunteers do not have direct animal contact in the Zoo Aide Orientation.