Audrey Harder is known to many as the Board Chair of Summer in the City. However, she likes to point out that her near-decade of involvement with the event started as a volunteer face-painter.

“I started by volunteering in the kids area,” she recalls. “Then I was the Volunteer Coordinator for the kids area, and then I did face-painting. I’d spend entire days face-painting and absolutely loved it. And I became really good at it!”

With Summer in the City’s 2024 installment, presented by HyLife, set to begin on Friday, June 14, plenty of volunteer slots are yet to be filled – among them, shifts in the kids area as face-painters.

“Right now I would say we have the most opportunities in face-painting,” says Henry Unger, the festival’s Volunteer Coordinator. “It’s probably one of the most fun experiences to be involved in.”

Collage of face painters at a past Summer In The CityCollage of face painters at a past Summer In The City

One of the benefits to volunteering is being immersed in the event itself. For example, lot attendants are positioned at the Cultures stage area, which means they’re able to enjoy the entertainment. And seating is available for lot attendants, as there is no requirement to stand.

There are also opportunities to volunteer as facilities assistants, artists tent assistants, info booth attendants, first aid providers and helpers in the crafts area. Additionally, attendants are needed to volunteer at the Amazing Race location.

Overall, the event still needs to find people to work nearly 190 of the 238 available shifts.

“We usually try to keep the shifts around three hours,” Unger explains, adding that volunteers who’d like to work several shifts can do, for example, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. “You can also come and take a break in the volunteer lounge if you need some space in between” he says, pointing out that the lounge has food, beverages and restroom facilities for all volunteers.

“If you want to spend a lot of time at the festival, you can volunteer all weekend long!”

Volunteers at a past Summer In The City enjoy time together on Main Street in SteinbachVolunteers at a past Summer In The City enjoy time together on Main Street in Steinbach

Volunteers are vital to Summer in the City, as the funding the event receives doesn’t cover staffing costs. All festival staff, even the board of directors, are volunteering their time.

“It’s a time of year where you can get out there, see people you know and maybe challenge your coworkers to a work day,” says Harder. “Every volunteer plays a big part in the festival.”

Prospective volunteers are invited to view and apply for the shifts of their choice online. Should they prefer to apply to Unger directly, they can reach out to him by emailing

“Without volunteers, we don’t have a festival,” Harder concludes.