Stage volunteer Meet & Greet

Thanks to all the volunteers who came out last night to Dovercourt for our meet and greet. It was lovely to catch up with the returning volunteers and to welcome the new ones!

John gave an orientation talk and included some videos and images of our set up in years past.

Andrew provided our safety training. As volunteers, we take safety very seriously, so we require all of our volunteers to take in one of the two offered safety training sessions each year. The second one will be at the main stage June 19th. It is always good to get a refresher on safety as it applies to our work and site!

Snacks were available, of course. We know that things go better that way!

It is hard to believe but we start working at our site June 10!

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The 2019 festival is coming!

Yesterday, the festival announced the lineup for this year’s festival. There are some changes to the stage locations and area layout that will affect the stage team–but they have not been finalized yet. Stay tuned as we figure out how to work best with these changes.

A major change this year is that there will not be any festival events on the Monday, giving us all a bit of a rest. That will be great!

Stay tuned for emails from John about scheduling. If you have not heard from him, please send him an email. If you have any friends or family members who would be great volunteers, please let John know as well–many hands make the work easier for all of us!

See you soon!On the Stage

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As returning volunteers know, the stage crew runs on cookies, ice cream and cold drinks. If anyone is looking for cookie recipes, there is a tab at the top of the page. Enjoy!

An interesting tidbit this year–some of our leftover cookies made it over to Bluesfest in a road case! Let’s hope the stage volunteers there enjoy them too!

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It’s a wrap!

Festival 2018 is done and our team worked very hard to make it a success! From set up through to tear down, we worked hard and made it happen. There is still a bit of work to do in the next few days as we pack up our own equipment and send it to winter storage. We also have to take down the large tent that covers the main stage.

You can find photos from this year under the “pictures” tab. If anyone has any they wish to share, please send JM your link to the web site where you put them (Flickr, DropBox, Google, etc) and I’ll get them and happily add them.

I really want to thank the volunteers who worked the last few days in the incredible heat. It was very hard to even think about moving, yet you willingly did what had to happen to make the shows work and then, starting on Canada Day, tearing it all down.

We (the coordinators) hope you had a good time and that you want to join us again next year. Please let JM know if you change your contact info or email address so he can keep in touch.

Here’s a picture of the ramp being loaded into the truck before it goes away.


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Well done!!!

Once again the volunteers on the stage crew surpassed all expectations and surprised the visiting bands with their expertise, professionalism and caring! Tonight it was the Tartan Stage crew but we have been hearing this at both stages. So proud of everyone’s hard work and dedication!!!

Stay cool–the rest of the festival will be much hotter than usual.

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As I sit here listening to my washing machine clean the stage towels, I’m reminded of all the hard work that each member of the volunteer stage crew does to make the Ottawa Jazz Festival a success. Today’s headliner was Boz Scaggs and he gave us a wonderful concert. The crew had a 9 am start in order to prep the stage and unload the 53 foot truck trailer full of gear. This was a full “racks and stacks” show, meaning that the artists provided everything but the basic sound and lights system.

After the truck was unloaded the crew helped the artist’s team set up a new front of house system as well as a new monitor system. We helped set up all the instrument stations and negotiated to get the space we would need on the stage for the 6:30 show, which was a big band–17 musicians on risers and the grand piano.

After the big band show finished, the crew removed the big band’s microphones, chairs, music stands, monitors, back line, all cables and the piano—in 15 minutes! Then they assisted the 8:30 band reset their pieces that had to be moved to accommodate the big band.

Throughout the day and evening the team worked on projects that would make life better on or back stage. As well they responded to issues identified both for the stage area and the festival. We built things, fixed things, did a lot of trouble shooting and also helped members of the public understand what was going on.

The crew assisted the band in getting on and off the stage and stood by in case of any issues or needs. At the end of the show, the crew assisted the band staff in packing up everything that they had brought onto the stage and then getting it on the truck!

As well, the two team members who were on the follow spots did a great job and the band really appreciated their professional work!!!! Way to go!

Well done, everyone!!!! In just a few short hours we do it all over again for another band. That’s the festival life for a stage volunteer!


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Stage crew Progress June 18, 2018

On this day, after a rain delay of 30+ minutes and waiting for the local contractor to deliver the remaining parts to build the Tartan truss system and finalize the Main stage truss, things went fairly well.

First came the roll call and the distribution of work however, the weather had other plans and decided to weigh in with a 30 minute heavy downpour that tested our newly installed gutter system which of course, required real time adjustments (yes we did get wet trying to keep everyone dry).

Once this was done, the complete workforce proceeded to the Tartan tent and worked on finishing the truss.  Noon came and hungry mouths devoured Riek’s sandwiches and desserts. Of course, cookies were had by all.

After lunch the crew worked hard do to complete the Tartan stage truss.

Another hard day at the office.

Tartan Stage Truss

Thank you all,

Tomorrow, the Apex sound gear arrives.  We build the sound and monitor infrastructure, hang lights and continue to work on the small things that have been missed.

Festival is 2 days away after tomorrow.


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Stage crew June 17, 2018

Happy Father’s day to all fathers that worked today

All went fairly well today.

Thanks to the 11 hardworking volunteers (happy father’s day) today, the stage crew accomplished a lot.

The Follow spot scaffold was completed.

Because we cannot use our regular spiked bracing system, we had to use cement blocks on the bottom platform of the Follow Spot tower.  Of course, we had to brace the platform.  Phil and Alan worked hard in the sun to complete the tower roof and safety bracing.

Follow Spot tower

Our wood supplies, Drum rugs and accessories have now been moved to stage left where there is actually more space


Our stage contactor (Activec) finished building the stage deck at the Tartan tent and we were able to bring in the stage truss for that stage and bolt it together.  We are still missing some truss pieces for that stage but those will be delivered tomorrow (Warning for the Monday crew).  Of course, Activec still has to finish painting the Tartan stage

Tartan Stage is up

Hopefully, Monday (tomorrow June 18th) we will get our fence for back stage and be able to finish that part.  Also, we hope that Wall sound will make good on their promise to deliver the remainder of the Tartan stage truss so we can build it.

crew tent going up

Also, the crew today was busy building the most important item in the stage team list, and that is the stage team shelter.

crew tent is up

As you can see above, at first the tent seems to be at a slant but eventually, Riek got the team working together and it got somewhat levelled.  Hey it works for Jazz.


Thank you all.

John Messier
Fellow stage team member


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Saturday’s progress

The Shifts Schedule is looking good. We still have some issues but as of now, we have 56 members that have committed to at least 5 shifts. Please let John know if you can fill any of the remaining shifts!

The set up is going well. You can see photos of the progress under the pictures tab.

As of June 16th, the crew had built the speaker towers and the Follow Spot tower. Also, many thanks to Andrew Hamlin, the truss for both stage was picked up and delivered on Friday June 15th. As a result, we were able to assemble and erect the truss for the Main stage on Saturday June 17th. We were also able to acquire an appropriate a number of risers which we piled up backstage.

We assembled rolling risers and prepared to deliver the remaining truss to the Tamarack tent on Sunday 17th.

Thank you to the June 16th team for the hard work.

Riek, Dorothy and Jennifer accommodated the backstage area under the festival tent. This involves the preparation and organization of “our” work space in the stage tent.

On Sunday June 17th, the members on shift will be very busy building the truss on Laurier stage, finalizing the Follow-spot tower and building our volunteer meeting tent.

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Stage crew progress June 15, 2018

All went as planned today.

Thanks to the 8 hardworking souls today, the stage crew accomplished a lot.

The scaffold was delivered on time and all of the towers required for the festival were build, ready to receive their residents (speaker stacks and follow spots).

picture 1

Our stage contactor (Activec) worked back stage to build us a floor so we would not have to work on soggy soil, and almost finished painting the stage before they ran out of paint.

All of the cabinets are back stage and just need to be levelled.  We began running wires under the stage but ran out of time.

back stage

Our wood supplies and accessories have now been moved to stage left where there is actually more space.

Andrew and Joseluis went to Wall Sound and collected our stage truss and all is now ready for the larger crew tomorrow when we can actually prepare the truss corner plates and blocks and who knows, maybe get the Main stage built so we can then concentrate on the Tartan truss.


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