The News (New Glasgow)
‘A labour of love’
Volunteers hard at work on the Jubilee
NEW GLASGOW, N.S. – Kristi Russell is one of over 300 volunteers who work to put on The New Glasgow Riverfront Jubilee.
As a volunteer on the board, this is Russell's second year putting on the Jubilee. She is responsible for marketing.
Russell described volunteering for the Jubilee as an enjoyable experience that comes with a lot of hard work. The volunteers on the board work year-round, on top of their full-time jobs, to get everything organized and ensure the weekend runs smoothly.
“There's a lot of dedicated people, but it's very gratifying to bring an event of this nature to our community and to the north shore,” she said in a phone interview.
The Jubilee has been around for 26 years, having celebrated its 25th-anniversary last year, a few years after its official birthday because of COVID19. The Jubilee has been host to various Atlantic Canadian music organizations, from the East Coast Music Association to Music Nova Scotia and various Canadian musicians. The festival is entirely non-profit, with all money made from the previous festival going into putting on the next one.
Russell was drawn to volunteer with the Jubilee due to a love of music, and as she puts it, the board co-chairs, Janine Linthorne and Heather Thompson, convinced her with their enthusiasm to join in on the fun.
“They're very passionate about what they do, and about music, and knowing the calibre of people that are volunteering and their passion for music. It was a pretty easy sell,” she said. “It's also a great event for our community. And like everybody else volunteering, we like to give back, so it was a pretty easy ask for me.”
Giving back to the community is a big theme in the Jubilee. Being an event completely volunteer run, co-chair Janine Linthorne described putting on the event as “definitely a labour of love.”
“At the end of the weekend, we'll see that all come to fruition and know that all your hard work has produced something that is great for the community and great for the arts community,” Linthorne said.
One part of how the community celebrates and gives back to the arts community is through Carlton's Community Bash, an event open to everyone of all ages that showcases local artists and gives them a platform to perform. The event is named after Carlton Munroe, the former executive director of the Jubilee who passed away in 2017. For Linthorne, the Community Bash serves to carry on his memory.
“With Carlton's Community Bash, it's kind of a legacy event for the Jubilee. We want to continue his legacy of introducing people to new and local talent and doing it in our community for free,” she said.
For Russell, the Jubilee and Carlton's Community Bash have become part of the fabric of the community. She said they had spent much time planning the Community Bash alongside the Jubilee to make the day memorable, having brought in bouncy castles and a food truck, and will be hosting a songwriters circle.
“Our goal is to grow both the main festival and Carlton's Community Bash and continue to evolve,” Russell said.
“I think it's a real testament to the fact that people don't know (it's volunteer-run), and that's good because then people just think it's a great music festival,” she added.