Our Volunteers are Recognized as the Best!

Year after year our skiers extol the virtues of our wonderful volunteers:

"...the volunteers were outstanding."

"I am a volunteer and look forward to it each year!!!!"

"This is a massive undertaking and I am so proud to live in Edmonton where volunteers are willing to make this world-renowned event happen."

"The volunteer group is always unbelievable! "


It takes approximately 550 volunteers to plan, organize and run the Birkie each year.  Some volunteers work year-round on a committee, while others volunteer several hours on the weekend of the ski events. There are many different areas requiring a variety of skills and interest including marketing, logistics, sponsorship, medical, transportation, food, hosting, timers, registration, trail crew, set-up and take-down crews.

We appreciate that without volunteers, the Birkie won't happen. As a volunteer, you'll receive a toque, mitts, or similar token of appreciation and an invitation to the volunteer appreciation evening with food, entertainment and lots of amazing draw prizes.  Our volunteers have fun, meet new people and make new friends. 

There are many different positions, but some areas where we need the most volunteers are:

  • Food/Aid Station: sign up as an individual or group and help look after skiers as you provide refreshments and encouragement to them
  • Ski Patrol: people are stationed or ski along parts of the courses to marshal skiers and support anyone in need of assistance
  • Long Course Sweeps: The Tail-end Charlies that enjoy a long, slow ski while they make sure every participant makes it off the trail safely
  • Shuttle drivers: Get volunteers to and from their stations, drive skiers to the finish area who aren't able to finish their ski event
  • Festival Tent: Refreshment service for hungry skiers after the event Timing and Finish Line: tasks might include collecting timing chips and assisting skiers at the finish line or running results to the Awards volunteers

If you or anyone you know are interested in these or other volunteer positions, please sign up to volunteer!

See a
brief description of the variety of other volunteer positions available during Birkie week.

Learn more about becoming a Board or Loppet Committee volunteer


Casino Volunteers

Our most recent casino was held June 3 and 4, 2016, at the Palace Casino, West Edmonton Mall.  Next casino likely in 2018.


As a not-for-profit organization, the Society runs the event on a break-even basis. Any surpluses that the Society generates are used to improve facilities at Cooking Lake-Blackfoot, unexpected expenses, and to improve the ski festival in subsequent years. Casino funds help to offset the operating expenses to run the loppet, and help to keep entry fees affordable.  

Funds raised from casinos and grant applications have been used to purchase the BR180 grooming machine, snowmobiles, emergency snow toboggans, medical equipment bags, timing systems, communication radios, computer equipment, water tanks and signs. Funds have also been used for repair of equipment, trail improvements, and construction of Meadow shelter, Elk Push trail shelters, and Birkie storage facilities.

The society holds a casino every two years. We require many volunteers to staff the various positions, most of which require no prior casino experience.

If you are interested in volunteering for our next Casino, please complete the online form.