Volunteer recruitment for the Hongkong Bank Whistler WinterStart Festival got underway last week, with a great turnout at Merlin’s Bar. Festival organizers are looking for volunteer help in a variety of areas, from on-hill banner crews, World Cup Snowboard course maintenance crews, to staging and sound crews for bands, and indoor jobs in media relations, accreditation, VIP and media hosting. "We were really happy that over 85 people signed up," said Jim Tutsch, operations manager. "Many of whom have worked with us before during the World Ski and Snowboard Festival, so they have a lot of experience under their belts." Approximately 200 volunteers are required from Nov. 30 until Dec. 15 to assist with the festival and snowboard World Cup events. In addition, 400 Weasel Worker volunteers will be focusing on "between the fences" requirements of the World Cup alpine events, which kick off the Hongkong Bank WinterStart Festival on Dec. 5 and 6. Volunteers can earn lift tickets, festival clothing and be a part of the volunteer party at the end of the festival. "There is a great camaraderie and atmosphere amongst the volunteers and people who come back year after year," said Tutsch. "It’s a good chance to gain a behind-the-scenes look at World Cup action and gain valuable work experience at a world class event. If you’re new in town and want to meet people this is a good place to start." Volunteers can pick up an application form at the Employee Experience office in the Blackcomb Administration building. There will be another sign-up and information evening on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at Merlin’s. Further information is available on the Volunteer Hotline at 905-3038.