Volunteer Spotlight: Parker O’Brian

Over a thousand dedicated film-lovers volunteer their time and talents to make VIFF possible. From our year-round cinema to our annual festival, volunteers are vital to the success of VIFF – we simply couldn’t do what we do without their skill and dedication.

For our first volunteer profile, we wanted to shine a light on our VIFF Volunteer Engagement Manager (aka Brie Koniczek)’s wonderful Assistant and Editor of the new monthly volunteer newsletter, Parker O’Brian. And who better to interview our first profile-ee than the editor himself!

“It started off a little awkward but I/we soon eased into our roles of interviewer and interviewee, and the questions and answers began to flow.” – Parker


PO’B – Hi Parker. Can you start by telling us a little of your background.

PO’B – Well, let’s see, I’m 65 and have been retired for the last four years, and loving it! I have one wife, one daughter and one labradoodle named Berra. I grew up in Toronto and escaped to Vancouver in 1978. Prior to retirement, I worked first as a Social Worker and then as an IT analyst and manager.

PO’B – How long have you volunteered at VIFF?

PO’B – I started on the Volunteer Helpdesk in the summer of 2016, and have been working as Brie’s assistant ever since. I help with recruiting, reporting and updating the Shiftboard manuals. And I’ve just recently taken on the role of editor of the volunteer newsletter.

PO’B – How do you like to spend your time?

PO’B – Most mornings, I walk with Berra (and sometimes my wife) through Pacific Spirit Park down to Spanish Banks and back. It is the highlight of my day. I also like to read, solve the daily NY Times crossword puzzle, watch films (of course) and edgy TV series. I’m also a big baseball fan and like to visit U.S. cities (and Toronto) to watch Major League baseball games.

PO’B – What’s your favourite movie?

PO’B – The Godfather, part 1.

PO’B – And finally, do you have any hobbies that our readers might like to hear about?

PO’B – Well, they may be interested to know that I’m an amateur cruciverbalist.

PO’B – Cruciverbalist? Is that like someone who lectures from a cross?

PO’B – Nice try but no. A cruciverbalist is a person who constructs crossword puzzles. I’ve been building them for many years, and post them on a variety of newsletters in organizations where I’ve worked. In fact, I’ve posted one for this newsletter.

PO’B – Maybe I’ll try it to solve it.

PO’B – I hope you do. Let me know how it goes.

Become a VIFF Year Round Volunteer! Get involved with our amazing core volunteer teams and help us bring independent cinema to Vancouver all year-long http://goviff.org/volunteer

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