Canterbury Festival offers a variety of opportunities, providing training and professional development for students seeking to build on their event management skills and get hands on experience, and arts practitioners who are taking their first steps into teaching.

For more information on future opportunities, please contact [email protected]

Following a successful project working with Canterbury Christ Church University Digital Media students in 2022, we were delighted to continue the relationship and collaborate on a professional practice module 2023.

Acting as the client and working with Canterbury Christ Church lecturer Celia Rumley and Head of Department Joanna Samuel, Canterbury Festival set a brief for students to create branding, layout templates and promotional materials for the 2024 Canterbury Festival Schools’ Poetry Competition.

Deliverables included a logo, booklet template for the Schools’ Poetry Anthology, a poster to promote the call out and also a short animation to be shared on Instagram. It was important that the design took existing Festival branding into consideration and that there was consistency across the assets created.

The quality of the work submitted was incredible and we were thrilled to have so many amazing designs to choose from. Below you can view a range of concepts submitted – we’ll be sharing the animations created across our social channels later this year.

We’d like to thank all of the participating students and wish them success in their careers as designers.


Abigail Eastwood


Dravka Georgieva


Andy Hill


Boglarka Peter


Daniel Leen


Daniel Hull


George Allen


Harvey Champion


Jae Osbourne


Max Varnham


Meg Lyon


Zhivko Karakashev






Volunteering with Canterbury Festival is a great opportunity to try out new skills, gain experience, make friends, enjoy being part of a team and most of all, have fun helping to make a great festival happen.

Volunteers will:

  • Gain experience of customer care and events management.
  • Meet new people and be part of a friendly team.
  • Feel a sense of achievement.
  • Be supporting the arts in Canterbury.
  • Enjoy high quality performances.

You will be working alongside a tight knit and friendly family of festival staff, some of whom are permanent and others who come together each year to make the festival happen.

What we are looking for

We are looking for team players with good common sense; volunteers who are reliable, enthusiastic, flexible, able to listen and share. You should also be able to recognise your own limitations, take responsibility for yourself and adhere to any health and safety instructions which are given to you by the team. But most importantly of all we ask that you ensure you commit to any shifts you agree to, as last minute changes can be very difficult to resolve and staff shortages could reflect badly on the festival.

Click here to download the volunteer application form

Click here to download the volunteer info pack

Click here to download the volunteer terms and conditions

For inquiries and completed application forms please contact Tina at [email protected]

My experience within the Canterbury Festival team, working directly with and under the guidance of Dr Amanda Sefton Hogg, was a really fulfilling and educational experience. The adaptability of working with a variety of venues and people meant every day was different, which I found deeply interesting and enjoyable. Some of my favourite moments were working with the Primary School Choirs as part of the Beautiful Noise Community Music event and helping to manage the ambitious Beautiful Noise Youth Orchestra.

Overall meeting and working with new people during the Festival was a rewarding experience. I’m currently in my final year of my Classical Vocal degree at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and Canterbury Festival was very flexible and considerate of my timetable and supportive of my studies, which was really refreshing when gaining professional skills experience.

An experience that really cemented my love for the arts and engaging with wider audiences from all backgrounds and ages; it made me feel confident in my ability to manage events in a calm, caring and assertive manner. I truly recommend a similar work experience to anyone who is interested in developing skills within event management and community engagements within the arts.

Emily Wrigley, Professional Skills Placement, Festival Public Engagement Programme.

Hello everybody! I’m Holly, and I’m studying MA Theatre Making at the University of Kent. For one of my modules, it was suggested I seek out an internship at a theatre or arts organisation relevant to my interests and aspirations in the industry – and The Canterbury Festival was the perfect fit.

I’ve had experience as a writer, performer, and director in festival work, as well as having experience working in admin for non-festival arts companies, and I’ve long wondered what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ in the organising and hosting of a festival. Having spent a few very stimulating and engaging weeks with The Canterbury Festival, I can safely say I have a pretty good idea.

Throughout my time as an intern at the Festival, I’ve been able to gain some brilliant first-hand experience in all sorts of areas – from marketing and social media to project call-outs. To call my time here eye-opening would be an understatement – I’ve only popped in for a few days here and there, and from that alone I can truly say that I am in awe of the amount of effort and dedication the team put in year-round in order to organise and run the festival.

Everybody on the team has been exceptionally welcoming and kind, and they’ve been more than happy to answer any of my questions and share their varied knowledge and experience with me. Going forward, I can confidently say that I’ve not only learned a lot about the ‘behind the scenes’ of organising and hosting a festival, but also that I would definitely be interested in pursuing a career doing exactly that.

Thank you so much to The Canterbury Festival team for the opportunity – I’ve had a really fun time!

In the autumn term of 2022 we were delighted to work with Canterbury Christ Church University Digital Media students as part of their professional practice module. Acting as the client and working with Canterbury Christ Church lecturer Celia Rumley and Head of Department Joanna Samuel, Canterbury Festival set a brief for students to create an exhibition of Augmented Reality artworks that could be exhibited publicly during the 2023 Festival, with multiple works creating an art trail. Each student produced three artworks and a number of other deliverables including a social media image, art trail leaflet and branded poster.

The work submitted was of a very high level, with students excelling our expectations. Below you can view and engage with a selection of the submitted artworks. Just view the QR code on each poster with your phone camera, click the link and trigger the AR app.


Brandon Cripps


Miroslav Bochin



Chloe Shannon



Hugo Cueto



Amy Tasker

We had a wonderful day on Wednesday 25th October at the University of Kent for our one-day professional skills workshop for aspiring comedy performers!

The day was an absolute masterclass, from improvisation and experimentation to creative writing and performance, followed by having the opportunity to perform material inspired by these masterclasses! The evening showcase was hosted by Laura Lexx at Gulbenkian Arts Café. The evening was a culmination of a fabulous day of comedy experimentation and learning with Robin Hatcher (Noise Next Door), Ben Keaton (Father Ted), Laura Lexx (Comedian) and Lynne Parker (Funny Women).

We all had such a brilliant time. The participants were able to take inspiration and advice from fellow students, expand their ideas and play with longer versions of more polished material.

Here’s what some of the participants had to say:

“The opportunity to work with Laura was a real highlight for me, because she really gave tailored advice which I can use in my craft going forward, not to mention the experience of sharing a bill with a well-known comedian!” – Gabby Rolls

“I found the improv workshop with Robin Hatcher expanded my ability to listen to others. While this class was challenging it allowed me to expand my skill set, using these new skills in the final showcase.” – Roy Clarke

“Overall, the whole Upstart experience was a joy and really built my confidence. I really feel like I got an insight into the comedy writing process and I think it will likely lead me to have experiences/opportunities I would have otherwise never have had. Thank you!” – Ruth Cassidy

“Running the workshop for UpStart was a brilliant experience for me as a person, as a comedian and in a role as an educator/motivator. The group had mixed levels of ability to interact with one another, but even the most nervous in group interactions came off stage from their performances with a genuine shine of thrill on their faces. It was fantastic to access a part of people that they didn’t know how to express outside of the performance role but were clearly desperate to work on. As a comedian I left with a renewed sense of the breadth of possible material – hearing the ideas that these participants had was refreshing and invigorating. It was a brilliant day that ended with a performance full of heart, nerves and talent and I honestly couldn’t believe how proud I was of people I had only met 8 hours ago.” – Laura Lexx (Workshop Lead and Compere)

It was a joy to see participants using the skills and material they’d worked on during the day. A huge thank you to our wonderful performers and amazing professionals who put together a great day filled with laughter!

Each year Canterbury Festival work with Canterbury Christ Church University to offer extensive work placement and training opportunities for students studying stage management.

From comedy to circus, cabaret to coffee-concerts, the Festival features up to five events per day. Working in teams of two, students support the stage and site manager learning what it takes to run a show in a Festival venue. The role includes:

  • Site preparation
  • Production get-in and get-out
  • Artist sound check
  • Stage and venue resets
  • Artist liaison
  • Show start procedure
  • Supporting the light and sound team where appropriate

Students are managed by stage and site manager Steve Taylor, who has over 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry, including three years as the stage manager for the Theatre Royal in Margate.

Along with this we provide opportunities for students to become Festival stewards and hosts, who are responsible for all things Front of House including ticketing, seating and audience experience.

For more information please contact [email protected]

My name is Sila and I am in year 12 at Dane Court Grammar School. My school has given us the opportunity to spend a week doing work experience at places that we either chose ourselves or got allocated based on our interests or hobbies that could potentially help us open our minds to the work force to gain a deeper insight into it all.

I was allocated to Canterbury Festival, which somehow I hadn’t heard of before which comes as a shock to me now after seeing all the popular events they do all over Canterbury. My time here has been a real eye-opener to how organisations like this bring together such admired shows and events as I’ve been working with different departments to see how every detail comes together to build the image of community-helping charities such as Canterbury Festival.

Not only have the staff here helped me gain an insight into how charities like themselves get involved in the community, but they have also given me more confidence and motivation in working in different areas of an organisation by giving me tasks that varied between creating advertisement posts to calling schools over Kent for future opportunities for other students like myself, and they even allowed me to view the difficulty of the financial sector and allowed me to use their online financial systems to gain experience into accounting tasks.

The team here couldn’t have been any more welcoming and optimistic during my time here, and even during their busiest days and times they were always open to telling me more about their roles and what they individually bring into their organisation. Although a week won’t ever be enough for anyone to see the ins and outs of charities or organisations, the staff here have all put in so much effort to provide me with as much experience and knowledge about how they work as a team and I really do think this will all help me for whatever I do in the future.

‘My experience at the Canterbury Festival as an ASM was incredible and memorable. I went into it with a completely open mind and heart, eager about what I could learn and get involved with. I was greeted by wonderful, passionate people who were professionals in their fields, and I felt valued by them. It was an honour to get the opportunity to work alongside such a talented group of people, and the more I put in, the more I got out.

I learned many new skills and applied them in all my shifts, working as hard as possible. From the festival, a staff member hired me to work for his company. From that, I was hired by another company as well. I hold the utmost appreciation for the festival and will never forget it, as it is the moment that kickstarted my career. I now have more self-confidence in my abilities, and I know that I can do well. I was mentored unbelievably well and will forever hold the Canterbury Festival with the most tremendous respect.’

Emily Bardwell, Level 6 Stage Management Student, Canterbury Christ Church Univeristy

In 2022 Canterbury Christ Church University Journalism students were offered the opportunity to experience Festival events, interview artists and create their own features based on their experiences. 14 students took part, covering an array of events ranging from stand-up comedy to talks, walks and community events.

Eight of the articles were consolidated in the University’s Candid publication focusing on the Festival, which can be viewed below.

Click here to download a copy of Candid




Students of Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury College and Canterbury Academy came together in June 2022 to create an exciting new two-day Festival, programmed, planned and delivered by young people, for young people. We:Connect Festival took place on 25 and 26 June at Canterbury College’s Lanfranc Theatre with live music, theatre, dance, drag, talks, workshops and more in an exciting programme of events.

Due to a cancellation during the June dates, We:Connect student committee member Lily Marsh, delivered part two of the event in November 2022 acting as Events Coordinator. The one-day event which took place on the Canterbury Christ Church University campus proved to be a success, engaging people of all ages in workshops and performance. Lily shared this feedback as part of her event evaluation:

“Overall, I’m extremely happy with how the festival turned out for the conclusion of We:Connect. It was great to have the opportunity to become the Events Coordinator for this as it allowed me to learn new skills within this field of work and expand on the skills I already have. It’s great how invaluable the experience has been for me with being the paid coordinator for this.

It was amazing to work with a brilliant team on this with Amanda McKean as my support from the Canterbury Festival, the team at Canterbury Christ Church University who were so kind in letting us have the space and being able to see them again as some of them use to be my lecturers, and the acts who were able to do this event with us and putting on amazing workshops and performances. I’m proud to have this job role on my CV and can’t wait to take the skills/experience I have learnt through this to future job opportunities.”

We:Connect was just one part of Reconnect Presents – a Kent-wide project funded by Kent County Council, providing young people with opportunities that they missed during the Covid pandemic and two years of lockdown.

We:Connect was delivered in partnership with Canterbury Festival and in collaboration with Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury College and Canterbury Academy.


A few months ago, I received a phone call from my former Uni tutor, informing me of an amazing work opportunity at the Canterbury Festival as a marketing and box office assistant. I had to be quick: I didn’t lose a minute, called them to demonstrate my interest, filled the application form overnight, and after an interview and a few days of stress, I got the job!! This is how an incredible journey with the Festival started.

As a young Canterbury Christ Church University graduate, new to the UK, I find it really hard to shift from getting ‘student jobs’ to getting a permanent job that would enable me to make the most of all I learned during my master’s in Arts and Cultural Management. With no proven success or professional experience, it is tricky to find one’s own place in a saturated world of work, where there will always be someone else who’s done something more. For once, I was trusted to learn quickly, and everyone at the Festival was always keen to show me the ropes. Especially Rob, the Marketing Manager who always took time to explain and support me when needed.

Three months at the Festival might seem like a short time, but I have learnt so much that it would be hard to summarise it all. Marketing-wise, I was in charge of Social Media content, building Facebook ads, drafting press releases, updating the website and analyse campaign statistics for board reports. I also gained experience as a Box Office assistant, selling tickets over the phone or in person, and dealing with inquiries. During the Festival, I had the amazing opportunity to step up as Duty Manager for some events, liaising with artists and managing our amazing team of Front of House Volunteers. All that in the nicest atmosphere, with the opportunity to see so many performances and concerts during the Festival.

I feel like I have grown a lot in such a short amount of time, and this is all thanks to the fabulous Canterbury Festival Team. I can’t wait to keep being creative and progressing over the years, and I hope to be back to work on new projects with the Festival in future! This is not a Goodbye but a see you later 😊


Firstly, I would like to introduce myself, my name is Ruby and I am in year 12 at Dane Court Grammar School sixth form. For a week I had the pleasure of carrying out my work experience at Canterbury Festival. Before going into this I thought my work experience placement would probably provide me with an idea of a work atmosphere whilst completing the less interesting, usually mundane, tasks throughout the week. However, I was definitely pleasantly surprised.

Not only were the Canterbury Festival team so welcoming and supportive, but they also provided me with engaging tasks and fulfilling learning opportunities that will no doubt be beneficial to me in the future. It was amazing to see a team so focused and passionate about their work, whilst happily willing to answer any of my questions with consideration and thought, enabling me to really get the most out this experience.

I was able to learn so much about the careful planning and preparation that goes into an event such as the Festival, and there were so many different aspects that I would never have thought to consider. Even though my time at Canterbury Festival was short, I feel as if I have been given a valuable insight into what working in this both rewarding and diverse industry is like and have gained many skills that I will undoubtedly bring with me and utilise in the future – whatever that may hold. Ruby

For those who don’t know me, I am Dara and I have had the pleasure of working for the Festival for the past six­ months. After graduating in 2021 I found it difficult to secure full­time employment without relevant experience. The marketing internship provided by the Festival was the perfect opportunity to gain valuable skills and experience that would help to secure full­time permanent employment. The past six months have been a blast.

Not only have I had a behind the scenes look at how the Festival is run and promoted but have been able to meet and work with some remarkable people. Every day has been different, from handing out posters on the High Street to creating content for social media, I have been able to get a deep dive into many different aspects of marketing. Being given the freedom to work on a variety of tasks has allowed me to explore and further develop areas that I am passionate about.

Throughout the 2021 Festival I was blown away with how much work goes in to planning and organising each event. Everything ran so smoothly, and I was constantly supported by a member of the team when working on events. It often didn’t feel like work as I was able to watch so many amazing performers; the variety of events was something I’ve never experienced before.

The entire journey has given me the tools and knowledge I need when looking to the future. I’m confident my time at the Festival will play a key role when I move on to the next chapter in my career. Being from Northern Ireland and relatively new to Canterbury I have been made to feel right at home within the team. Everyone was so welcoming and it will be very difficult saying goodbye.


T.E.C is a two-and-a-half-day course for artists, performers and musicians who would like to learn how to deliver workshops within a community setting.

Artists from the course have gone on to deliver workshops in schools, colleges, community centres and charities in Kent and surrounding areas.

The course covers:

  • Safeguarding
  • Risk Assessments
  • Differentiation
  • Working with Diverse Groups
  • Planning
  • Hands on Learning

After two days of practical training, participants deliver a tailor-made workshop to clients of Catching Lives Homeless Shelter. This course is endorsed by Canterbury Christchurch University

In 2020 40 artists, musicians, and performers participated in our TEC programme and delivered a series of workshops with Catching Lives clients at the Canterbury Open Centre. Through this collaboration over 50 Open Centre users had the opportunity to get hands-on with a wide range of activities including painting, drawing, creative writing, photography, music, baking and more.

There are no T.E.C courses running in 2021 but please contact [email protected] to register an interest for any future courses.