CA Month – Dr. Jeff, Eliza, Cassie and Lisa

As we near the end of our Crew Appreciation Month, we hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know our crew, and the diverse and interesting jobs we have out on the Farm! It takes a community of dedicated, passionate individuals to help create the magic of Shambhala. We are so fortunate to host talented crew members from across the globe as we all come together on the Farm to turn dreams into reality.  Today we feature Dr. Jeffrey Eppler, Medical Doctor; Eliza Gardiner, Retail Manager; Cassie Baceda, Lost & Found Supervisor; and Lisa Thiessen, Finance Manager.


Jeff Eppler

Dr. Jeffrey Eppler

“Real World” job: Emergency Physician
Shambhala Job: Medical Doctor Volunteer
Shambhala Spirit Animal:  TBD…
Favorite Snack on the Farm:  It’s all amazing. Love the virgin mojitos and tacos. Also love the burgers… I mean it’s a “one mile diet”!


SMF: What’s your Shambhala story?

Dr. JE: I started off volunteering because I was curious about the festival and the medicine there. My musical tastes tend more towards Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin and the Beatles. But something about SMF just gets under your skin and now it’s something I so look forward to every year! I describe it to my friends as kind of like Christmas, Halloween and your birthday all rolled into one…!

Jeff Eppler and Friends

SMF: What does Shambhala mean to you?

Dr. JE: So many things: fun, incredible energy, a warm, friendly, accepting place. But also a chance to work with amazing people helping festival goers stay safe. It’s given me a vision of how great things can be when you remove negative emotion and embrace kindness and openness…

Dr Jeff Eppler and Homies

SMF: What have been your favourite Shambhala sets?

Dr. JE: Moontricks and The Funk Hunters.


Eliza Gardiner

“Real World” job: Professor at Vancouver Island University
Shambhala Job: Retail Manager
Shambhala Spirit Animal: Owl! 
Favorite Snack on the Farm: Vegetables fresh from the garden


SMF: What did you learn from your SMF job that you apply to your day-to-day life?

EG: I have learned how to delegate appropriately, how to be flexible even while utilizing strict systems of operation, and how to enjoy hard work when it makes so many people happy.

SMF: What does Shambhala mean to you?

EG: It means a lot to have made such strong connections with such passionate, smart, loving, and fun people who work the show every year; it is an honour to be part of something that has grown to be not just a great party, but a special place in people’s hearts.

Eliza Gardiner and Ladies

SMF: How did Shambhala change your life?

EG: It made me more confident of my personal drive; at other jobs and gigs, I have often been told to ‘check myself’, or to ‘rein it in’ and ‘set the bar a little lower’ while at SMF it is the exact opposite – I get to let ‘er rip and shine, shine, shine!


Cassie Baceda

“Real World” job: Neurofeedback Provider
Shambhala Job: Lost & Found Supervisor
Shambhala Spirit Animal: Firefly 
Favorite Snack on the Farm: The corn on the cob from Taco Justice


SMF: What made you join the crew? What keeps you coming back?

CB: I wanted to help make the magic happen and give back to the festival. I love all the wonderful people we get to work with new and returning. I also love camping and seeing good friends.

Cassie Baceda

SMF: What does Shambhala mean to you?

CB: I get to dance and listen to amazing music while camping in the mountains with some of my best friends. It is a big reunion every year for us.


Lisa Thiessen

“Real World” job: I’m involved in the curricular development of a course about Autism currently offered through our local college. Aside from that, I do graphic recording and illustration. And work for the local Real Estate Board office.
Shambhala Job: Finance Manager
Shambhala Spirit Animal: When I spun the wheel three years ago, I got a bird! Perfect. 
Favorite Snack on the Farm: Really – who can beat Blaze Burgers? Except for our exemplary staff kitchen? Staff kitchen brings it, every single year!


SMF: How did you hear about Shambhala?

LT: Living in the Kootenays, how can anyone not know Shambhala? It wasn’t until a close friend said something about going that I thought I should go 🙂


SMF: What made you join the crew? What keeps you coming back?

LT: I originally joined the crew because I was looking for a summer job. The first year completely hooked me on the Festival! I keep coming back because of the people. We have a phenomenal crew – both the one I’m on, and the extended one. It’s been amazing to work inter-departmentally, collaborati ely, year after year. We get better and better at it – and it’s an amazing thing to see all the people there, their hearts wide open, loving the Festival and each other. We get to be big mirrors for each other, reflecting back each other’s brilliance.


SMF: How did Shambhala change you as a person?

LT: Shambhala has made me quick to recognize the efforts and contributions of people around me. I don’t hold back with genuine recognition. People are amazing, and they should know.


Join Dr. Jeff, Eliza, Cassie, and Lisa on one of our Medical/Harm Reduction or Operations crews! It takes a village to raise a festival, and together, we proudly co-create one of the most incredible festivals in the world. Come work and play with us! 

Click here to apply

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