CURATOR'S CORNER: Volunteers play vital role at Burnaby Village Museum
When Linda and Russell Collins retired from their jobs, they wanted to continue contributing their skills and learning new ones.
They began volunteering at the Burnaby Village Museum and now help interpret the museum’s exhibits during public open hours, as well as giving tours to school groups from September to June.
Linda notes: “We started at the museum when we were both newly retired and the museum staff and volunteers became our new colleagues, which made for a great transition into retirement. We also enjoy the organized social events.”
The museum also attracts a number of volunteers in their teens and twenties, looking for opportunities to make friends, learn, and get work experience. Annabel Ng, who began volunteering three years ago as a work experience student, said, “It's easy to make friends here. You meet different people and everyone is really nice and whether you've been volunteering for two years or 20 years, you all get along because you share the same interest.”
People interested in learning more about volunteering at Burnaby Village are invited to a free Volunteer Tour and Tea on Wednesday, April 4 from 1 to 3 p.m. The event features an opportunity to meet staff and volunteers, receive a tour of the site, and learn about the many volunteer opportunities at the museum.
Volunteers help in a number of roles. Some help catalogue the many artifacts, books, and photographs that form the museum’s collection. Others help with summer camps. On special event days, volunteers provide information to visitors and help out with games and activities.
The museum relies on volunteers to interpret many of the exhibits. Volunteer interpreters dress in 1920s costumes, and receive in-depth training to provide accurate information.
Volunteering at the museum provides opportunities to learn about Burnaby’s history, meet friends, and gain experience. We provide our volunteers with training, costumes, lunch, and other perks.
To register for the Volunteer Tea on April 4, or ask other questions about volunteering, you can contact the Burnaby Village Museum at 604-297-4565.
• Lisa Codd is the curator at the Burnaby Village Museum.