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Volunteering Opportunities

Join Us!

St. Ann's Academy is part of the rich tapestry of Victoria's history. Our provincial capital attracts visitors from across the province and around the world. Help us welcome all of our guests, and help to preserve the unique cultural artifacts of this renowned National, Provincial and Municipal Heritage Site.

Who Volunteers?

We welcome volunteers with all kinds of abilities; for example, we have volunteers that work on cataloguing our collections; another who helped to produce this information. There is also an active volunteer garden program. For more information about volunteering, phone the Interpretive Centre staff at 250-953-8829.

The following positions cover the main roles volunteers take on at St. Ann's Academy:

Docents

What is a "docent"?

  • Taken from the latin "doce": one who teaches, instructs or informs - a docent is a trained volunteer at a museum or art gallery who shares his or her knowledge with the visiting public. At St. Annís Academy Interpretive Centre, docents serve the crucial role of "front line" personnel, greeting and providing information for visitors and creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

What does a docent do at St. Annís Academy?

  • Greet visitors, provide information and answer questions regarding the history and the present use of the buildings and grounds of St. Annís Academy.
  • Maintain visitor attendance log book.
  • Conduct tours for tour groups as needed.
  • Assist with public programs, special events and rental programs
  • Assist with general office and housekeeping duties, such as filing and watering plants.
  • Assist with the maintenance and sales of Gift Shop items.
  • Assist visitors who require elevator access to the building.
  • Work on research and other projects during quiet times.

What are the qualities of a successful St. Annís Academy docent?

  • A love of learning with a desire to learn more about St. Annís Academy and the history of Victoria and British Columbia.
  • A desire to share knowledge with others.
  • Likes working and speaking with the public.
  • Able to work independently.

What are the benefits of being a docent at St. Annís Academy?

  • Gain valuable experience for those interested in entering or re-entering the work force.
  • Meet visitors from around the world and around the corner.
  • Learn more about the history St. Annís Academy and Victoria.
  • Excellent position for students as there are opportunities to also do personal work, such as reading, when shifts are slow.
  • Participate in annual Volunteer recognition events in the spring and at Christmas time as well as other events.
  • Parking is available on-site.

What orientation and training is provided?

  • After interviewing and placement, docents receive on the job training from staff on duty.
  • To develop knowledge in the history of St. Annís Academy, docents are provided with a Volunteer manual which contains extensive information on the history and present uses of St. Annís Academy. There is also a reference library available.
  • New docents spend a minimum of two orientation shifts with an experienced docent under the supervision of staff.
  • Further training seminars, covering many topics of interest, may also be scheduled throughout the year.

What sort of schedule does a Docent work? Is there a minimum commitment?

  • Docents typically work one three hour shift per week for a minimum of two months.

What supervision and evaluation is provided?

  • Staff on duty provide immediate supervision for the docent; the volunteer program as a whole is administered by the Program Coordinator
  • Docents are given frequent verbal feedback and support, as well as formal letters of reference upon request.

Thank you for your interest in and commitment to volunteering at St. Annís Academy. We hope that you enjoy your time at St. Annís, and that it is a learning and rewarding experience. Please help us keep the lines of communication open by letting us know how we are doingóparticularly if you have any questions or concerns, or if there are any new skills or jobs you would like to try!

Wedding Assistants

  • Do you love weddings?
  • Do you enjoy working with the public?

Be a Wedding Volunteer at St. Annís Academy!

St. Annís Academy is host to over 100 weddings every year, in both the historic chapel and in the Novitiate Garden.

The duties of a Wedding Volunteer may include the following:

  • Helping with set-up and clean up of events.
  • Greeting the guests and providing information and directions.
  • Assisting guests who require elevator access to the building.
  • Ringing the bell as the newlywed couple departs!

What are the qualities of a successful St. Ann's Academy Wedding Volunteer?

  • Enjoys working with the public.
  • Able to work independently.
  • Available for varied shifts, mostly on Saturday afternoons.
  • Physically capable of light physical work, such as the set-up and take down of chairs.

What are the benefits of being a Wedding Volunteer at St. Annís Academy?

  • Be a part of joyous celebrations and learn about wedding traditions old and new.
  • Gain valuable experience for those interested in entering or re-entering the work force.
  • Meet with visitors from around the corner and around the world.
  • Participate in annual Volunteer recognition events in the spring and at Christmas time as well as other events.
  • Parking is available on-site.

What orientation and training is provided?

  • After interviewing and placement, Wedding Volunteers receive on the job training from staff on duty.
  • Further training seminars, covering many topics of interest, may also be scheduled throughout the year.

What sort of schedule does a Wedding Volunteer work? Is there a minimum commitment?

  • Wedding Volunteers work a three hour shift during wedding events, which typically take place Saturday afternoon. Schedule varies according to the demands of the event schedule. While weddings are held year-round, most occur between May and September. Usually, Wedding Volunteers are contacted one month before an event to check for availability.
  • A minimum two month commitment is required.

What supervision and evaluation is provided?

  • Staff on duty provide immediate supervision for the Wedding Volunteer; the volunteer program as a whole is administered by the Program Coordinator
  • Volunteers are given frequent verbal feedback and support, as well as formal letters of reference upon request.

Thank you for your interest in and commitment to volunteering at St. Annís Academy. We hope that you enjoy your time at St. Annís, and that it is a learning and rewarding experience. Please help us keep the lines of communication open by letting us know how we are doingóparticularly if you have any questions or concerns, or if there are any new skills or jobs you would like to try!

Collections Management

What is "Collections Management"?

  • Collections Management refers to the administration, documentation and physical care of the artifacts (or objects) in the care of a museum.

What does a Collection Management Volunteer do at St. Annís Academy? After fulfilling orientation and training requirements, Collection Management Volunteers can assist staff with a variety of tasks, including:

  • Numbering and cataloguing of artifacts.
  • Creating photo documentation of artifacts.
  • Basic conservation of artifacts.
  • Development and maintenance of correct storage facilities.
  • Assisting with updating and maintenance of computer database records.

What are the qualities of a successful Collection Management Volunteer?

  • Careful and methodic in their work habits and follows instruction well.
  • Shows attention to detail.
  • Shows commitment and desire to learn and apply new skills
  • Likes hands-on work involving fine detail where accuracy is paramount.
  • Able to work independently or in small groups under the supervision of staff.

What are the benefits of being a Collections Management Volunteer at St. Annís Academy?

  • Gain valuable experience for those interested in a career in the museum or gallery field.
  • Develop skills in the administration, documentation and maintenance of artifact collections.
  • Learn more about the history of Victoria and St. Annís Academy.
  • Participate in annual Volunteer recognition events in the spring and at Christmas time as well as other events.
  • Parking is available on-site.

What orientation and training is provided?

  • Collection Management Volunteers must commit to orientation and training seminars as organized by staff at St. Annís Academy. Collection Management Volunteers are also expected to read background materials available in the St. Annís reference library in preparation for these seminars. Seminars are held periodically throughout the year.
  • Volunteers will proceed with the handling of actual artifacts only when both volunteer and staff feel an adequate skill level has been achieved.
  • Further training seminars, covering many topics of interest, may also be scheduled throughout the year.

What sort of schedule does a Collections Management Volunteer work? Is there a minimum commitment?

  • Training seminars are usually scheduled for Sunday afternoons. If there is demand, training seminars may also be scheduled for mid-week, subject to availability of staff. Once training has been completed, Collection Management commit to one three hour shift per week. A minimum three month commitment is required for training and placement.

What supervision and evaluation is provided?

  • Staff will always be present when Collection Management work is being done. Staff will demonstrate techniques and volunteers will have ample opportunity to "practice" using non-artifact materials before they attempt to work directly with artifacts.
  • Staff on duty provide immediate supervision for the Collection Management Volunteer; the volunteer program as a whole is administered by the Program Coordinator
  • Volunteers are given frequent verbal feedback and support, as well as formal letters of reference upon request.

Thank you for your interest in and commitment to volunteering at St. Annís Academy. We hope that you enjoy your time at St. Annís, and that it is a learning and rewarding experience. Please help us keep the lines of communication open by letting us know how we are doingóparticularly if you have any questions or concerns, or if there are any new skills or jobs you would like to try!

Garden Volunteers

  • Do you love gardening and working in the outdoors?
  • Do you like working with others in a team environment?

Be a Garden Volunteer at St. Annís Academy!
St. Annís Academy encompasses 6.5 acres of downtown heritage greenspace, including the charming Novitiate Garden with herb garden and perennial beds, a 100 year old orchard and former formal garden/arboretum.

What does a Garden Volunteer do at St. Annís Academy?
The duties of a Garden Volunteer may include the following under the supervision and direction of staff:

  • Weeding, trimming and deadheading plants and shrubs in perennial beds and flower urns.
  • Light watering of beds without irrigation
  • Seasonal tasks such as pruning, mulching and planting of annuals.
  • Occasional work party projects.

What are the qualities of a successful St. Ann's Academy Garden Volunteer?

  • Enjoys working with others as well as independently.
  • While a basic knowledge of gardening principles is an asset, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn and follow instruction are most important.
  • Physically capable of light physical work, such as digging in flower beds and weeding by hand.

What is the necessary equipment for a Garden Volunteer at St. Annís Academy?

  • The Garden Volunteer is responsible for providing his or her own outdoor clothing and footwear suitable for gardening in variable weatheróincluding raingear, sun hats and sun screen as appropriate. No open toe shoes permitted.
  • The Garden Volunteer will bring his or her own secateurs (pruning shears), gloves and knee pads. All other gardening equipment will be provided.

What are the benefits of being a Garden Volunteer at St. Annís Academy?

  • Enjoy time in the outdoors and the physical and spiritual benefits of working with plants.
  • Meet and work with other volunteers with similar interests.
  • Gain valuable experience for those interested in entering or re-entering the work force.
  • Participate in monthly Volunteer social gatherings as well as annual Volunteer recognition events in the spring and at Christmas time.
  • Parking is available on-site.

What orientation and training is provided?

  • After interviewing and placement, Garden Volunteers receive on the job training from staff on duty. Staff will always be present to guide and instruct the volunteer in the assigned tasks.
  • Further training seminars, covering many topics of interest, may also be scheduled throughout the year.

What sort of schedule does a Garden Volunteer work? Is there a minimum commitment?

  • Garden Volunteers work one three-hour shift a week on Thursday mornings. A minimum four month commitment is required.

What supervision and evaluation is provided?

  • Property Management Staff on-site provide immediate supervision for the Garden Volunteer; the volunteer program as a whole is administered by the Program Coordinator
  • Volunteers are given frequent verbal feedback and support, as well as formal letters of reference upon request.

Thank you for your interest in and commitment to volunteering at St. Annís Academy. We hope that you enjoy your time at St. Annís, and that it is a learning and rewarding experience. Please help us keep the lines of communication open by letting us know how we are doingóparticularly if you have any questions or concerns, or if there are any new skills or jobs you would like to try!

Special Events Volunteers

  • Do you enjoy working with the public?
  • Donít have time for a regular volunteer commitment?

Be a Special Event Volunteer at St. Annís Academy!
St. Annís Academy Interpretive Centre is host to several large public events every year, often with thousands of visitors. As well, smaller events such as lectures and theatrical productions also take place throughout the year. Special Event Volunteers are needed to help out with these events.

What does a Special Event Volunteer do at St. Annís Academy?
The duties of a Special Event Volunteer may include:

  • Helping with set-up and clean up of events.
  • Greeting the public and providing information and directions.
  • Assisting visitors who require elevator access to the building.
  • Assisting with crowd control and traffic of the public within the building.
  • Helping with concessions.

What are the qualities of a successful Special Event Volunteer?

  • Enjoys working with the public.
  • Able to work independently or in small groups.
  • Available for varied shifts, mostly on weekends or in the evenings.
  • Physically capable of light physical work, such as the set-up and take-down of chairs.
  • If working concession, cash experience is an asset.

What are the benefits of being a Special Event Volunteer at St. Annís Academy?

  • Gain valuable experience working in a team environment for those interested in entering or re-entering the work force.
  • Meet with visitors from around the world and around the corner.
  • Learn more about the history of Victoria and St. Annís Academy.
  • Participate in annual Volunteer recognition events in the spring and at Christmas time as well as other events.
  • Limited parking is available on-site.

What orientation and training is provided?

  • After interviewing and orientation, Special Event Volunteers receive on the job training from staff on duty.
  • Further training seminars, covering many topics of interest, may also be scheduled throughout the year.

What sort of schedule does a Special Event Volunteer work? Is there a minimum commitment?

  • Special Event Volunteers typically work a three hour shift during special events several times a year. Schedule varies according to the demands of the event schedule. Usually, Special Event Volunteers are contacted one month before an event to check for availability.
  • There is no minimum commitment required.

What supervision and evaluation is provided?

  • Staff on duty provide immediate supervision for the Special Event Volunteer; the volunteer program as a whole is administered by the Program Coordinator
  • Volunteers are given frequent verbal feedback and support, as well as formal letters of reference upon request.

Thank you for your interest in and commitment to volunteering at St. Annís Academy. We hope that you enjoy your time at St. Annís, and that it is a learning and rewarding experience. Please help us keep the lines of communication open by letting us know how we are doingóparticularly if you have any questions or concerns, or if there are any new skills or jobs you would like to try!