Make a difference at the Pickering Museum Village. Whether you have a special talent or skill you'd like to contribute, or you're just looking for a way to get involved in your community - we have the opportunities for you. Training is provided - and we make it fun!
If you are 6 years of age and older, you can volunteer as an individual, group or make it a family occasion and bring along the whole crew. Apply here or in person. All volunteers must be willing to undergo a Criminal Reference Check and Vulnerable Sector Screening.
2015 Volunteer Opportunities Booklet
Contact us for more information.
Volunteer Opportunities Include
Backwoods Players is an award-winning theatre company with a membership of over 150 people of all ages, specializing in period productions. Theatrical styles range from improvisation and comedy to the high drama of "A Spirit Walk". Most productions are staged onsite at the Pickering Museum Village, either outdoors, or in 19th century buildings.
Backwoods Players is an open company offering a wide variety of opportunities for creative people who want to act, or help with productions. Apply to become a member, and receive audition and crew calls.
Watch here for audition notices for this year's Backwoods Players plays! To check out the line-up for the year go to the museum's event page.
Auditions for "Lady Audrey's Secret" will be held early in April. Audition Notice
Auditions for "A Spirit Walk" will be held mid May.
Auditions for "Markham Gang" will be held the first week of June.
Auditions for "Duffins Creek Sunday School Pageant" will be held the second week of October.
Bloomers & Britches Heritage Gardeners
The Bloomers & Britches is made up of a hardy band of gardeners who work in the gardens of the museum village Tuesday or Saturday mornings, from May until October. As well as hands-on gardening, the club researches, plans, and plants the heritage gardens. There are 2 full group Saturday sessions, one in May, "Turnover", and one in October, "Turnunder" when the members gather together to open and close the gardening season.
Bloomers and Britches welcomes new members with open arms.
Nimble Thimbles Costume Committee
If you enjoyed dressing dolls as a child, imagine the fun you'll have costuming real people, in styles ranging from the era of Jane Austen to WWI. We rely on the talents of those creative individuals who can wield scissors, a needle and thread, and perhaps even a (modern) sewing machine!
This committee meets every Tuesday morning through the winter to work on mending, costume construction, and collection inventory. Periodically, sewing "bees" are held to work on projects for a whole day.
Love history, enjoy sharing it? We exist to tell Pickering's stories, and we need you to do it! From life in a log house, to interpreting the goods in the 1910 General Store, our costumed interpreters share the museum's artifacts and the stories behind them. As with all volunteer opportunities at the museum village, we will give you the training to successfully interpret and demonstrate heritage skills. And what's more, you get to dress up!
Gas and Steam Club
Interested in preserving historical technology? This club meets every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday all year round in a state of the art, heated workshop where they research, rebuild, and restore antique engines, tractors, vehicles and equipment of historical importance. If you have an interest in heritage equipment, or just like to tinker with unusual and fascinating machinery, consider joining this group of volunteers.
The club operates the museum village's collection of gas and steam at special events.
Pickering Museum Village Foundation
The purpose of this arm's length fundraising board is to support large conservation and building restoration projects at the museum village. Since 1996, the foundation has partnered with businesses, community groups and volunteers on heritage projects large and small at the museum village and have funded and supported a number of City initiatives. Please visit the foundation website for more information, or to provide financial support for this organization's objectives.
Pickering Museum Village Advisory Committee
This committee is appointed by the Mayor and Council of the City of Pickering at the beginning of a term of Council. The advisory committee serves for the duration of the Council term. Committee members may be re-appointed by Council for successive terms. The committee works to support the vision, mission, goals and objectives of the museum village, and to act as a liaison between the community, City staff, and Council. Members must be Pickering residents.
To apply for an appointment, look for postings in the local paper, or contact the Clerk's Office at the City of Pickering.
Stepping in Tyme Dance Society
This heritage dance society is dedicated to the accurate interpretation of 19th century social dance in Pickering Township. Dancers, as well as musicians, enjoy social camaraderie while learning and practicing a variety of heritage dances, both onsite and during occasional outings to various Toronto dance clubs, workshops and special events. In addition to dance research and development, expert guest instructors are invited to teach periodically throughout the year.
Stepping in Tyme meets every other Tuesday evening, all year round. Dance styles performed include English Country Dance, Contra Dance, Quadrilles, Old-fashioned couples Ballroom Waltzes and Polkas, Galops, etc. These dances are fun and relatively easy to learn, whether you've never danced in your life or dance is your passion.
New dancers and musicians are always welcome!
Love to sing in the shower, and or belt out songs with the stereo in your car? The Village Singers is the club for you! This group exists to support the history of song at our special events. The repertoire includes popular songs from 1830 to 1910, temperance songs, and Christmas carols. Our singers rehearse at the museum village on Saturday mornings for a month prior to upcoming performances. The Village Singers welcomes new members of all ages. While ability to read music is not mandatory, some choral experience is desirable. No auditions required, just passion for song!
Do old woodworking tools and techniques spark an interest? If so, step back into the 19th century when most things were made of wood; your home, furniture, your vehicle, toys, and even the tools you used around the farm! The Woodwrights' Guild focuses on woodworking in and around the village, including demonstrating the daily activities in a 19th century wheelwright shop, the general repair and restoration of wooden artifacts, carpentry such as the repair and restoration of existing buildings, and the construction of new, period-compatible structures and furnishings. If you have a hankering for the smell of fresh-cut wood, come and join in the fun!
We tend to be told we're old-fashioned, out of date, and out of touch. Okay, so we like history. We may be a museum, but we want to keep a finger on the pulse of the youth in our community, and we need our youth to help us be cool. (Or at least help us to not be too nerdy - in youth standards.) The Youth Council at Pickering Museum Village assists the Event & Volunteer Programmer to bring a fresh youth perspective to events and volunteer activities. The group meets every other month. If you want to help guide us on our way to being an "in" place for youth, contact us. Please!
Do you like to cook or bake? Our food ways group, Vintage Victuals (pronounced "vittles"), are responsible for all of the food programming that takes place in the village. These volunteers handle everything food-related at the museum village: baking the candies, puddings and other samples offered at Christmas in the Village; heritage cooking and baking demonstrations at events and onsite programs; presenting public workshops; snack bar food service. In short, they are our "chief cooks and bottle-washers". Some opportunities are in costume and require interpretation skills for which we will fully train you if you're interested.
Other Volunteer Opportunities
Don't see what you can offer? There are many ways. We need your computer skills, or interest in history that may not include wearing a costume or interpreting machinery, gardens, or dance! We are currently seeking volunteers willing to help out in the following areas:
- data entry (solid computer skills required)
- research on social history, local politics, rural life, local personalities, artifacts in the Pickering Museum Village collection, gardening practices (research skills with primary and secondary sources required)
- hands-on help delivering children's programs such as Time Traveller Camp and Kids in the Village Heritage Games & Crafts days (must be available in the summer, youth preferred)
- make us an offer - we're always open to creative thinking!