Volunteers are central to our operations at Point Ellice House. Whether it’s through gardening, working on collections research, or by engaging the public on-site, our volunteers contribute to knowledge about this special place and help create memorable experiences for our visitors.
Garden Volunteers meet with our Garden staff on a regular basis to care for and maintain the two-acre Point Ellice House heritage site. Their work has reopened the site’s amazing views of the Gorge Waterway/Selkirk Water, as well as cleared many years of overgrowth from the property’s South (Kitchen) Garden.
Research & Collections Volunteers have contributed by helping our Assistant Curator with collections care, writing catalogue descriptions of artifacts, and transcribing historical documents, including recipes, letters, and diaries. Their work enriches our collective knowledge about Point Ellice House and its history, as well as enhances care for the extensive artifact collection.
Interpretive Volunteers are our ambassadors on-site and within the historic house itself. Their work alongside our Visitor Experience & Programming Coordinator to welcome, engage, and educate our visitors allows us to share our knowledge and research about this historic site with the general public.
For more information on how to apply to be a volunteer, follow this link.
Interested in hearing about the experiences of our current volunteers? Check out our volunteer profiles below.
Tim, Interpretive and Garden Volunteer
What attracted you about volunteering at a historic house museum?
I’ve always been interested in architecture history and the history of Victoria. Volunteering as an interpreter at Point Ellice House allows me to combine those interests and share that knowledge with visitors. There’s a lot to learn about the history of this city and I like the challenge it provides me.
What do you find most interesting about the history of Point Ellice House?
The house we see today evolved over a 30-year period and there are no drawings from that time and little other documentation. I am fascinated with how the house grew, its remodels and changes, from a small, cottage-sized dwelling of the 1860s to the 22-room rambling structure it became.
What would you say is an important quality to have for your volunteer position?
An interpreter should be able to convey a sense of knowledge and enthusiasm about the house and gardens and listen to visitors to determine what they are interested in.
Which artifact on display most captures your attention?
The stereo-graphoscope on display in the Drawing Room is an interesting piece of 19th century technology that provided the ability to view photos as three-dimensional images (stereoscope) and to view photos, images or text in a magnified manner (graphoscope).
Describe a memorable interaction you’ve had with a visitor.
A visitor from England well versed in the history of interior design and architecture was very excited to see the oldest parts of Point Ellice House and how they were similar and different to English design of the same period. He was amazed that the details and furnishings still existed and that they had not been altered or discarded. He had lots of challenging questions for me!