With over 40 regular volunteers at Craigdarroch Castle, this National Volunteers Week we would like to extend an enormous thank you to them, for their passion in preserving and sharing The Castles story, and the vital role they play in creating a memorable environment for our over 150,000 yearly visitors. This year’s National Volunteer Week, (April 19 to 25, 2020) theme is “It’s time to applaud this country’s volunteers.” And we wholeheartedly agree with this statement! National Volunteer Week is a campaign lead by Volunteer Canada, recognizing the 12.7 million Canadians who volunteer across the country in various roles from food banks to shoveling sidewalks. Coming from a variety of backgrounds and occupations, the volunteer team at Craigdarroch Castle fill many roles; from supporting the gift shop, to engaging visitors, and helping the restoration and conservation of the many artifacts in our collection.
The National Volunteer Week campaign first began in Canada in September 1943 to raise awareness of the contributions that women made on the home front. These included roles like the Red Cross, the Women’s Volunteer Service, and taking care of children evacuated to Canada during the war. Today, National Volunteer Week is a yearly campaign lead by Volunteer Canada to shine a spotlight on Canada’s many volunteers and to thank them for their dedicated work.
From having a passion for history, looking for experience in the heritage and museum world, or enjoying architecture, The Castles volunteers have a variety of reasons for choosing to spend their time at Craigdarroch. Along with those interests, and the specific roles they play at The Castle and Visitor Centre, the whole volunteer team makes the visitor experience at Craigdarroch, and in Victoria as a whole, memorable and engaging. Volunteers bring a wealth of knowledge to The Castle and go above and beyond for every single visitor, from suggesting local restaurants to visit, beer recommendations, directions to other attractions, engaging with visitors in their own language , or even the occasional deep discussion about vintage cars!
It's almost impossible to visit The Castle and not meet one of our fantastic volunteers hard at work chatting away to visitors; however not all volunteer work is so immediately obvious, yet it is all just as important. These volunteers work with the artifacts, and help to restore and look after The Castle and its collection of artifacts. Recently, many volunteers assisted in repairing some delicate lace window coverings, which are now displayed a bedroom, and another person spent months identifying who made the art glass windows in Craigdarroch. Often forgotten are the 12 dedicated volunteers who sit on the Society's Board of Directors and oversee the Society’s financial and policy requirements.
Without the incredible support from our volunteers, running and maintaining Craigdarroch Castle would be near impossible. Once again, we would like to extend a massive thank you to The Castles incredible team of volunteers, past and present, for all their dedicated work, and being an absolute hoot to work with!
If you are interested in becoming one of our amazing volunteers please visit https://thecastle.ca/pages/volunteer