Learn more about government’s intention to modernize the museum to protect our historic holdings and provide better access to our collections.
Volunteers have been supporting the RBCM since 1886 when it first opened in the Legislative Buildings as the Provincial Museum and the program ran continuously until 2020, when Covid-19 paused the organizational operations.
In 2022 we restarted the onsite volunteer program with small cohorts and currently have a complement of approximately 100 volunteers. With the gradual return of the volunteers and full return of our volunteer services manager, we’re taking an opportunity to commence a review of the program. Onboarding additional volunteers will be paused during the review, with the exception of Royal BC Museum Foundation positions.
Every year volunteers at the Royal BC Museum contribute over 46,000 hours of their time by:
Our volunteers are a diverse and talented group of people who enjoy sharing their knowledge and experience with others, building partnerships and being part of one of the most exciting and rewarding volunteer programs in the province.
It’s easy—simply complete an online application form that tells us about your background, interests, education, volunteer and/or work experience, skills and hobbies, your availability and any special requirements or challenges we can support.
For volunteers 19 years of age or over we require two references and a Police Information Check. For volunteers under the age of 19 a consent form is required.
Click here to see all of our volunteer opportunities and enroll as a volunteer.
Applications can also be picked up at the Royal BC Museum at the Volunteer Services office or Box Office during business hours.
We do receive a high volume of volunteer applications and sometimes it takes a while for us to process them as we look for a good fit between your interests and our available positions. We appreciate your patience and will be in touch as soon as we are able.
Volunteer Services, Marketing and Business Development and Development are areas that require administrative support. There are opportunities across the organization as we strive to make our collections accessible globally.
The first line of contact with visitors is often the Information Desk, Coat Check, or with a museum host in our lobby where volunteers provide museum information and orientation service as well as visitor support.
120 adult learning team volunteers and 20 youth learning team volunteers inspire, and get inspired by, visitors of all ages at the Royal BC Museum. Their roles include public program events, gallery animation, tours and community outreach.
See the Learning Team Volunteer Self Assessment Form
Volunteers work in a wide variety of areas depending on current projects. Activities include assisting with data entry, sorting and preparing specimens, research and collections maintenance.
The Foundation has a voluntary board that sets policy and direction for the organization. Foundation Volunteers can also be found in the following areas: Foundation Finance office, Royal Museum Shops and Receiving.
The Royal BC Museum is a place that encourages and celebrates diversity.
You see it represented in the biodiversity of our natural history collections. You hear it in the animated, vocal perspectives of participants in our public Learning programs. You experience it with every interaction with our staff and volunteers.
Diversity is one of our values, and it’s rooted in our organizational DNA.
If you are a person with a disability, feel free to let us know when you inquire about volunteering at the Royal BC Museum.
We’ll match you with a position that meets your specific skill-set, interests and abilities. There’s a place for you here.
Because we want you to find your experience as rewarding and enjoyable as possible, we carefully match your interests and skills with suitable volunteer positions and opportunities. This can take a bit of time as interest in some areas can be very high and, as a consequence, some volunteer positions may not arise quickly. However, we do keep all volunteer applications on file for approximately two years and will contact you as soon as an appropriate position becomes available.
Potential volunteers with a background in research from other museums, archives or educational institutions may be placed on an individual basis depending on their specific knowledge, skills and interests. Please contact Volunteer Services for further information.
When a suitable position does become available, we will ask you to come in and talk to us to see if the assignment is one of interest, or if there are other placements that may have arisen that are a better fit with your needs and experience. This may mean more than one visit. You should consider carefully whether the opportunity is a good fit and if the time commitment involved will work for you. The minimum commitment is six months, although some of our volunteers have been with us for many years because they enjoy it so much.
We are also pleased to work with schools in our community or volunteers who want to contribute though E-volunteerism.
Once you are accepted as a Royal BC Museum volunteer we will give you a written job description for your position and schedule your orientation and training session. Depending on the position, initial training may take anywhere from a few hours to several months. We will continue to support and train you throughout your involvement at the museum and archives, where you can expect guidance and supervision to help you perform your duties with confidence and skill. Volunteering is an opportunity for you to learn new skills and discover hidden talents.
In return, we expect each of our volunteers to understand and support the Royal BC Museum’s mission, vision and values, and to be ambassadors for the museum in the community. The Royal BC Museum is a unique organization, with staff and volunteers that are dedicated to maintaining high professional standards in their work.
Our corporate values are Accountability, Community, Creativity, Diversity, Partnerships and Service.