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Gallery Guide Volunteer

MOA Gallery Guides have been described as the “face of MOA” as they connect directly with over 34,000 visitors presenting more than 1,200 tours a year. Gallery Guides volunteers work under the direction of the Curator of Public Programs and conduct a variety of tours ranging from 30 to 55 minutes on both the permanent collection and special exhibits. All guides must be able to interact with the public with consideration and politeness, to speak clearly, to provide accurate information non-judgmentally and to show respect for all cultures and artifacts. Guides are also expected to attend special curator-led tours of new exhibitions and stay current on topics that affect the museum and the exhibitions.

Gallery Guide volunteers come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Interests, experience, and assets include:

  • Background in anthropology or First Nations studies
  • Experience working with First Nations
  • Previous experience as a volunteer or docent with another museum or cultural organization


All new volunteers are required to attend all three sessions of MOA 101: Introductory Training Seminar. Dates will be announced during our active recruitment period. Training will continue with committee members and staff after MOA 101.

The in-house training that follows is extensive: each new volunteer will observe tours given by experienced guides and will work with a mentor to develop their tour. The training time is both enriching and demanding as much reading and research is required. Generally initial training takes a minimum of six months; new volunteers should expect to spend at least one day per week at the Museum during the initial training period. This training is complete when a volunteer’s tour has been approved by the Curator of Public Programs.

Once trained, Gallery Guides commit to one day a week; there is flexibility as to the specific day and time.


  • 2–3 years on the Gallery Guides Committee
  • 1 day a week from May to September and during Christmas and Spring breaks
  • Some volunteers will come in 2 days a week in the busy months of July and August
  • 2–3 days a month from October to May
  • Gallery Guides may be scheduled for a 6 pm tour on Thursdays when the museum is open in the evening
  • Attendance at General Meetings for all volunteers which take place six times a year on Monday afternoons in September, November, January, March, April and May
  • Attendance at Gallery Guide Committee Meetings which take place monthly on Mondays
  • Note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Great Hall seismic upgrades, Gallery Guides are not currently offering regular daily tours. It is anticipated that regular daily tours will return in late Spring 2022.