Volunteers assist with many
activities throughout the Museum.
Activities can range from hands-on work with equipment or doing
crafts to interacting with the visitors at school and public events.
Volunteer participation is up to you….some volunteers help us on
a weekly basis while others assist us when needed throughout the year.
The Saskatoon WDM consists of volunteers who are part of volunteer groups as well as those who are Individual volunteers. You do not need to be part of a volunteer group to volunteer at the Saskatoon WDM.
The Staff and Board of the Western Development Museum offer condolences to colleagues, their family and friends who have suffered personal loss. Click here to visit our Remembrance webpage.
1. A meeting with the Volunteer Coordinator will provide explanation and options for volunteering at the Saskatoon WDM. Please call Brenda at 306-931-1910 to book an appointment or contact her by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fill out our WDM Volunteer Application Form (PDF)
2. If you wish to pursue becoming a volunteer, we ask you to analyze the options and areas the Museum has to offer potential volunteers. Choose an option that suits you. Whatever your choice, we will introduce you to that option and you are welcome to meet with other volunteers and experience the activities before you make a final decision. You may have interests in more than one area which is not uncommon and we can accommodate that.
3. Once you have made a decision, we ask you to attend a Volunteer
Orientation session held the first Wednesday of the month (except in
December, January and July) at 1:30pm. Please meet in the lobby. We
also hold weekend orientations twice a year for volunteers who cannot
attend the Wednesday sessions.
The orientation includes a tour of the “workings” of the Museum (offices, storage, volunteer areas, program areas, etc), a video “WDM Orientation” and a brief tour of Boomtown. The orientation is usually 3 – 3 ½ hours in duration. At this time your picture for your volunteer name tag will be taken and the tag will be issued later.
4. You are ready to begin your learning steps in your chosen Museum volunteer field with the help of the staff and our volunteer core.
1. We invite each volunteer (and spouse, partner) to visit the four WDM locations (Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Yorkton and North Battleford) and receive free admission. At the Saskatoon Museum, any function sponsored by the Museum also applies.
2. The Museum Store and Boomtown Café may offer discounts on full priced items to Museum volunteers (Note that these discounts do not extend to friends and family).
3. A volunteer newsletter bimonthly (depending on time of year).
4. A Volunteer/Staff Christmas banquet is held each December and a Volunteer Appreciation Supper each spring. (Note that there is a cost for the Christmas banquet but the price is partially subsidized by the WDM).
The Blacksmith Guild is a group of learned blacksmiths who offer demonstrations on Sunday afternoons year round. Summer finds them in the outdoor shop while winter brings them indoors to the Boomtown Shop.
One may become a blacksmith by attending an "Introduction to Blacksmithing" course at the WDM Curatorial Centre. This group not only explains the elements of the pioneer art but also creates and sells their wares to interested visitors.
For more information on the Blacksmith courses offered by the WDM, visit the Training Program page.
BOOMTOWN VOLUNTEERS ASSOCIATION
The Boomtown Volunteers Association (BVA) meet on the second Friday afternoon of each month. These men and women assist the Museum in a variety of ways from helping with carpentry and painting, guiding tours, interpreting for visitors, acting as Museum hosts on Sunday afternoons and caring for the volunteer library.
The telegraphers are a group who strive to keep Morse telegraphy alive. They have constructed telegraphy equipment which operates from the Boomtown station to the other end of Boomtown Street. Visitors enjoy sending a telegram at one end and having it communicated, by way of Morse code, to be retrieved at the other end. Onlookers can learn about the art and even try their hands at sending the dots and dashes. This group enjoys doing demonstrations with school groups and in sharing their art with Museum visitors on Wednesdays in the summer.
Individual volunteers enjoy being part of the Museum volunteer family but do not necessarily fit into one of the group categories. The majority of these volunteers help as tour guides and interpreters while others assist with office duties and other activities.
Tours guides lead pre-booked groups of 5 to 7 people through the Museum and explain Boomtown and pioneer stories.
Interpreters are volunteers who are in one of the Boomtown buildings or in a specific area of the Museum. They interpret and share information with visitors. Volunteers are asked to interpret for touring catered groups and on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during the summer. There is training information provided to volunteers who want to become guides or interpreters. Guide meetings are held occasionally throughout the year.
PIONEER THRESHERMEN’S CLUB
The Pioneer Threshermen's Club (PTC) meets every Wednesday afternoon for their work bees. Their primary goal is to restore and repair machinery which is used in demonstrations during Pion-Era and Grade 4 Harvesting. The club also cuts, stooks and hauls the sheaves for the threshing demonstrations. They have three general meetings a year preceded by a potluck supper for spouses and other volunteers. They also sponsor two flea markets a year to raise funds for various projects.
The Saskatoon Railroad Modellers are a small group who have a passion for trains both large and small. They have set up exhibits of two scales of model trains in a Museum gallery. The trains are operable at all times by pressing buttons. The “railroaders” can be found at their stations on Saturday mornings. In February and March they share their love of model trains in their “Building Railroad” sessions which are offered on Sunday afternoons to Museum visitors.
SASKATCHEWAN PLEASURE DRIVING ASSOCIATION
The Saskatchewan Pleasure Driving Association (SPDA) hold monthly meetings on the fourth Tuesday of the month. This group’s interest centers around horses and their capabilities. The Museum owns buggies, wagons, cutters and sleighs of which many have been built, restored and renovated by this group. The Museum does not own any horses and is extremely grateful to the SPDA members who supply their horses and time to Museum activities. A barn, lean-to and shed have been built by this group to house the horses, when needed, and to house horse-drawn vehicles. Horse and sleigh rides are offered on weekends in the winter and rides are available at the Museum, upon request, all year round. Horses are part of our threshing shows and horse and wagon rides are offered as part of a preschool program in the spring and fall. Visit the SPDA Website for more information.
The WDM Singers consists of volunteers who enjoy singing. They can be found (or heard) in St. Peter’s Church on Boomtown Street every second Sunday afternoon from September through June and every Thursday afternoon in July and August. They often share their talents and songs at seniors homes and special care homes during the week.
WOMEN’S AUXILIARY TO THE WDM
The Women’s Auxiliary (W.A.) hold meetings on the third Tuesday afternoon of every month. The purpose of this group is the preservation of old fashion crafts through demonstration. They are a group of women who offer ice cream and butter demonstrations upon request. They have crafting session on Tuesdays where they make crafts for sale in their Parlour on Boomtown Street. Pion-Era’s “Grandma’s Kitchen” is organized and staffed by members of the W.A.
Visit the WA Website for more information.
YEAR ROUND AT THE SASKATOON WDM
Not only do volunteers assist the Museum in their respective group activities but they are “on call” for the numerous activities and events held year round.
Pion-Era is the Museum’s annual event held each July. This is a major undertaking which includes all volunteers and their assistance. Public programs/events such as Boo Town, Craft Fair, Heritage Fair and Summer Programming require additional help.
School programs – Hands On, guided tours, Giddy Up & Whoa, Christmas 1910, demonstrations, horse and wagon rides all depend on volunteer assistance.
Extra help is called upon to assist the Café with large catered groups, to fill duties needed to carry out Museum openings, media events and incidental programs.