We’re pleased to virtually present the Museum London Volunteer Awards for 2021!

Museum London is pleased to honour volunteers through our Annual Museum London Volunteer Awards.  The awards continue to be a meaningful way in which volunteers are celebrated. Due to the difficulties that 2020 resulted in, we have changed the way volunteers are recognized and adapted the Museum London Volunteer Awards for 2021 to honour groups of volunteers, rather than individuals.  This is in-line with the theme chosen by Volunteer Canada for National Volunteer Week for this year, ‘The Value of One, the Power of Many.’

Museum London is proud to recognize our groups of volunteer Tour Guides and our Retail & Art Sales Assistants, both of which helped with visitor engagement throughout COVID-19 and continue to do so.  Each of these groups of volunteers were flexible to what was needed of them throughout the year and adapted their roles to create a safer environment for our visitors, both on-site and virtually.

Tour Guides

Tour Guides Group

The Museum London tour guides adapted in numerous ways in 2020. Due to the impact of ‘work-to-rule’ and teachers’ strikes, field trips to the Museum ended early in the year. This also impacted the Making Art Creating Community (MACC) program which the tour guides help with. For the first time, the MACC program was offered as an outreach program in schools. Instead of volunteering at the Museum, the tour guides went into schools and helped with the art-making workshops. They also helped set-up two program receptions in the schools that celebrated the students’ achievements.

After the COVID-19 pandemic struck, all on-site, in-person programming ended. The tour guides quickly embraced new technological platforms so that they could continue to meet weekly and learn about the Museum’s exhibitions and collections. The tour guides have become adept in screen-sharing artwork and presenting in a digital format. Towards the end of 2020, the tour guides started providing virtual programs to both retirement/nursing homes and for school groups. Throughout the pandemic the tour guides have remained loyal and engaged supporters of Museum London.

Retail & Art Sales Assistants

Retail Art Sales Assistant Charlene

Our Retail & Art Sales Assistant volunteers in Museum London’s gift shop have helped us to keep our doors open and have a shopping experience available to our visitors, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. These individuals have assisted to fulfill online orders and have maintained a safe, in-person shopping experience.  While juggling the changing restrictions that came with each colour zone for COVID-19, this group of volunteers calmly executed each safety protocol to visitors and answered an increased volume of questions relating to products and artworks over the phone to ensure a smooth virtual shopping experience.

The Phyllis Cohen Volunteer Award and the Dr. Clare Bice Volunteer of the Year Award will be reinstated next year as we resume the Annual Museum London Volunteer Award program. Phyllis Cohen brought a deep commitment to volunteering to Museum London, including serving as Chair of the Board. As an avid volunteer in not-for-profit and healthcare sectors along with the arts, she inspired many to donate their time and vision for expanding the quality of life in London, Ontario and beyond. Dr. Clare Bice was the first curator at what is now Museum London from 1940 to 1972. His humanitarian spirit was demonstrated through his determination for life-long learning and his establishment of weekend art classes for children, his Art in the Schools initiative and the creation of our art lending library, a legacy that is continued today as Museum London's art rental program. 

‘The Value of One, The Power of Many’ is demonstrated through the work of Phyllis Cohen, Dr. Clare Bice, our past award winners, and our Tour Guides and Retail & Art Sales Assistants who are honoured this year.  Congratulations!