Karen Straker has volunteered with the Maple Ridge Historical Society, assisting with the museum’s archives, for the past 10 years. (Maple Ridge Museum/Special to The News)
Karen Straker has volunteered with the Maple Ridge Historical Society, assisting with the museum’s archives, for the past 10 years. (Maple Ridge Museum/Special to The News)

Karen Straker has volunteered with the Maple Ridge Historical Society, assisting with the museum’s archives, for the past 10 years. (Maple Ridge Museum/Special to The News) Karen Straker has volunteered with the Maple Ridge Historical Society, assisting with the museum’s archives, for the past 10 years. (Maple Ridge Museum/Special to The News)

Helpers needed for new museum initiatives

As volunteers are allowed to return, Maple Ridge Museum hunts for more people to donate their time

Prior to COVID, Maple Ridge Historical Society had a handful of dedicated volunteers who came in regularly – mostly helping with the museum collections and archives. Due to space limitations, there could never be more than a few in the museum at one time.

When COVID hit, like so many organizations, the heritage group had to close its doors entirely to volunteers.

But now, as the world begins to open up again after a more than a year of skeleton operations, the Maple Ridge Museum is looking to welcome those volunteers back, and to further grow its pool of supporters, explained executive director Shea Henry.

In fact, she said, they’re specifically on the hunt for volunteers game to help with a few new and different ventures this summer.

“Our current museum doesn’t have the space or capacity to house volunteers, programs, events, special exhibitions, or any of the fun activities of an dynamic modern day museum. So we have decided to take all of those things to the community,” Henry said, speaking of some of their new community events and programming initiatives.

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For instance, they have an upcoming exhibit at The ACT gallery where they “will take some of the artifacts we don’t have the ability to showcase at the museum into the community, so they can enjoy a few more of the 18,000 artifacts we have at the museum,” Henry elaborated.

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As well, this summer’s events and program activities include the long-standing Music on the Wharf (in this case, this year it’s being held off the wharf), as well as their headstone preservation project, and a new program, Museum in the Park, where they take a traveling kit of interactive museum activities and games to the park at the museum, local parks, and schools.

“So it is not that we lost volunteers during COVID, but we are expanding beyond the walls of our current museum, and since we are a small (but mighty) staff team, to do this we are expanding our volunteer base to help us reach the community,” Henry explained.

The current call out is specifically for volunteers for the headstone cleaning and music event.

READ MORE: Volunteers needed to clean the historical headstones of Maple Ridge cemeteries

With their Music on the Wharf, they need more volunteers than usual because it is being held downtown instead – to accommodate social distancing. Consequently, there’s more set up and tear down involved and more help is needed.

Anyone interested in volunteering can email mrm.outreach@gmail.com, or call the museum at 604-463-5311.

”Volunteer support is absolutely essential to make all of our programs and events possible,” Henry concluded, noting day and time commitments can often be worked around people’s schedules, enabling them to chose how much or how little they want to be involved

Volunteers all receive orientation at the museum prior to the event.

More information available online at www.mapleridgemuseum.org/volunteer.

Volunteer