The Museum of Inuit Art has an amazing team of over 30 volunteers that offer their time and expertise to support many areas of our operations—public programs, visitor services, website development, collections management, and marketing to name a few. In 2013 our volunteers contributed nearly 4,888 hours to our organization. That is the equivalent of the hours worked by 2.5 full-time staff members in a given year! We are truly grateful for their support. Throughout National Volunteer Appreciation Week will be celebrating the contributions of our amazing volunteer team during 2013.
We have such a fantastic team here at the museum, it is hard to capture all the wonderful people involved but we’ve selected a few of our current and past volunteers in a variety of roles to speak about their experience being a part of the MIA family!
Kyle Miller began volunteering with us in January 2013 as a Front Desk volunteer after visiting our museum and becoming a member. Kyle is a very dedicated and reliable volunteer at MIA, and he consistently surpasses the requirements of his role. Throughout the year that he has been with volunteering with us, Kyle has developed an updated, mobile-compatible website for the museum through WordPress which has received positive feedback. While Kyle no longer volunteers on the front desk, he continues to update our website on a weekly basis with new information on upcoming events and exhibitions. We look forward to continuing to work with Kyle and are sure we will see him at future members’ events!
Why did you decide to volunteer with the Museum of Inuit Art?
A few years ago, I won a free trip to Yellowknife, and while I was there I bought a miniature stonecut print by Peter Aliknak. When I returned to Toronto, I wanted to learn more about it, so I paid the MIA a visit. In one of the strangest coincidences of my life, MIA actually had the original stone print block on temporary display when I visited. I knew I had to learn more.
Describe your experience so far with MIA.
I’ve enjoyed working at the front desk, meeting many of my fellow volunteers and of course many hundreds of visitors. I quickly fell into the role of helping to upgrade and maintain the MIA website, something I’m good at and enjoy doing. And I’ve really enjoyed being a part of MIA’s volunteer program, which is rewarding and a lot of fun.
What was the most memorable or rewarding moment that you have had while volunteering with the museum?
I’ve recently enjoyed many of the conversations I’ve had with visitors about Memories: An Ancient Past, an enormous and monumental work by Abraham Anghik Ruben in the MIA lobby. It draws people in and it’s a great way to share some of the history and mythology underlying Inuit art.
What have you learned from your experience with the museum thus far?
My knowledge of Inuit art, history, and culture is so much greater now than when I started. That’s why I started volunteering – to learn more – and it really has worked out.
What are you doing now?
I’m halfway through an Urban Planning graduate degree.
If you are interested in learning how you can lend your expertise to the museum like Kyle has with our website development, visit our website and take a look for our project-based volunteer opportunities. We are always looking for people to join our team!
– Posted by: Brittany Holliss, MIA’s Digital Assets Coordinator