How do I apply to become a volunteer history guide?
Prospective volunteers are asked to attend an Open House during fall and spring and fill out an application at that time. They are given a brief interview at the Open House.
Note: The Association of English-Speaking Guides reserves the right to accept or decline membership.
How old do I have to be to volunteer at the museum?
You must be at least 18 years old.
Do I need to be bilingual (English and French)?
Bilingualism is not required. Members of the English Guides Association must be able to communicate effectively in English. The Association des guides francophones provides activities in French. Knowledge of other languages is an asset. If you do not yet master English, you have another option: become an Ambassador. Friends of the Governor's Garden can be unilingual French or English-speakers, or bilingual.
Can volunteering lead to a paid job at the Château Ramezay?
No. Volunteering will not lead to a paid job at the Museum.
Do I need to have previous guiding experience?
No, but it is important to be well motivated and eager to acquire and share knowledge with others.
Is training provided?
Yes. The English Guides Preparatory Course is a ten-session, 25-hour training that provides all the necessary background information you will need.
Friends of the Governor's Garden also provide training for volunteers in garden duties.
What topics are covered in the course?
The history of the building, the museum, the Ramezay family, Amerindians, the fur trade, historic fabrics & clothing, daily life & self-sufficiency in the 18th c., New France, 18th-19th c. Montreal and the basics of guiding.
Friends of the Governor's Garden delve into the history of gardens and the Château's architectural history and chat informally with a diverse clientele.
Is the training free?
There is no cost for the course itself but trainees are asked to become members of the museum.
For the many benefits of membership and the cost click here.
When is the training course offered?
There is usually one course per year in the fall, starting after the open house. It is normally given on weekdays.
Training for Friends of the Governor's Garden takes place from March to June. It is only available in French for the moment.
Am I required to wear a costume?
Yes. The costume costs $45 or you can make your own, using patterns we provide.
Are there any other costs?
All guides are required to pay the museum membership fee annually. As a result, guides continue to enjoy the many benefits of membership. Click here for the benefits of membership
How soon can I start guiding?
Provisional guides need to observe experienced guides before as well as complete the course they can start guiding. The observation section of the training can begin during or after the course in the fall term. For Winter Open House attendees who are waiting until the fall to take the training course, the observation can begin prior to the course. Trainees are expected to be able to do at least one adult tour independently within a year of completing the course. Once you have completed the training phase, you will be expected to commit to volunteering the equivalent of two days per month (or more if you want to).
What does a volunteer guide do?
There are different guiding opportunities at the museum, including the activity-based school program for children in elementary schools, booked tours for older English as a second language, students and other groups, and summer or weekend guiding of tourists (adults and children). There are also special activities for the public during spring break and the Christmas holidays and on Montreal Museums Day.
Friends of the Governor's Garden meet a variety of tourists from all over the world.
How do I get to the museum by public transit?
The closest metro station is Champ de Mars. When you exit the station, follow the signs for Vieux Montréal. Bus numbers 14, 129 and 715 also serve Notre Dame Street.
Is there parking?
The museum does not provide parking. You can park on the street or in a parking lot. There is an underground parking underneath the Chaussegros-de-Léry building located across the street and an outdoor parking in front of the Bonsecours Market. However, spaces are limited in Old Montréal. Take note that the Château Ramezay does not reimburse parking fees. Take public transit if possible.
How about bicycling?
There are few places to lock your bike around the Museum. Note that there is a Bixi bike rental right beside the Museum on Notre Dame and Place Jacques Cartier.
What is the requested commitment?
Volunteers are expected to commit to two days per month (more, if you like).