It takes a dedicated crew to (wo)man-a-ship, and we are incredibly grateful for ours.


Group photoThe Marine Museum of the Great Lakes derives its strength from its many volunteers. In fact, our Museum was founded over 45-years ago by a group of dedicated divers concerned with the preservation of maritime cultural heritage! We would not be what we are today without them.

Our volunteers work closely with Museum staff to support projects, activities and administration. They are an invaluable part of our Team. Over the years volunteers have been involved with everything from gift shop management and Alexander Henry tours to administration and Board Committees. There is also a dedicated group who have worked on numerous boat restoration projects; restoring such treasures at the Mowat Boat and most recently a small fleet of Y-flyers.

Whether you're an experienced sailor with extensive nautical knowledge or a student looking for your forty hours of community service, the Marine Museum offers a volunteer opportunity for everyone - scroll down for a list of volunteer opportunities!


Volunteer Projects

When the Museum moved to Portsmouth Olympic Harbour in 2016, volunteers took a much deserved extended vacation. Then, when news came in summer 2019 that we had re-acquired our historic 55 Ontario St. property - they were all hands on deck from the start. Our dedicated volunteers took on the enormous task of cleaning the exerior and interior of the building, rebuilding the flower beds, repairing doors, and so much more. Their most impressive accomplishment is without a doubt the draining, cleaning and repainting of the dry dock and casson pumps in the Pumproom which had gradually submerged in water when electricity was cut off in 2016. Now, sub-pumps ensure the water stays out and the equipment has a beautiful fresh coat of paint.

Over the past year their work has focused on the beautification of our space following the electrical and mechanical repairs - dry wall repairs, clearning and painting of our offices and galleries - all in an effort to bring the Museum home. And let's not forget the remarkable work that goes into the gardens and lanscaping - our East Pier welcomed visitors after 15 years of disuse! It was wonderful sight to see the space providing access to the waterfront.

Volunteers are also present in the back-end supporting website redevelopment, governing committee work and strategic planning at the Board of Directors level.

Read more about the work these volunteers are doing. Then scroll down to learn about how you can get involved!


Meet Our Volunteers


Peter Ashley

Peter Ashley

Peter started with the Museum as a tour guide and was involved with the arduous process of packing the Museum in 2016. He now volunteers twice a week to support site renovations.
 Peter says, "the need to give time, knowledge and energy" is what motivates him. "The Museum needs this" he adds.

Dave Shurtleff

Dave Shurtleff

'After I retired I was looking for an activity unlike what I did every day, preferably one that involved some physical activity and where I could associate with similar minded invidividuals.

My activities at the Museum have been varied. Originally I worked on boat restoration (Angus Mowat) and building displays for the galleries. I am most proud of the work to bring the Museum back to life.'


Join Our Crew!



Gardener needed!

We're looking for someone to fill the shoes of our former Master Gardener, Judy Gay. The foundations have been layed, now we look to you continue her work.

If you have a love for plants, a green-thumb and are looking apply your love of nature, consider volunteering with us as a gardener. *Four-legged helpers not included!

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We're looking for enthusiastic Receptionists to assist Museum staff with normal day-to-day operations, greeting visitors and answering questions, and program bookings. This position is a great opportunity to work in a friendly, creative and collaborative work environment while developing administrative and communications skills, and learning about local maritime heritage.

This is a maximum 10-hour/week unpaid volunteer position from September to May – ideally two 3.5-hour shifts per week, but open to discussing availability. FULL DETAILS HERE.


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Calling all painters, movers and picnic table makers!

We're looking for painters, carpenters, general labourers to help us continue the renovation work in our galleries and move the collection back into the Museum. We have two deadlines to meet (mid-May and end of June), and we need all the help you can offer.

Our crew meets Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings. If you are looking to keep busy, support a great local cause and join a team of passionate individuals, consider volunteering with us.

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Volunteer Policy

The Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston engages volunteers at all levels of its operation. The Marine Museum encourages a mutually beneficial environment where members of the Board of Trustees, Staff and Volunteers work in a collegial atmosphere of mutual respect and tolerance to achieve common goals and objectives which will benefit the Museum.

For the purposes of this document, a volunteer is defined as an individual who performs a service requested, agreed upon, and supervised by the Marine Museum without expectation of compensation.  Such an individual agrees to adhere to all relevant federal, provincial and municipal regulations which govern their actions and to follow the policies of Marine Museum.

Direct administration of volunteers (recruitment, retention and recognition) is the responsibility of the Executive Director with the assistance of the Volunteer Committee, and is guided by Marine Museum Volunteer policies and procedures.