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Fort Langley National Historic Site of Canada

Volunteering Opportunities

Bring history to life! Parks Canada is looking for dedicated individuals to create lasting memories and amazing experiences for visitors, alongside Parks Canada employees. Your skill and determination will contribute to the legacy of the 150th anniversary of our nation.

Our volunteer program offers a wide variety of experiences, duties and roles at the national historic site. Fort Langley attracts 100,000 visitors from BC and around the world each year. Help showcase what life was really like as a fur trader in the 1800s and learn more about the history of British Columbia.

  1. Community Volunteers
  2. Students
  3. Volunteer Activity Descriptions
  4. Volunteer Intake Process
  5. Other Parks Canada Opportunities

  1. Community Volunteers

Do you love Fort Langley? Share your talents and connect with locals, tourists and youth by volunteering in our charming fort - where BC became BC.
What you get:

  • The opportunity to showcase your hobbies and interests
  • A better understanding and appreciation of the rich history and heritage of Fort Langley
  • A chance to depict Fort Langley life in the 1850s wearing a period costume
  • The occasion to meet other like-minded individuals and give back to your community

2. Students: Get Work Experience

Do you love people, travel, history, and Canadian culture? Gain work experience and fulfill your volunteer hours in a unique, fun environment!
What you get:

  • Volunteer work experience hours needed for graduation
  • Transferrable skills
  • A letter of recommendation from Parks Canada once hours are satisfactorily completed
  • A chance to connect with tourists and share Fort Langley’s story

3. Volunteer Activities

Below are the volunteer tasks you can choose from. During volunteer intake, please indicate your preferences and availability and we will do our best to schedule you accordingly.

 Task  Description  Required skills/training  Time requirements
Outdoor Oven Baker or Cook

• Demonstrate baking or cooking to the public, explaining what you are baking/cooking.

• Learn how to operate a 19th century outdoor bake oven.

• Prepare the oven, make dough, and demonstrate to visitors how bread, bannock, or other food was cooked at the fort.

• Provide samples of freshly baked bread to visitors.

You bring:

• An interest in baking and historic foods

• A willingness to dress in period costume

• Positive communication skills for interacting with the public

• Food safe certification (asset)

We will train you in:

• Bake oven operation

• Food safe certification

Full day shift
Library Attendant • Organize resources in our extensive library.

• Learn the library system from our expert volunteer.

• Gain research experience or library experience in preparation for a library sciences degree.
 You bring:

• Strong organizational skills

• Enjoy working independently, behind the scenes

• An understanding of the Library of Congress system, or willingness to learn it. 

We will train you in:

• Our library system

Volunteer needed once per month
Volunteer Newsletter Editor • Work with the volunteer coordinator to create a monthly volunteer newsletter to keep our volunteers connected.

• Coordinate content from the promotion officer and website on events and interpretation schedule.

• Highlight the work of our volunteers.
 You bring:

• Excellent writing or editing skills

• Computer skills to format content into a template

• Enjoy talking to people

• Coordination skills

We will train you in:

• Newsletter publishing

• Writing style

Once a month, meet with volunteer coordinator to decide on stories for the newsletter.

Several hours will be required to gather the content and format the newsletter.

Costuming Assistant • Assist our head costuming volunteer in organizing the heritage costume inventory.

• Mend costumes by hand or with the sewing machine.

• Sew, knit or crochet new items for our costume inventory.

• Optional: demonstrate sewing or weaving in a period building.
 You bring:

• Experience sewing, knitting or crocheting.

• Enjoy working behind the scenes.

• Interest in fashion or period dress.

We will train you in:

• Our costumes through an orientation with our head costuming volunteer.

Assist once per week or every two weeks for a partial day.
Farm animal Assistant  • Do you love animals? Help take care of, feed, clean and groom our goats, sheep, rabbits and chickens.

• Prep measured bags of feed
 You bring:

• Love for animals

• Willingness to clean out animal pens and feed troughs

We will train you in:

• Animal care procedures
This is a great opportunity for local families or teens over the summer (mid-May to Thanksgiving).

One hour morning shift at 9:30 am or afternoon shift at 4:00 pm available.

Minimum commitment of 4 shifts per season needed.
Gardener • Weed, water, plant and dig! Our heritage garden requires daily attention throughout the growing season. Learn about Fort Langley’s farm and heritage plants. You bring:

• Gardening experience or interest

• Physical ability to crouch down and do manual labour

• Positive communication skills

We will train you in:

• Weeding and watering procedures

Minimum commitment of four 2 hour shifts per season needed.

This opportunity is suitable for all ages, including families with children.
Blacksmith Apprentice • Train with one of our Heritage Interpreters in the blacksmith shop.

• Learn to forge steel into various trade items.

• Research the history of the blacksmith and learn interpretive skills required to present to the public.
You bring:

• Positive communication skills

• You are 15 year old or older 

We will train you in:

• Safe use of the forge
Four to six mandatory training shifts are required.

Once completed, commit to volunteering a minimum of three hours, twelve times per year.
Fire pit Attendant • Tend the bonfire during special events to ensure public safety and to chat with visitors. You bring:

• A friendly demeanor and an enjoyment of people

• Willingness to wear a costume or volunteer vest
 
We will train you in:

• Safe fire handling

Special event days

Weekends
Greeter • Welcome visitors to the site at the main gate.

• Tell visitors about upcoming on-site activities that are taking place.

• Orient children to the Xplorers booklet
You bring:

• Ability to stand outdoors in changing weather.

• Friendly, cheerful, diplomatic communication skills.

• Interest in the site’s activities and events
 
We will train you in:

• Parks Canada’s messages

Commit to a half day or full day approximately six times per year.
Children’s Activities Assistant • Interact with children as you assist in leading birthday party activities, Xplorers booklet activities, or old-fashioned games like tug-of-war and potato sack races. You bring:

• Experience working with children

• Positive, energetic, friendly communication skills 

We will train you in:

• Parks Canada’s messages

• Specific games and activities

Commit to a half day or full day approximately six times per year.

Commit to at least one half or full day approximately six times per year.

Most often required on weekends or in the summer.
Social Media and Marketing Assistant Share Fort Langley’s history and beauty with potential visitors using digital marketing communications, social media and photography.
Working with the Promotion Officer, help develop social media campaigns, write and schedule posts.
Learn to sort, file, tag and back up our digital photos. Learn to choose and edit photos that are suitable for social media and the web.
You bring:
 
• Careful clerical and computer skills

• Organizational skills

• Creative ideas

• An interest in gaining work experience in marketing communications and social media in a government setting 

We will train you in:
 
• Parks Canada’s messages

Because of the amount of training required, we will intake one new marketing volunteer per intake session.

A commitment to volunteering approximately 8-10 hours per month for four months is needed.
Parking Attendant Wear a safety vest and work with a partner to direct traffic to safely park in our parking lot or other designated parking areas on Parks Canada property during large special events. You bring:

• Positive verbal communication skills.

Upon request, approximately 3 days per year.
Promotional Outreach Assistant or Village Greeter Attend various outreach events throughout the year with a staff member and help promote Fort Langley’s special events and visitor programs to the public.
Another opportunity is to volunteer for a half day shift as a Village Greeter. Dressed in costume, walk in Fort Langley (town) and distribute site brochures, helping people find out about the national historic site and inviting them to visit.
You bring:

• Positive, outgoing personality

• Willingness to learn about site programs and activities

• Willingness to wear a period costume or volunteer vest

We will train you in:

• Parks Canada’s messages

Once you have completed the training, aim to attend a minimum of 3 outreach events during the year.
Living History Animator Wear a period costume and demonstrate a period activity on the fort grounds or in a historic building.
In July and August, set up props in or near a brigade tent to enhance the on-site living history experience.
You bring:

• Period skill in weaving, carding wool, carving, cooking, coopering, carpentry or your own special 19th century skill.
 
We will train you in:
 
• Parks Canada’s messages

Three to seven hour shifts. Please commit to a minimum of 6 shifts per year.
Event photographer Do you have an eye for photography? Gain experience taking photos during a special event. Meet with the promotions officer to decide on a shot list, take photos, and get model releases signed. You bring:

• Interest in photography

• Friendly communication skills

• Skills using Photoshop or doing digital photography an asset.

Three to four events per year.
Mascot Wearer Dress up in Parks Canada’s official mascot costume, Parka the beaver, and connect with families on site. You bring:

• Willingness to dress in mascot costume, including full head mask

• Energetic and enthusiastic

A commitment of three shifts per year is needed.
Grounds Assistant Enjoy working outdoors and helping keep a Parks Canada place looking beautiful. Work alongside a maintenance team member to gain transferable experience doing a variety of grounds tasks. You bring:

• Like working behind the scenes

• Enjoy working outdoors or working with your hands

A commitment to six two-hour shifts per year is needed.

4. Volunteer Intake Process

To volunteer with Parks Canada, you will follow the steps outlined below during one of our Volunteer Intake Periods.

How to apply

  1. Fill out and submit a volunteer application, available by emailing FTLVolunteers@pc.gc.ca or by calling 604.513.4782.
  2. In 2017, volunteer intake periods will take place: January 3-13, May 23-31 and September 5-19. During intake periods, the volunteer coordinator will review applications that have been collected over the past several months, meet with candidates, conduct security screenings, and schedule orientation and training sessions.
  3. Once you’ve been registered and received training, sign up for our volunteer newsletter to stay up to date with our volunteer activities and opportunities.

Register here to join our volunteer distribution list.


Other Parks Canada Opportunities

For information on opportunities at other Parks Canada places on Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland and across the country, click on the links below.

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
Gulf Islands National Park Reserve 
Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites
Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site
National volunteer opportunities