This month’s Volunteer Spotlight shines on Sanna Guerin, who’s been involved with the Workers’ History Museum since its inception. Sanna’s passions are museums and history – in the picture above, she’s giving a presentation on medical care during the First World War – and she plays a key role in developing and curating the WHM’s travelling and online exhibits. Sanna is representing the WHM at Ask A Curator Day, September 18th on Twitter. Be sure to bring her your questions!
Name: Sanna Guerin
Where are you from? I grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and I’ve been in Ottawa for eleven years.
What’s your primary occupation? I work at the Canadian War Museum where I do public programming, such as school programmes, gallery activities, guided tours, and birthday parties.
How long have you been a WHM volunteer? Why did you join? I’ve been a volunteer at the WHM since 2010. I really think it’s important to have a museum that tells stories that differ from mainstream histories. We need to hear how other people lived outside the privileged class, and how they contributed to the world we live in. These are the people who created the cities we live in, and influenced the day-to-day legacy. Why do we have a weekend? How do we have an 8hr shift instead of a 14hr shift? Why is there a minimum age and wage for work? These are some of the important questions to ask, and what our museum strives to tell.
Are you/have you been on any committees? I’ve worked mainly with the exhibitions committee, as well as the board of the directors.
What project have you been involved in that you’re most proud of? The entire museum, actually. The fact that we’re a thriving, growing and vibrant organization is amazing, and I’m so happy to be a part of it. I can’t wait to see where we’ll be in five years.
What’s the best thing about volunteering for the WHM? I’ve had an opportunity to meet and work with some fascinating people, and I’m gaining experience that will look great on my c.v.
What three people, living or dead, would you invite to your dream dinner party? I’d love to have a talk over tea with Amelia Earhart, Lucille Ball, Emma Goldman, and Emmeline Pankhurst. All were determined women who pursued what they wanted to do, despite the obstacles each one faced, and are great . Lucille Ball challenged the studio system in Hollywood by eventually running and financing her own programmes; Emma Goldman was, of course, the “most dangerous woman in America” for her work; Emmeline Pankhurst was one of the leaders of the suffrage movement in Britain; and Amelia Earhart for being the first pilot who happened to be a woman. They might not all get along, but I’m sure we’d agree on a few things!
Volunteering with the WHM is a great way to get involved in the local community, and we have a number of volunteer needs covering a wide range of interests. Whether your skills are in helping with administrative tasks, doing research, working on an exhibit or acquisitions project, or fundraising, we have a place for you.