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Visitor Experience Interpreters by Day; Scuba Divers, Book Illustrators and Travellers by Night

 

When visiting the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, you will meet a group of staff known as Visitor Experience Interpreters. These dynamic and knowledgeable individuals will welcome you, provide information and visit guidance, and offer programming which will enhance your experience.

Together with a dedicated group of Visitor Experience volunteers (look for more about them in a future blog), they are part of the frontline of the Museum. This summer there are ten interpreters on staff, and one interesting characteristic of this team is how diverse their backgrounds are.

There is Angelique, who hails from Burundi in East Africa. She is a recent immigrant to Canada, and the terrible civil strife she experienced in her home country has given her a particular appreciation for her newly-adopted country. Sweta, who is part of the Museum’s Welcome Home to Canada program presented by TD Bank Group, has been in Canada for four months, after originally leaving Nepal to live in Australia for six years.

Others on the team have experienced diverse cultures in different ways. Mariana was born in Canada, but her parents emigrated here from Mexico, and she spoke Spanish before learning English and French. Abby spent nine years living in Japan when her parents moved there; Kate was a volunteer teacher in Uganda for two years; and André, who has just completed his first year of university, has already lived in three provinces as well as in Europe.

The group also has a diverse range of academic backgrounds, including history, biology, psychology, music, fine arts, computer science and education. As for other pursuits, Heather has had several years of Royal Conservatory of Music vocal and musical instrument training, Katie is a book illustrator, Sarah has teaching experience and Scott is an avid backcountry camper and scuba diver.

Along with this variety of individual experiences, the Visitor Experience team also benefits from the fact that several of the staff have returned to work multiple summers at the Museum, thereby encountering a great many visitors from different parts of Canada and other countries who have shared their culture and personal stories with them. Four of them have 20 summers between them!

Now that you know a little bit about them, look for future blog posts from members of the Visitor Experience team, describing some of their experiences and observations at the Museum.