Friday, November 6, 2015

A Day in the Life of a Tour Guide

**Disclaimer: the opinions shard in this post are mine and mine alone. They do not necessarily reflect the museum's mandate or views.**

For the last year, I've been working at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights as an interpretive guide and honestly? I absolutely love my job. Every day, I get to be surrounded by inspiring stories, I get to meet really interesting people from all over the world, I get to work with such knowledgable and kind people, and I get to talk to people and explain the highlights of this beautiful museum.

In August, I gave a tour to a group of elderly folk, which isn't uncommon for me, but this group was special. They were a group of friends, all couples who get together every year in a different city in Canada as a sort of reunion. They were so interested in what I had to say and in the content of the museum, which is refreshing as sometimes I give tours to people who look like they would rather be anywhere else in the world. About a week after the tour, I received an email from my managers. They had gotten an email from one of the gentlemen on my tour with some really kind words and a picture:
"It was our great pleasure, as members of (...),  to visit the Museum of Human Rights last week. The experience was made even more enjoyable because of our most excellent guide, Emilie (Emily). Her 90 minute presentation was absolutely “first-class!” Attached is a photo which, hopefully, you can forward to her. Thank you! We will plan another visit next time we’re in Winnipeg."
When I get comments like this, it makes me feel like I'm making a change, like I can help inspire people and it's such a great feeling! It's always wonderful to know that others appreciate the work you do, especially when you love what you do.

A typical day in the life of a tour guide at the museum, usually starts at 9am with a morning meeting with the whole team where we make sure everyone is on the same page about the tours and school programs going on that day, as well as any other news or events happening that day. Then, I have a tour at 10:30am that's 90 minutes, which takes us to lunch time. After lunch, I either have a tour at 1:30 or 2:30pm, and in between I spend time roaming, talking to visitors or studying in the galleries to learn more of the content. At the end of the day, we write down the statistics of how many people were on our tour, where they're from and what sort of comments they gave us, whether it's about the museum or the tour itself.
Now I thought I would finish this post with a few images I took at the museum.

Indigenous Perspectives gallery
Hall of Hope
Garden of Contemplation 

Me on the Alabaster ramps
Bitter Memories of Childhood
Breaking the Silence gallery 

Inspiring Change gallery
I imagine... cards

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