The Bata Shoe Museum aims to contribute to the knowledge and understanding of the role of footwear in the social and cultural life of humankind. It achieves this purpose by operating a public institution which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits material evidence related to the history of footwear and shoemaking for the purposes of study, education and enjoyment. Volunteer docents help fulfill this mission by leading private tours for daycares, school groups, ESL classes, and adults.

Volunteer docents serve visitors to the Bata Shoe Museum by presenting accurate information of the history of the museum, the collection, and the architecture of the building. They deliver interactive educational programs that provide an enjoyable and meaningful experience for visitors of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of ability.

Skills Required:
Age 18+
Fluency in English
Excellent communication skills and comfortable with public speaking
Reliable and punctual
Ability to learn accurate, detailed information and present it effectively to diverse audiences
An interest in history, art, fashion, culture, and/or education
Basic computer skills, including the use of email
Experience using tablets/iPads an asset
Courtesy, respect, and patience with visitors
Experience teaching or leading groups; previous gallery or museum experience an asset
Energy and enthusiasm!

New volunteers will receive training on the skills and responsibilities of docents, including presentation techniques, tips on working with various age groups, grade K-12 curriculum connections, object-based learning, gallery and hands-on collection content, and program policies. Volunteers will be invited to participate in additional in-service training and docent enrichment opportunities throughout the year. One-on-one support from BSM Education staff is always available!

The Introductory Docent Training Program consists of ten (10) sessions and meets twice weekly. Monday and Wednesday evenings, 6-8pm, starting Septemeber 23, 2019. *please note that training sessions will not be held on October 14th and 16th, 2019

Time Commitment:
After successful completion of the docent training program, volunteers are asked to commit to leading at least one tour (2 hours) per week for a minimum of one year.

Many of the Museum’s volunteers benefit personally and professionally by giving back to the community, meeting new people, networking with museum staff and volunteers, and gaining work-related skills.

The Bata Shoe Museum recognizes the significant contribution its volunteers make by holding volunteer appreciation events, nominating volunteers for Ontario Volunteer Service Awards; and by providing discounts in the Museum Shop, complimentary admission to many Toronto museums and attractions, tickets to selected BSM lectures and events, and numerous milestone awards for continuous service.


To apply for this position, email your cover letter and resume to:

Andrea Field, Manager of Education and Volunteer Resources


Please include the following in your cover letter:

1)  If you have visited the Bata Shoe Museum.

2) Why you want to volunteer with the Bata Shoe Museum.

3) Highlight your teaching experience or opportunities you have had working with children and groups of adults.

4) Confirm that you are available to attend all training sessions.

*Those selected for an interview will be contacted by email.