International Day of the Volunteer
Posted: Dec 3rd, 2021 | News

International Volunteer Day is on December 5, and we are excited to celebrate it a little early today with a special announcement! 

For the second year running, one of our volunteers was short-listed for a Volunteer Toronto Legacy Award! Theresa Arneaud has been volunteering at the Textile Museum of Canada for 21 years, and is one of 24 short-listed nominees.  You can view the Digital Wall of Fame celebrating all the nominees here.  

We recognized the many areas in which volunteers support the Museum; the Museum Shop, the reception desk, and in the reimagined Textile Reuse Program. We are grateful to have so many passionate and creative volunteers who share their talents and time to contribute to the Museum’s mission and mandate. 

We sat down with Theresa to ask her about her experience volunteering with the Museum.  

Tell us about yourself. How did you first start volunteering at the Textile Museum of Canada?  

I had graduated from the Ontario College of Art (OCA, before it was OCAD) from a textile program, and I  became a member of the Museum. In 2000, I started volunteering, and I loved getting back into art sewing and meeting people with similar interests. Being exposed to textiles in the Museum sparked me to do more creative stuff. In particular, seeing how different cultures worked with colour was a revelation to me.  

Tell us about your experience volunteering with the Museum this year. 

It’s been great to be able to continue to volunteer at the Museum during the pandemic. I felt like I was a contributing  even when we couldn’t visit the building. Supporting an arts organization during a difficult financial time was important to me.  

What have you enjoyed the most about the work you’ve done for the Maker Team? 

I have definitely enjoyed making bags more than masks! I’ve made almost 500 bags so far. What I’ve enjoyed about it is falling in love with the fabrics as I sew. When you’re a textile hound, working with different fabrics is really satisfying.  

How many different fabrics do you have in your house right now? 

I’m not answering that question!  

I understand that you’re a volunteer at other places in Toronto. Can you tell us about your other experiences? 

I am also sewing gowns and masks for Project Sunshine, a connection I made through the Museum’s work with them. I am also doing set design and costume coordination for a community theatre group, Village Players, and I’ve been volunteering with them for 27 years. Lastly, we are fostering a dog with Save Our Scruff – Jasper the boxador!    

Do you have anything else you’d like to add about the Museum? 

It’s one of my favourite museums in the city! I love its size and how manageable it is as a visitor.