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Volunteer Spotlight: Nick Sikich

Posted on February 29, 2024

“Here comes trouble!”

If you’ve ever encountered Nick at FortWhyte Alive, you may have heard him say this to some of our staff. And sometimes, if we’re fast enough, we say it to him first. (This is not often.)

But the truth is that he is an absolute sweetheart who always has a friendly smile to share.

Like many of our volunteers, Nick supports FortWhyte in more than one area. He’s the smiling face teaching you how to roast bannock around a fire, welcoming you to the Richardson Interpretive Centre, and helping just about everywhere at FortWhyte Farms.

Nick is the perfect example of why we say “Volunteers are the heart of FortWhyte Alive.”

Because he, like so many of our volunteers, connects us across all we do.

Nick smiles in front of frozen lake

1. Tell us a bit about yourself!

I am an almost eight-decade Manitoban, born and raised in Flin Flon and lived there for 20+ years. I then moved south to Winnipeg where I attended the University of Manitoba, got married, worked as a federal government employee for Canada Post for 33 years and then retired. I am married and have one daughter and three grandsons.

2. How did you hear about volunteering with us and what made you want to start?

I’ve been a member of FortWhyte for 40+ years. This site, although within city limits, has an outdoor nature feeling like the lakes and the forest surroundings in which I grew up. As a family growing up in Winnipeg, we frequented FortWhyte on a regular basis, the Sunset Goose Flights, summer day camps, etc…

In the past FortWhyte had a newsletter (Branta) which they sent out to members and it was through this medium that I first learned about volunteering. I never did anything about it for years, but it was always in the back of my mind. After retiring in 2006, it wasn’t until 2010 that I finally had a meeting with then volunteer coordinator Michele. She got me volunteering various goose flight sessions and the rest is history.

Nick stands at firepit he's tending

3. What has been your favourite part of volunteering at FortWhyte?

My favourite part of volunteering would probably be the interaction with people, visitors from around the world, students in the school programs and the farm mentoring program, public program events and I would even include the FortWhyte staff.

(Fun Fact: Nick volunteers every year to come and feed the animals on Christmas Day, a shift he even reminded us to post just so he could take it.)

4. Has volunteering had a positive impact in any other areas of your life?

I think volunteering at work at FortWhyte has allowed me to maintain a fulfilling, physical and mental component to my life. It’s gratifying to help individuals in an educational way, or meeting a service commitment.

5. What would you tell someone interested in volunteering at FortWhyte?

I would definitely encourage anyone looking for a volunteer opportunity to consider FortWhyte. The time commitment is your own, choosing as much or as little as you want and at your own convenience.

"There’s no limit to the variety of activities or positions which you can get involved in, and the enjoyment you bring to the visitors is abundantly evident throughout the year."

Thank you, Nick, for being the heart of our community. Thank you for making magic happen!

 

Volunteers are the heart of FortWhyte Alive. If you’re ready to get involved you can view our seasonal positions or reach out to [email protected] to learn more about what might be right for you.

Special thank you to LaFarge Canada for helping us celebrate our volunteers all year long!