Job Specification

Position Title:
Job Code:
94024 - Artisan 3
Job ID:

Purpose of Position :

To demonstrate hands-on Coopering skills and techniques, and to interpret the role and significance of Coopering within the context of Fort William Historical Park's living history, education, events and exhibits program. To research and fabricate period reproductions and provide specialized maintenance services for site structures and furnishings.

Duties / Responsibilities :

Position functions within Fort William Historical Park, which is a living history tourism attraction providing top-level cultural heritage, entertainment and educational experiences for residents and visitors to northwestern Ontario.
1. Develops and implements period Coopering interpretive, education and event programming using living history techniques and applications. Develops and implements education programs in accordance with core curriculum documents and consultations with the education community. Researches fabrication and maintains heritage reproductions specific to the trade of the Cooper using period and contemporary techniques and tools.

2. Serves as a resource in the implementation of living history Cooper activities. Conducts interpretive and historical content training relating to the Cooper, 19th-century artisans, the Canadian fur trade, Fort William, the North West Company and the principles and methodology of living history as conducted at Fort William Historical Park. Contributes to the development of new and innovative programs for FWHP.

3. Participates in historical dramatizations, pageants, festivals, special events, daily activities, education and outreach programs. Participates as a member of planning and review committees by providing input on new initiatives or research conducted concerning historic Coopering. Contributes to planning, implementation and program review for the full spectrum of FWHP's education, interpretive and event programming.

4. Demonstrate the skills of the Cooper to make or repair casks, pails, buckets or barrels used to hold flour, gunpowder, or other commodities, stored liquids or shipping containers e.g. assembling staves split from the centre of a tree, fitting the staves one to another and binding them with iron to make casks. Ensures historical accuracy in the depiction and portrayal of early 19th-century Cooper activities. Produces Cooper items for retail when required.

5. Serves as a maintenance resource to all aspects of Heritage Trades Operations. Conducts on-going repair and restoration of existing historic structures and exhibits; design, development and construction. Preserves the plant site and its environs by conducting repairs, fabrications and maintenance duties.

6. Performs administrative duties by recording budget expenditures; ensuring adherence to ministry and FWHP purchasing policies and procedures. Researches and prepares detailed plans, templates, labour and material cost estimates and project time-lines required for the fabrication of exhibits and site maintenance projects.

7. Provides technical direction to new and returning seasonal staff, students and volunteers. Trains staff in the safe and effective operation of hand and power tools. Reviews the quality of work performed.

8. Conducts regular equipment, material and supply inventories of the Trades Area to ensure reproductions and tools are maintained. Assigns and follows up on scheduled cleaning.

9. Ensures a safe environment for visitors and staff, and that all work is performed in accordance with safety regulations.

Fort William Historical Park is a 7-day a week, 24-hour operation. Position may be required to attend overnight functions, travel to out of town events and off-hour programs, work holidays and weekends.

Staffing and Licensing :

Class G Ontario Drivers License is required to perform outreach education programs.
Enhanced Screening including Criminal Record (CPIC) and Vulnerable Service Sector Check.

Knowledge :

Job requires knowledge of: - Fort William Historical Park programs, events, promotions, projects, policies and procedures to provide skilled artisan knowledge, expertise and hands-on demonstrations representing the 19th Century Coopering trade. - Heritage and current Coopering skills,
techniques, construction and tools. - Fabricating from raw material sources, a wide variety of wet and dry vessels. - Coopering skills such as wood and metal hooping, stave fabrication and fitting, firing of cask, hard and soft wood species identification and preparation. - Sophisticated hand machine
and tool usage. - Interpretive applications and applied living history techniques to dramatize and portray historical characters and events, and present educational workshops to staff and the public. - Ontario school curriculum pertaining to the role played by the Cooper in the early 1800?s. - Working
level computer skills to prepare statistical reports, and program outlines. - Planning and organizational skills to plan and organize Coopering duties performed; to coordinate activities of seasonal staff.

Skills :

Job requires: - Evaluative skills to review quality of work performed by seasonal staff. - Selecting appropriate sequence and course of action when performing Coopering tasks. - Precision and attention to detail to assemble staves split from the centre of a tree, fitting the staves one to another and
binding them with iron to make casks - Reasoning skills to fabricate items using fire, water, oak and steel, and to utilize both hand and power tools in this process. - Coordination and skill to shape staves with broadaxes, planes and drawknives, and gather them in a circle secured by a ring. -Reasoning and skill to heat gathered staves to make them pliant so that the heated staves may be bent into shape; - To cut grooves inside the lips to fit the barrelheads tightly. - Reasoning to use specialized Coopers? tools to shape bucket staves and to cut the croze for a tight bottom fit. - Reviewing equipment, material and supply inventories of program area to ensure that hand and power tools are maintained. - Oral communication skills to interact with visitors and participate in interpretive demonstrations.

Freedom of Action :

- Work is performed within the framework of ministry policies, and the objectives, practices, procedures, safety standards and guidelines of Fort William Historical Park. - Decision-making involves: *Researching and fabricating period reproductions; * Providing input into to the development of new
and innovative Coopering programs; * Conducting interpretive and historical content training; * Providing input at committees on new initiatives or research conducted; * Providing technical direction and training to staff in the safe and effective operation of hand and power tools; * Preparing
detailed plans, templates, labour and material cost estimates and project time-lines; * Providing input into year-end departmental reviews; *Recommending improvements to program delivery. - Work is reviewed by the Heritage Trades Team Leader for quality and adherence to established
practices and procedures. - Job identifies and refers theft, damage or loss of equipment, materials or supplies to supervisor. - Job also refers matters relating to customer service or delays in obtaining necessary supplies and materials.

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