Conservation Volunteering in Canada
Amazing wildlife or conservation volunteering in Canada!
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Group Size: Varies
Trip code: CAWI
Duration: 2 weeks or longer
Want to live and work in the great Canadian outdoors? This unique volunteer programme offers you an amazing opportunity to head off the beaten track into rugged, rural Canada for an authentic volunteer experience. Working with charitable or non-profit organisations in Canada, you can help with wildlife protection and environmental conservation projects, such as animal rehabilitation and nature reserve ecology. Immerse yourself in the full rural experience as a volunteer and don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. All accommodation included!
- Experience living and working in a stunning wilderness setting in rural Canada on this unique, unpaid conservation volunteer programme
- Work with charitable or non-profit organisations in Canada, such as environmental conservation projects and wildlife protection projects
- Accommodation is included at placements too – awesome!
- Get amazing outdoor work experience abroad and add new skills to your CV
- Work as part of a team and make new mates as you camp, bond and work together in the wilderness
We offer an incredible range of unpaid, full-time volunteer programmes working with a number of charitable or non-profit organisations, some of which may be faith based, in Canada. Volunteer placements will take place in a rural setting and offer a meaningful opportunity to make a difference to local communities and the environment. You will be able to put a preference for your location and your preferred placement type from the section below when you complete your application. The placements also include accommodation!
Each individual programme is different, and your daily itinerary will depend on your role and the company you will be working for. Your host organisation will inform you of your specific working hours and duties in advance of your travel to Canada.
With these rural-based volunteering projects you can head right off the beaten track in Canada. You will live and work on site in rural areas, working with a team and supporting local staff in their efforts to protect and conserve the Canadian wilderness.
When you apply, you will be given the choice of either a Environmental Conservation or Wildlife Protection placement. The team will then try to find you a placement that best matches your preferences, based on your experience and availability.
Volunteers can expect to work long hours and will need to have a good level of physical fitness to participate.
Example past placements include
- Park Maintenance
- Salmon Conservation
- Nature Reserve Society
- Indigenous Projects
- Bird Rescue
- Animal Care and Rehabilitation Society
- DNA Collection
Occasionally, there are placements available at some of Canada's stunning National Parks. These placements are seasonal and subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed.
Please note: You will not be able to specify a particular placement. You will choose either Wildlife Protection or Environmental Conservation and be assigned a placement based on availability and experience.
Please note that some placements may only be available during certain months of the year.
For durations longer than 8 weeks please contact us.
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The locations of volunteer placements can vary. You should arrive into the nearest major city to your placement - usually Toronto, Montreal or Ottawa. The start date is a Monday. The project team will advise you which city to fly in to and where they will pick you up from. Please note, this is usually the city centre and not the airport. A transfer from the airport to the city centre is not included.
Accommodation is provided on all of our wilderness volunteering placements. Wilderness accommodation will usually be shared hostel style, often in farmstay-style cabins or trailers, or in tents or tepees. You can expect to share a room with 2 or more people, with shared bathrooms and access to kitchen facilities. Please note you should expect to be staying in accommodation that is basic and quite rustic. Public transport is often not available and you may be given access to the projects vehicle if you have a driving licence so please be prepared to have a truly rural experience!
Meals are sometimes but not always included as part of the wilderness projects, depending on your individual placement, but volunteers will have access to local shops to purchase their own food.
You will be provided with specific packing and spending money instructions once your placement is confirmed.
In order to participate in this Canada charity volunteer programme you must be aged 18 or above.
If you choose a placement in Quebec (e.g in Montreal) you will need to have an intermediate level of French.
To take part in a conservation volunteer project you will need to have a good level of physical fitness and be prepared to muck in with local staff and get your hands dirty!
Electronic Travel Authority (eTA)
It is compulsory for all British nationals who travel into Canada by air to obtain an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) before they travel. Applications can be made online for a cost of CAD7.
Most eTA applications are approved within a few minutes or hours of submission, although we recommend you apply well in advance in case of any unexpected delays in the process.
An eTA is linked to your passport and allows you to stay in Canada for up to 6 months. Once you have an eTA it is valid for 5 years or until your passport expires (whichever is sooner).
C50 Work Permit
To participate in this programme you will need to obtain a C50 Work Permit.
Under this visa you may only work for your assigned volunteer host company. After you have been matched with an volunteer placement our Canadian partner will provide a letter of support so you can obtain the C50 work permit from Canadian immigration.
You will need to apply for the work permit at the airport when you arrive in Canada. You will need to present your letter of invitation from your host organisation (compulsory), a completed application form, a photocopy of your passport, a bank statement which proves you have enough funds to support yourself during your stay in Canada (we recommend you budget CD1000 a month) plus two passport photos.
The C50 permit is usually free, however the immigration officer have the discretion to charge a small fee.
You will also need to give biometrics upon arrival to Canada. The the cost to submit biometric data is $85 CAD. This fee must be paid upon collection (arrival to Canada at the Port of Entry). Biometric data only needs to be given once in 10 years.
For visa purpose all conservation volunteer projects are located at charitable organisations or non-profit organisations.
Step 1: Book your place on the Conservation Volunteering programme with a £250 deposit. This booking must be placed a minimum of 8 weeks in advance of your desired travel date to Canada.
Step 2: We will send you an application form and a Canadian style CV template, and you will need to complete these and return them to us, along with a copy of your passport, and a covering letter.
Step 3: We will then arrange a time to have a pre-screening interview over the phone with you. The purpose of this call is to establish your understanding of the programme and check you meet the eligibility criteria.
Step 4: Within 48 hours, you will hear if you have been accepted onto the conservation volunteering programme. If at this stage you are not accepted onto the programme you will receive a full refund of your £250 deposit. Full payment of the trip balance is due once your place on the programme is confirmed.
Step 5: We will send your placement profile 4-6 weeks after this which will include your host details, volunteer duties and information about your accommodation.
Step 6: 1-2 weeks after you have received your placement profile you will be invited to a Skype orientation to discuss your placement and arrival. The local team will answer any questions that you have.
Step 7: You will then be sent a letter of invitation which you must present on arrival in Canada to obtain your C50 work permit (an application form for the C50 will be provided to you at this point). This letter will be sent to you a minimum of 10 business days before your departure.
Please note: The application process for volunteering in Canada can take some time, you will usually receive your placement confirmation 6 weeks after being accepted. We advise you do not book flights until you have had your placement confirmed.
If you choose to cancel after you have been accepted on to the volunteer programme please note that you will not receive any refund including the deposit. If you cancel before we have accepted you on to the programme or if the in-country team do not accept you on to the programme then you will receive a refund of your £250 deposit. Candidates are not permitted to turn down a placement that matches your destination and field preferences as indicated on your application form.
This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:
Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.
Proof of vaccination or negative covid test
For the safety of all travellers, at the start of some trips you may be required to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your second dose) and/or show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the tour start date in order to join the programme.
Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.
Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.
Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.
Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.
Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.
24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.
It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.