John Borovilos conducts around 50 Museum tours each year.
When John Borovilos talks about the ROM’s collections, his enthusiasm is palpable. A ROM Member since the 1980s, he recalls visiting the ROM as a child and being astounded by the height of the Museum’s Nisga’a mortuary totem pole, the tallest from the 19th century. He’s never lost that childlike sense of wonder.
The award-winning, Toronto-born educator, who is also a best-selling author, began actively supporting the ROM after wrapping up a 33-year career teaching drama and literature and representing Pearson Higher Education as its National English Consultant. In 2002, he joined the ROM’s Department of Museum Volunteers.
As a docent and tour script-writer, today John conducts some 50 tours a year. “It’s a thrill to be here each day,” he says. “People do themselves a disservice by not learning throughout their lives. It satisfies the soul and the mind.” Walking with John, you don’t get far before a gladiator helmet captures his attention. He’s a natural at bringing objects to life—you can almost hear the roar of the crowds in the forum as he paints a picture of ancient Rome.
John recently joined the Currelly Society, a group of individuals who have promised future gifts to the Museum. “I thought it was an elite club,” he laughs. “When I discovered how easy it was to join, I signed up right away.” Asked why it’s important to him to support the ROM, he jokes, “Do you have an hour?”