Jessie McLean, an assistant curator with the Museum of Surrey, stands in the exhibit “Discover Your Story! We Can Help.” The exhibit, scheduled to open in April, is now open to the public for the first time. (Photo: Malin Jordan)

Jessie McLean, an assistant curator with the Museum of Surrey, stands in the exhibit “Discover Your Story! We Can Help.” The exhibit, scheduled to open in April, is now open to the public for the first time. (Photo: Malin Jordan)

Museum of Surrey reopens with family history exhibit

Visitors must sign up online for pre-booked, self-guided tours

The Museum of Surrey finally reopened Sept. 9 and visitors will now be able to see a family history exhibit that had only been available online.

Discover Your Story! We Can Help was set to open in April, but was launched online after the museum closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time, the then digital-only exhibit was part of their “Museum From Home” initiative.

The “new” exhibit aims to inspire Surreyites to discover their roots and create their own family trees.

“With this exhibit, we hope people will be inspired to reach out to their family members to talk about their history,” museum manager Lynn Saffery said at the time.

The exhibit showcases the lives of past Surrey residents by telling their stories through various objects and historical artifacts. The artifacts tell family stories of immigration, work, war, and everyday life.

And while the exhibit showcases the lives of the some of the city’s people of the past, it also offers visitors some insight on what they would need to do in order to begin researching their own roots.

The exhibit was organized by three groups: the BC Genealogical Society, the Surrey Family History Centre, and the Surrey Libraries—Family History department.

The idea is that visitors to the exhibit can learn more about the types of family-research resources they can access through these three groups.

The exhibit will be open until the end of the year.

Those who don’t want to venture down to the MoS can still access Discover Your Story! We Can Help by visiting surrey.ca and navigating to the Arts & Culture page, then clicking on the Museum of Surrey link.

Discover Your Story! We Can Help is part of the museum’s self-guided tours. The museum started offering the free, hour-long tours Sept. 9, but patrons must pre-register online or by telephone.

Currently visitors are capped at 40 and must follow various COVID-19 safety protocols.

“We will maintain all safety guidelines from Health BC, WorkSafe BC and City of Surrey to keep the community safe and provide a space to enjoy and visit,” Saffery said in a press release Aug. 27.

“We are excited to welcome back the public and know how important it is to build community connections, especially during this time.”

Pre-registered tours will be available from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. from Wednesday to Saturday.

“Visitors will take their self-guided tours in a one-way direction, stopping at the Surrey Stories Gallery, Indigenous Hall and Photo Mural,” the release said. “The climate focused Arctic Voices exhibit will also be open, as well as a community partner exhibit about family history. With safety the top priority, the hands-on TD Explore Zone will remain closed.”

There will be no tours on Thursday afternoons, as the museum will offer its Sketching Series program from 3 to 4 p.m. The Sketching Series, which is free, is open to all ages and offers the public a chance to sketch the items in the Arctic Voices exhibit.

Visitors can register for tours or the Sketching Series by visiting surrey.ca or by calling 604-592-6956.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

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