It was just about a year ago – Groundhog’s Day, to be precise – that I began my role as Executive Director here at the Chilliwack Museum and Archives. But unlike the well-known Bill Murray movie of that name, no day has quite been the same! Over the past year, there have been many great opportunities to get to know people in our community, and to listen to what is important to you.
So many people in Chilliwack – in its many distinct communities, villages, and neighbourhoods – love learning about their histories – both shared and unique. The Chilliwack Museum and Archives is a place dedicated to doing just that. Along with our mandate to conserve the artifacts and records entrusted to our care, we are looking for ways to make our resources more accessible.
We are a Research Centre
The Archives, located at Evergreen Hall on Corbould Street, functions as a Research Centre. Do you have questions about Chilliwack’s history you would like to explore? A great place to start is online – you can search our Archival Holdings from the comfort of your home via www.chilliwackmuseum.ca, discovering photographs and artifacts that may be relevant to your research interests.
Your online search might open up new questions – and our Archivist, Shannon Bettles, or our Curator, Jane Lemke, may be able to aid you in your exploration.
We are a place of learning, connection, and fun!
Our Museum, located since 1987 in the National Historic Site of Canada Chilliwack City Hall, is a place of learning and wonder. People relish experiencing the Museum’s exhibits, most often as fun, quality time with family and friends, and other times as a solo journey of recollection. Our current exhibit, Game On! The Evolution of Sports in Chilliwack has opened our doors to new audiences, who never really thought of themselves as “Museum people,” but ended up finding out, enjoyably, that they were.
Growing and Changing to Serve You Better
That said, I do have to admit that a number of people have offered me comments like:
- “You know, I’ve lived in Chilliwack my whole life, but I’ve never actually come into the Museum. I should really visit sometime!”
- “I’d love to bring my kids/grandchildren/nieces and nephews to Museum, but we can’t seems to make it there during your opening hours.”
- “I brought my out of town guests to the Museum, but we were disappointed to find the doors closed on a Saturday when we stopped by.”
These observations mean a lot to me. Our current hours for the Museum, Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:30pm, have made it a challenge for some in our community to connect with Chilliwack’s history through experiencing the Museum. I am very pleased to announce that we will soon be extending its hours to serve you better – we will still be open Monday to Friday, but soon also – Thursday evenings until 8:30pm and Saturdays 10:00am-2:00pm. As Director, I am excited about this opportunity, and it’s time to begin to get the word out.
We are currently in the process of hiring new part-time staff members to make this plan a reality, and we look forward to beginning these new Museum Hours in late February or early March. Stay tuned! We are always looking for news ways to connect people with Chilliwack’s history. Opening the doors to welcome people at times that work for them is just one of those ways.