Learning, Connection and Fun

(Museum) Membership has its privileges!

Posted on: August 22nd, 2017 by Matthew Francis

Membership Card-1Who remembers the popular credit card commercial, “Membership has its privileges“? It was a catchy line that made that little plastic rectangle feel like a badge of honour, a special club you wanted to be a part of.

Membership does mean something. It can mean quite a lot, in fact. But history shows us that participation in membership-based organizations in Canada is changing and morphing quite a bit these days.

Trends show that membership-based organizations – particularly service clubs and other voluntary societies – have been steadily declining over the past 40 years. Across the same period, it’s interesting to note that both attendance and membership in history museums, art galleries, and recreational sports groups has been on the rise.

In 2017, the Canadian Museum Association reports that “Canada’s museums:

  • employ over 24,000 people across the country and are
  • supported by more than 55,000 volunteers,
  • and 300,000 “Friends,” or “officially-signed-up members.” 

Membership is an indication of commitment to museums and says that you care about their future.”

And, from those numbers, it’s clear that Canadians love their Museums and have significant connections to them.

Our vision is to connect people with Chilliwack’s history.

If you believe in that vision, the best way that you can put that desire into action is by becoming a member.

A few times over the past 60 years of our history, the Chilliwack Museum and Historical Society has undertaken membership drives to boost our ranks and strengthen the support of our vision. Our City caught on to the vision, and joined in droves. Of course, in those days, an annual Membership membership was a whopping two-dollar bill (those were pre-“Toonie” days).

Story from The Chilliwack Progress, Wednesday, April 18, 1984.

Story from The Chilliwack Progress, Wednesday, April 18, 1984.

In the mid 1980s, when we were campaigning to take on Chilliwack’s historic City Hall as a new home for the Museum, we successfully recruited 1, 912 members, in honour of the construction of City Hall by Thomas Hooper in 1912.

Story from The Chilliwack Progress, on the 1000th member of the Chilliwack Museum and Historical Society, Wednesday, Feb. 4, 1987.

Story from The Chilliwack Progress, on the 1000th member of the Chilliwack Museum and Historical Society, Wednesday, Feb. 4, 1987.

This year, to mark our 60th Anniversary, we have the goal of signing up 60 NEW LIFE MEMBERS before the end of 2017. A Life Membership may cost a little more “up front” than an Annual Museum and Archives Membership, but, as they say, “membership has its privileges.” If you’ve been an annual member for a while, why not “upgrade” to a LIFE MEMBERSHIP? You’ll never have to worry about renewing again!

Members receive:

  • Free Museum admission for themselves and their guests
  • Discounts on historic photo orders from the Archives
  • Discounts on event rentals
  • Discounts on Gift Shop purchases
  • Personal invitation to openings, programs, and special events. 

You can check out all the membership benefits on our website. Of course, if its not the right time for you to become a LIFE MEMBER, then one of our other membership categories is sure to fit your lifestyle. You can even join as a Teacher or Business, and get great perks for your class or employees. Signing up online is easy, or you can come into the Museum any time to activate your membership.

Plus – if you are a newcomer to Chilliwack – having moved here within the last 12 months – your first year’s membership is always FREE! Come on into the Museum or give us a call for details! 

And, as a special bonus, each new Life Member that joins in 2017, will receive as our gift, a copy of our classic book, The Chilliwack Story. Keep this richly illustrated coffee table book, or pass it on to a friend or family member – you can guarantee it will be cherished!

Come and join us as we connect people with Chilliwack’s history – become a member today.