The Chilliwack Museum & Archives will reopen to the community with modified hours on July 6, 2020. Details are provided in the attached Media Release. We look forward to welcoming you back!
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Written by: Laureen Benton, Archives Technician
I love geocaching! Geo-what? I started geocaching about 17 years ago using an older handheld Global Position System (GPS) device, long before the ease of smart phones. I was at a heavily wooded park in Washington State, searching for a random box or container holding some unknown objects. It was illusive and exciting all at the same time. It was also tricky to trust this new GPS device with capabilities we were only just realising.
Geocaching uses latitude and longitude coordinates to search for a hidden treasure; basically an electronic scavenger hunt. The first cache was hidden by Dave Ulmer in the woods near Portland, Oregon with the location of said goodies found only by geographic coordinates and the rules being, “take some stuff, leave some stuff.” This first “stash” was found in May, 2000 and included a log book, pencil, videos, books, and a slingshot. Since then, there are now more than 3 million active geocaches worldwide with more than 600 million “found it” logs being recorded. Have a look at the first note to lead geocachers to their first treasure. https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en#!topic/sci.geo.satellite-nav/mchHczyzVHo
Within two years of inception, environmental initiatives developed to help preserve the natural area that the cache is found in by cleaning up litter, removing invasive species, planting trees etc. Not only does geocaching help explore our natural environment through discovery and adventure, but it also helps to learn about our community, locally and beyond.
The idea of placing a geocache in our community is to give residents an opportunity to go back in time to what their neighbourhood might have looked like. Did you know there was a Chinatown near Central Elementary school? There was!
We will be hiding a container near this historic area of Chinatown North and you will be able to find it with your smartphone through the “Geocaching” app or website, and will house a collection of newspaper articles, photographs and other interesting archival information about the neighbourhoods you live, work and play in. The idea is that we will have a series of caches around the community that collectively tell a few stories of Chilliwack and its inhabitants through the built environment, sporting culture and social life. Keep your eyes open for more geocaches popping up from the Chilliwack Museum and Archives, but also make sure you take part in finding some of the already hidden caches around our town. The people that have created and hidden these caches have taken time and energy to create some fun and adventure for children of all ages.
We hope that you enjoy this new outdoor learning opportunity created by the Chilliwack Museum and Archives. Remember that all the information found within must be placed back in the containers for others to enjoy, BUT the history inside can be researched further in the archives and seen at specific exhibitions at the museum. Keep your eyes and ears open for more chances to learn about mapping technology like GPS, maps and other historical geography. Check out the link for other opportunities to participate in some geocaching activities. https://www.geocaching.com/play
By Sarah Belley, Education and Engagement Coordinator
While the custom to “deck the halls with boughs of holly” far predate the Victorian Era (1837-1901), the Victorians were quite influential in the revival of the Christmas holiday and many of its traditions. Arguably the most popular Christmas story of all time is “A Christmas Carol”, which was written by Charles Dickens and published in 1843. Dickens managed to capture the essence of Victorian Era holiday rituals surrounding family, food, and most importantly, the generosity of spirit. Writers, musicians, and public figures of this era all played a role in shaping the customs we recognize today. Innovative developments stemming from the British industrial revolution also influenced numerous elements of Victorian society and culture.
This December, the Chilliwack Museum will host “Victorian Traditions”, an opportunity for elementary school classes to step back in time over 200 years to discover what life was like in the Victorian Era. How did these Victorian practices shape life in the Fraser Valley following the goldrush of 1858? Which of the customs changed, and which stayed the same? How are traditions important in our own families today?
Students will experience a festive gathering of music, games, crafts, and a tasty candy confection from Chilliwack’s very own Dickens Sweets and British Museum. Guided programs run for 75 minutes from November 25th to December 18th, and the cost per class of 22 students is $60.
Call to book: 604-795-5210 (ext 103)
The Chilliwack Museum and Archives wishes everyone a happy holiday season!
This summer, as the Education and Engagement Assistant once again, I have experienced many new and exciting experiences at the Chilliwack Museum and Archives. Working as the assistant for Sarah Belley, the Education and Engagement Coordinator, I have learnt new educational methods, teaching practices, and artistic approaches, while also applying some of my own skills to assist her in redeveloping programs and events.
At the beginning of the summer, preparation for the temporary exhibit Five Faces, Five Corners, was being completed. During this time, Sarah and I worked on finalizing aspects of her interactive project for the exhibit, which depicts the economic differences between the value of money today and that of 1919. After the exhibit opened, we focused on engagement objectives as the Hops and Heritage event was right around the corner. Once Hops and Heritage ended, we began completing projects to prepare for the outreach events we attended this summer, including Cultus Lake Days and Canada Day. After July 1st, we switched our mindsets and focused on redeveloping the education programs and organizing the department’s files and storage space. Finally, Sarah has envisioned many innovative and captivating projects for the educational programs at the Chilliwack Museum, so, to finish the summer season, we have researched and drafted new proposals for educational activities and kits. Overall, I have learnt a significant amount this summer about events coordination, engagement with the community, and education methods that involve intriguing and new ideas that encourage participation from all the students.
To prepare for the outreach events we attended this summer, Sarah and I created activities that reflected historical aspects of Chilliwack, British Columbia, and Canadian history. As I learnt last year, the people of Cultus Lake value the history of the area. Therefore, for Cultus Lake Days, we brought printed historical photos to show how the area has developed, while the atmosphere has remained inviting and entertaining. At Canada Day this year, Sarah constructed a photo booth using props that reflected Canadian culture, like the beaver. As a quick trivia game, we printed and researched Canadian inventions to quiz visitors at our booth. Did you know the caulking gun was invented in 1894, by Theodore Witte of Chilliwack?
Overall, my experience as a summer student again this summer has been fascinating and full of incredible learning opportunities. Working as the Education and Engagement Assistant for Sarah, I have learnt new historical facts along with many artistic and educational methods that I can apply to my future career.
Written by Cari Moore – Coordinator of Volunteers and Administration
Hello, my name is Cari Moore and I have recently joined the amazing staff at the Chilliwack Museum and Archives as the Coordinator of Volunteers and Administration, and I am loving this new opportunity!
I have lived in Chilliwack for 28 years and have seen our city grow and thrive through many changes that have come up, and I am honored to call this place my home. Chilliwack has so much to offer, from arts and culture, sports and leisure, to the nature and beauty that surrounds us. It is a great place to work, a great place to raise children and a great place to retire. There is so much to learn from our history and that is something I look forward to in the future.
The roll I stepped into at the museum has been very rewarding. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the volunteers that are so dedicated to their positions, and for whom without we would not be able to operate our charming little gift shop! The volunteers here greet visitors, help with gift shop displays, and answer questions from the public about our community and our museum. They are the face of who we are, and they brighten everyone’s day who walks through our doors. Some of our volunteers are very new and some have been around for years, all are very reliable and make my job that much more rewarding. Each of our volunteers have something unique and special that they bring to their volunteer position and it makes each day different from the next.
We are however always recruiting for new volunteers. If you would like to join our fun fantastic team please give us a call today – I look forward to hearing from you!
May 8, 2019
Chilliwack Museum & Archives to Host Opening Reception for Latest Exhibition
Chilliwack, BC – The Chilliwack Museum & Archives will be unveiling its latest exhibition Five Faces, Five Corners: The Social Experience of Chilliwack’s Downtown at an Opening Reception on May 16, 2019 at 7:00pm.
“This exhibition explores the evolving social landscape of Chilliwack’s Five Corners area,” said Anna Irwin, Curator at the Chilliwack Museum & Archives. “It really is a fitting time to showcase this area as the downtown redevelopment project proceeds, it all ties together nicely.”
The Opening Reception will feature appetizers and refreshments while viewers enjoy the first look at the exhibition. Admission to the event is $5.00 for the general public and Free for members of the Chilliwack Museum & Historical Society.
Five Faces, Five Corners: The Social Experience of Chilliwack’s Downtown will be on display from May 16, 2019 to April 18, 2020.
Chilliwack Museum & Archives
P: 604-795-5210 ext. 101
E: [email protected]
Change and Transformation are two words that many people cringe when they hear, but really they are terms to celebrate! As our world evolves, so to must museums. History organizations across the globe are experiencing major change as they seek to remain relevant to today’s audiences.
History is not only about the past; it is also about change and tying the lessons of the past into the present and future. As stewards of the past we preserve and share our history, but we are also here to educate and interact with our community.
My focus as a leader in the heritage industry is to ensure museum’s remain relevant for today’s audiences. This means stepping outside the comfort zone of static displays and panels on walls, and moving into a more interactive and engaging experience. Community engagement and programming are vital parts to exhibition development!
After being on the job as Executive Director for a little over a month, I lead a strategic planning session with the Board of Trustees and the staff of the Museum and Archives! It was a great opportunity to get to know each other and to start projecting our goals for the next three to five years here at the Chilliwack Museum and Archives! Already I can tell how passionate this team is about the Chilliwack Museum and Archives, and all the great ideas and initiatives that we will be able to accomplish moving forward.
The staff of the CMA also visited the Vancouver Maritime Museum and the Museum of Vancouver this past Monday to garner some inspiration from our fellow historical institutions!
As a team, I believe, we are ready to move forward with the change and transformation that the 21st century has brought to museums. Keep an eye on our Social Media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) to see what we have in store for events, programs, and exhibitions coming up! Better yet, drop by the Museum & Archives and tell us what you would like to see here! We are stewards of our community and we are excited to be a destination that connects you with Chilliwack’s history.
Driving through the Sumas flats over the years I often wondered at the broad expanse of land between Abbotsford and Chilliwack, so open and different from the surrounding wooded mountains.
Lush agricultural land filled with farms and dike systems; it always provides a beautiful vista. It was only recently that I realized that Sumas Lake once occupied the space.
Local author Chad Reimer, who wrote Chilliwack’s Chinatowns, has released a new book which charts the lifespan of Sumas Lake. We are happy to have Before We Lost the Lake in stock at the Museum Gift Shop along with a selection of other new arrivals – perfect for your winter reading needs!