Gold Mountain Dream! Bravely Venture into the Fraser Valley
On display June 29–October 9, 2017
The Royal BC Museum’s travelling exhibition Gold Mountain Dream! Bravely Venture into the Fraser Valley recounts the personal stories and sacrifices of Chinese migrants in the 1850’s as they landed on British Columbia shores in search of gold. Archival photographs and detailed storytelling illustrate the changing landscape of the Fraser Valley during the fevered era of the gold rush, as class and racial barriers were broken down and people strove towards the extraordinary opportunities that glittered before them.
Accompanying this exhibition is material focusing on Chilliwack’s early Chinese-Canadian history. The Chilliwack Museum and Archives has included a rich array of information on the region’s two distinct Chinatowns that grew through the 1880’s until declining in the 1930’s. Historical artifacts, rare photographs, and interactive content provide a window into the underrepresented community that made significant contributions to the development of infrastructure, agriculture, and transnational business in Chilliwack.
Gold Mountain Dream! Bravely Venture into the Fraser Valley is a travelling exhibition organized by the Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria, in collaboration with the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec.
Key historical content for the exhibition’s local elements was based on the 2011 book Chilliwack’s Chinatowns: A History by Chad Reimer.
“We have to learn together to live together in a good way” is a lesson that rings as true today as it did during the first contact between early European settlers and Aboriginal Peoples. The exhibit, based on the lesson by Stone T’xwelátsé: an ancestor of the Stó:lō, encourages visitors to imagine what the meeting of these two world viewpoints resulted in as thousands of newcomers gathered in the Chilliwack area during the 1858 gold rush.