‘Every River Tells a Story’ at Surrey Museum

CLOVERDALE — Surrey Museum’s new feature exhibit, Every River Tells A Story, celebrates the rivers of Surrey, from the mighty Fraser River to the winding Serpentine and Nicomekl, to the smaller Campbell River.

The exhibit, on display from Sept. 23 to Dec. 20, features oral histories, fun interactives, personal stories and information about what river advocates are doing now to keep Surrey’s waterways safe and clean.

"In recent years, the sprawl of development has begun to change the face of land south of the Fraser River," noted Dr. Barry Leach, an advocate for the preservation of Serpentine Fen. "This whole area of the Fraser Delta, from Surrey to Reifel Island in Delta, has the highest density of wintering waterfowl, shore birds and raptors in all of Canada."

The exhibit features narratives from early Surrey settlers and historical figures, including First Nations Chief Staquist and Sir James Douglas, detailing how rivers were essential to survival in the past. Also, modern accounts from river workers and environmental advocates tell why these rivers are still important to Surrey, and reflect on how our waterways have shaped the city’s identity.

Kids and adults alike will explore the winding waterways of Surrey through stories, interactive displays and images from local artists and photographers. View stunning digital photography provided by Sullivan Heights Secondary School Fine Arts students and add your own river story to the database kiosk. Stay on course with a real ship’s wheel and compass, and guess the different things people do on Surrey’s rivers.

Learn how steam paddle-wheelers and ferries plied the waters of the Fraser, providing essential connections between people, goods and markets between Surrey and New Westminster. Also, see how huge ships bring cargo up the river to Fraser Surrey Docks today, and learn from the captain of a modern dredger about the millions of tons of soil that his ship brings up each year.

Surrey Museum is located at 17710 56A Ave., Surrey. Hours of operation are Tuesdays to Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is closed Sundays, Mondays and statutory holidays. Admission is sponsored by the Friends of the Surrey Museum. For more information, call 604-592-6956 or visit Surrey.ca/heritage.

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