Museum of Surrey staff members Colleen Sharpe (left, curator), Jessie McLean (middle, assistant curator of exhibits) and Wendy Cheung (program co-ordinator) with a traditional Puja set, donated by Lata Budhdeo, and fabric designed for Salwar Kameez suit, donated by Jazmin Hundal. (Submitted photo: City of Surrey)

Punjabi stories, mementos sought for Museum of Surrey’s new exhibit

Several ‘community sharing sessions’ held in the city in January and February

The Museum of Surrey is looking for help from Surrey’s Punjabi community to create a new “dynamic cultural showcase” at the facility in Cloverdale.

Next fall, Punjabi stories of Surrey will be featured at the museum’s first major community-led exhibition in the new feature gallery there, as a way of “shining a spotlight on the unique story of the Punjabis here in Surrey.”

To make it happen, the museum will host “community sharing sessions” at a number of locations in the city, in January and February, for people to share stories and photos of personal objects to be considered for display.

“We’re thrilled to provide space for the Punjabi community to have their culture and history celebrated in a major public forum here in Surrey,” said Lynn Saffery, who manages the recently expanded and renovated museum.

“Don’t miss out on this rare chance to have your voice heard in this exciting new exhibition by bringing us your stories and photos at our next session!”

The first sharing session is planned at City Centre Library on Tuesday, Jan. 15, from 3 to 7 p.m. in room 418. Additional sessions will be held at Fleetwood Community Centre (Jan. 26, from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.), Guildford Town Centre (Feb. 1, 1 to 5 p.m.), Newton Senior Centre (Feb. 5, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.), Grandview Aquatic Centre (Feb. 10, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and at the museum (Feb. 17, noon to 4 p.m.).

The museum’s recent $15.7-million expansion has made the facility a “people museum” – a community hub that celebrates the people and communities of Surrey, according to Saffery. “It’s so important to tell the stories of those who are part of our collective history and to have community members participate so that their story is truly reflective of their culture.”

The exhibition featuring Surrey’s Punjabi community will run from Oct. 2 to Dec. 22. For more information, email Colleen Sharpe, curator of exhibits, at colleen.sharpe@surrey.ca or call 604-592-6959.

In a seasonal closure, the Museum of Surrey will be closed from Dec. 24 to Jan. 29 “for maintenance and to allow us to finish renovations.”

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