Permanent Kids Gallery built at Surrey Museum for fall opening

Second-floor space has showcased temporary, travelling exhibits since 2005

Greg Yellenik

CLOVERDALE — Once all the LEGO bricks are packed up and put away this fall, a new permanent gallery for kids will be built at Surrey Museum.

The museum’s temporary exhibit space will soon be home to a 800-square-foot Kids Gallery, which will open on Oct. 10.

The second-floor space is currently showing “LEGO: A Fraser Valley Odyssey,” on view until Sept. 19.

Since the museum opened in 2005, that particular corner of the facility has showcased temporary and travelling exhibits, such as last spring’s “A Queen and Her Country,” loaned by the Canadian Museum of History.

“We were finding it increasingly difficult to find good exhibits that would fit into that small of a space,” Lynn Adam Saffery, museum manager, told the Now.

“After nine years, we’d basically (shown) all the small exhibits in Canada – at least the good ones. And doing our own in-house exhibits takes time and resources we just don’t have for three or four exhibits a year.”

The new Kids Gallery at Surrey Museum will be built on the theme of sustainability, with components changed and augmented over time. First up is “Energy,” followed by “Water” in February and “Food” in the fall of 2016.

“With the Energy (exhibit), kids will learn how magnets create electricity and all about water turbines and how electric cars are developed, those kinds of things,” Saffery said. “And then in February, we’ll add the next component, which is water, and how that’s a resource we need to mainstain sustainably as well. So some of the energy components will be pulled out and new ones based on water will be put in. It’s a progression.”

A much larger, 2,500-square-foot temporary exhibit space would be built as part of the museum’s planned “Phase II” expansion, Saffery noted.

“If and when that is built, we’ll have that larger space for temporary exhibits and also the Kids Gallery,” he said.

“We believe that the Kids Gallery (will) provide Surrey families with a great educational, interactive and fun opportunity enjoy culture in their own backyard,” Saffery added.

Following the Oct. 10 grand opening of the Kids Gallery, the museum will be open on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m., in a bid to make make the facility more accessible to families.

“I really think this will give more people an opportunity to learn about Surrey culture and heritage,” Saffery said.

tom.zillich@thenownewspaper.com

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