The expansion project currently underway at the Museum of Surrey includes updates to the original building, and the construction of a new gallery space. (Samantha Anderson)

VIDEO: Behind the scenes look at the Museum of Surrey’s $15.7-million expansion

New spaces, new exhibitions, new Indigenous Hall and Kids Zone, and new perspectives

When the Museum of Surrey opens this fall, it will not only offer new spaces and exhibits but also new perspectives.

The $15.7-million expansion project was well underway when the Cloverdale Reporter visited the construction site in early May.

The expansion adds 12,000 square feet of space to the museum’s current footprint of 24,000 square feet. As well as adding a new exhibition space, it will triple the size of the Kids Explore Zone, create an Indigenous Hall, and allow for updates to the existing permanent exhibition space.

Designs for the Kids Explore Zone were almost completed when Museum Manager Lynn Saffery spoke to the Reporter in early May. The space will focus on sustainability initiatives in the City of Surrey — showcasing, for instance, the city’s new bio-fuel facility. It will be a permanent exhibition with “flexible components” that adapt to the temporary exhibition in a neighbouring gallery.

The Indigenous Hall will be created in the upper east wing of the existing museum. It is being built and designed by the Seyem’ Qwantlen Business Group, a Kwantlen First Nation company.

“They are building that from a completely local Surrey perspective. They are engaging with Kwantlen First Nation, Katzie First Nation and Semiahmoo First Nation so that the theme and the storyline is completely local,” said Saffery.

Museums and archives, he explained, are often guilty of presenting “a sort of pan-Indigenous work … forgetting [what] the local First Nation perspective can give us.”

Opening a space where the community can tell its own story falls into the Museum of Surrey’s new vision of being a “people museum.”

“Traditionally, museums have used objects and archival images to tell a story,” said Saffery. “Now people and communities will tell a story, and we will use those objects and images to support those stories.”

What it means is that the museum’s curator, researchers and programming teams will reach out to experts in the community to gather information, rather than telling communities the information that they derive from artifacts and images.

“It kind of turns everything on its head,” said Saffery. “The community has ownership and the power to tell their stories.”

The permanent exhibitions in the existing gallery will also be updated to showcase more of Surrey’s diversity.

“In the celebrations area of the museum, for instance, there was previously three cases on the Cloverdale Rodeo. Now there will be a case on Vaisakhi, a case about the rodeo, and a case about the Chinese New Year.”

Behind the scenes, there will be improvements to the areas of the museum used by staff and volunteers — a new fabrication shop is in the works, as are upgrades to office space and collection storage.

Outside of the upgraded museum and the new 12,000 square-foot addition will be a heritage square. The Anderson Cabin, already located at the museum site, will be moved to a new foundation, and the Anniedale School and the 1881 Town Hall will be moved to the site during the summer months.

The 1881 Town Hall is located inside the BC Vintage Truck Museum building a short distance away from the Museum of Surrey. Volunteers at the truck museum have made appeals to the Surrey Heritage Advisory Commission to request the hall be left where it is, as moving the town hall will directly impact their site. Support beams run through the town hall, and it is unclear how much of the building will need to be demolished in order to extract the town hall.

“Right now [the city is] working on planning the way the 1881 Town Hall will be extracted from the truck museum,” said Saffery. “The way they’re going to do it is with little impact as possible. However, the reality is that we’re moving a whole building out of another building, so there’s going to be quite an impact.”

The expansion project is proceeding on schedule, according to Saffery, and although a date for the grand opening has not yet been set, he said that it would be before the end of October.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Two women recognized for multiculturalism, anti-racism work in Surrey

Awards ceremony held on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Homeless deaths in Surrey quadruple between 2007 and 2016

Deaths in the city spiked in 2015 from the previous year

Surrey’s truck survey closes Sunday

‘Sustainable solutions for authorized commercial truck parking’ sought

Sunny’s Bridal in Surrey to showcase at Vancouver Fashion Week

Business got its start in south Vancouver in the 1990s

Surrey forensic nurse says vote Early, vote often

If Sheila Early wins YWCA award, Scotiabank will donate $10K to violence prevention services program for women

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Vancouver Giant named to Western Conference first-tier all-star team

Young hockey defenceman Bowen Byram is once again lauded for his outstanding efforts on the ice

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

North Delta happenings: week of March 21

Events, courses and clubs listings for North Delta

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Baby left alone in vehicle in B.C. Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

Most Read