Thursday May 12, 2011

Local News

Harbouring  Heritage

Chilliwack Museum looks at collecting cash now

Submitted by Ron Denman, Chwk Museum


he Chilliwack Museum and Archives wants to raise $250,000. The funding is earmarked for shelving, conservation supplies, a new digital microfilm reader, furnishings for a new research room and more. “It’s an ambitious goal,” said museum director Ron Denman, “but it’s a goal that we can reach.”

The museum and archives got a major boost when a letter was recently received from the Honourable James Moore, the minister in charge of the Federal Ministry of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages announcing that the museum was successful in its application for a grant of $102,600.

A condition of the grant is that the museum matches the contribution from the federal government and that the contribution be used to purchase and install museum quality shelving. “I am happy to say that we are now able to contribute our half to the shelving project”, said Denman. But, he added, the museum needs to continue fund raising to pay for other costs associated with the recently completed addition to the archives building.

Denman noted that the museum has been saving money over the past few years knowing that an expanded archives was in the works. Other funds have come from members, the Chilliwack Foundation, and some local businesses. A significant amount was also included in the construction budget for the archives addition. He said that the organization will continue its fund raising efforts throughout the year in order to reach the fund raising goal. He added that an additional $45,000 is still needed to fully fund the needs of the facility.

“We’re grateful for the support that we have received from the City of Chilliwack which picked up the costs for the addition and some of the shelving” Denman said. The addition, he added, will be ready to house the museum’s extensive collections as soon as shelving units are installed. Housed in the new facility will be over 10,000 objects, a photograph collection that includes over 100,000 images, and an archives collection that includes maps, municipal records, club records for Chilliwack’s volunteer groups, oral histories, aboriginal histories, and personal records from local residents.

Together, the collection reflects the lengthy history of Chilliwack. As one of the most accessible and important collections in the Fraser Valley, visitors from Chilliwack, BC, Canada and all over the world access the collections, either through personal visits or through the museum’s website.

An open house is planned for September once the shelving is installed. “This”, Denman says “will give our community an opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes in the archives”.

About Chilliwack Museum

More than 50 years ago, a small group of local residents met and formed the Chilliwack Museum and Archives. Biographies of settler families, First Nations objects and histories, and a few objects associated with Chilliwack’s pre-1900 history formed the first collection. At first, the small collection was housed in a room in the local police station but growth eventually meant moves to larger sites. By 1987, the museum found a home in Chilliwack’s former City Hall building, while the archives and object storage area was located in a wing at Evergreen Hall.


Below are photos of the Chamber Connections Thursday.


No Time Flat performed at the Archives. They're an easy listening trio and can be contacted for bookings either by calling 604-858-5969 or by e-mail here.


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