This heritage exhibition focuses on three themes that have been identified by a working group of residents to be important to the evolution and development of this community.
People of the Valley
Abbotsford has long welcomed individuals from around the world who search for a better life. It is a multi-cultural community, consisting of a colourful tapestry of ethnicity and language. This diversity has existed for generations and continues to contribute to the rich economic and social fabric of the region. The largest demographic group in the Abbotsford area is Caucasian. The largest ethnic minority groups are the Indo-Canadian community, comprising almost 15% of the population and the StÓ:lÔ Nation comprising 2.2%. We have chosen to focus on these two cultural groups for this celebratory exhibition.
People of the Land
The resourcefulness of the people who have inhabited the Abbotsford area over time is reflected in the highly successful industrial pursuits now and in the past. Logging, agriculture, and brick making are highlighted here as historically significant endeavours that shaped livelihoods and identities.
People of the River
The Fraser Valley was shaped by advancing and retreating ice fields millennia ago. The Fraser River and its affiliated watershed have affected the lives of the people inhabiting the Valley in profound ways. Each year the river flooded, transforming the shape of Sumas Lake, fertilizing the soils and giving new life to the wetlands that supported abundant wildlife. Along with this rejuvenation came devastation and destruction to those who chose to live within the scope of the River’s influence.