Voices of the Valley

The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford launched the new Voices of the Valley permanent museum exhibition in February, 2016. The exhibition invites everyone, from avid history buffs to school children, to explore the rich collections of historical objects, photographs, and archival materials that tell the story of the community through the eyes of individuals who have shaped it.

Voices of the Valley is truly a collaborative success story. The exhibition was designed through a partnership between The Reach and the MSA Museum Society, and brings together two significant historical collections. In addition, the exhibition has received great support from the local business community and has been developed through a five year Investment in Culture made by Columbia Kitchen Cabinets Ltd.

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Students, educators and the general public can access and review primary source documents through touchscreen tablets located throughout the exhibition. This technological enhancement is made possible through support from the Lohn Foundation and a host of caring local donors.

The exhibition is shaped around the themes and events that have impacted our community since the time of settler colonization and uses graphic cues to demonstrate how the stories of our community are linked and continue to affect us today. It also presents multiple viewpoints. For example, a section of the exhibition dedicated to the drainage of Sumas Lake examines how settlers benefited from this agricultural development while it had devastating repercussions for the Stό:lō people.

The exhibition was also designed with educators in mind. Voices of the Valley connects directly to the classroom and addresses many of the Prescribed Learning Outcomes (PLOs) in the new BC curriculum documents. The learning program, including the new portable Heritage Learning Kits funded by the Rotary Club of Abbotsford, will support educators by offering a suite of options based on critical thinking strategies.

Sponsored by Columbia Cabinets