Programs for Adults

Virtual Book Club

They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School
Q & A with the Author Bev Sellars on December 9
Facilitated by: Celine Ahodekon
Meeting Dates: Sept 30, Oct 14, Oct 28, Nov 11, Nov 25, Dec 9 | 7-8 pm
Participant Fee: $25 (Includes a copy of the book, 10% off for Friends of The Reach)

Never before has there been a more critical moment to expand your understanding of the history and legacy of Canada’s Indian Residential School System. Join a group of peers on a learning journey as you explore this topic through the life experiences of residential school survivor and acclaimed author Bev Sellars. In this frank and poignant memoir of her years at St. Joseph’s Mission, Sellars breaks her silence about the residential school’s lasting effects on her and her family—from substance abuse to suicide attempts —and eloquently articulates her own path to healing. Sellars will join the book club for a Q & A in the final session on December 9.

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Meeting Dates and Chapter Outline:
September 30, 2021: Chap 1, 2, 3
October 14, 2021: Chap 4, 5
October 28, 2021: Chap 6, 7
November 11, 2021: 8, 9
November 25, 2021: 10, 11
December 9, 2021: 12, 13, 14

About the Author
Born in Soda Creek, Xatsu’ll First Nation, in Williams Lake in British Columbia, Bev Sellars spent part of her childhood as a student in a church-run residential school. These institutions endeavored to “civilize” Native children through Christian teachings; forced separation from family, language, and culture; and practiced strict discipline. The most symbolically potent strategy used to alienate residential school children was addressing them by assigned numbers only – not by the names with which they knew and understood themselves.

Bev Sellars was a chief of the Xatsu’ll (Soda Creek) First Nation in Williams Lake, British Columbia. She holds a degree in history from the University of Victoria and a law degree from the University of British Columbia. She has served as an advisor to the British Columbia Treaty Commission. She is a mother and a grandmother.

About the Facilitator
Celine Ahodekon was born and raised in Africa where she taught English and French. She holds a degree in Business Administration at Laval University, Quebec and is a bilingual Heritage Presenter with Parks Canada at Fort Langley National Historic Site where she has been working for the last 17 years. She loves sharing Canada’s history with Canadians and international visitors. Celine is also an avid Human Rights advocate and a co-chair for the Fraser Valley Human Dignity and Coalition.

Opening Party

Oct 1 | 6:30–8:30pm | FREE | Pre-registration is required

Join us in a celebration of our new season of exhibitions at The Reach! Meet the artists and connect with the thriving cultural community in Abbotsford. We’re excited to welcome you back and are taking extra precautions for your safety. Please register in advance and follow current Public Health Orders.

Register to Attend

48 Hour Film Competition

Oct 1–2 | Hosted by the Chilliwack Film Society

Want to be a part of the action? If you or a team want to participate, the inaugural 48 Hour Film Competition launches October 1st. Write, shoot and edit a film within 48 hours and have your work screened at the opening night of the Abbotsford Film Festival. Check out the Abbotsford Film Festival on Facebook for registration details.

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Mitchell Wiebe Artist Talk

October 6 | 1:002:00 pm

Exhibiting artist Mitchell Wiebe will present a thorough discussion of his experience as artist-in-residence at the Cold War-era “Diefenbunker” in Debert, Nova Scotia, and how it has continued to impact his creative practice leading up to the touring exhibition VampSites.

In-person or virtual format will be decided in accordance with any updated public health orders.

Register to Attend

Abbotsford Film Festival 

In partnership with the Chilliwack Film Society

Oct 15 & 16 | 7:0010:00pm | Tickets $10 | 19+ event 

A two-day event showcasing a diverse selection of shorts films, documentaries, music videos and more, the Abbotsford Film Festival (AFF) is a celebration of the arts, innovation and creativity.  The festival will be screened over two separate nights: the first will focus on local filmmakers (including the 48 Hour Film Competition), and the second will include films from further afield. Each night will feature a post-screening Q & A session, live music, and awards including an “Audience Award” voted for by you!

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Workshop: The Whimsical World of Artist Books

4 Classes | Oct 20 | Oct 27 | Nov 3 | Nov 10

Wednesdays 6:00–8:30pm | $75 per person (includes materials)

Facilitators: Emilie Kvist and Luke Pardy

This four-week, in-studio workshop will be explore the whimsical world of artist books! Inspired by folklore, tales, and mythology, participants will learn introductory print and book binding techniques. Participants of all abilities will be guided through the process of completing your first artist book. Finished projects will be featured in a social media exhibition!

Week 1: Intro to artist books

Week 2: Visual storytelling

Week 3: Incorporating imagery

Week 4: Completing your book


Exhibition Tour

Oct 23 | 1:002:00pm | FREE | Pre-registration is required

Join Adrienne Fast, The Reach’s Curator of Art & Visual Culture, for a tour of our new exhibitions. Learn about the artists’ sources of inspiration and hear the stories that animate many of the works currently on display.

In-person or virtual format will be decided in accordance with any updated public health orders.

Registration required.

Turn it up: A Listening Party

In partnership with Black Connections

Nov 5 | 7:00–10:00pm | $25 | 19+ event

Last fall we brought you the inaugural TURN IT UP playlist series, now is your chance to meet the artists, playlist curators, and like-minded music lovers at an exclusive listening party. An evening of food, drink, revelry, and music. You won’t want to miss it.


Wednesdays, 10:30-11:30 am

Adult Cultural Education

FREE | Pre-registration is required

OCT 6 & 20 | NOV 3 & 17 | DEC 1 & 15

Are you looking to add a bit of culture to your week? C3 is a speakers series designed around timely topics and thought-provoking cultural content. This fall, C3 will be offered on alternating Wednesdays at 10:30 am. Geared toward lifelong learners, this casual, informative program is always free and is a great way to meet new people.

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October 6: Exhibition Tour with Adrienne Fast

October 20: Olivia Daniels Abbotsford, the KKK, and Undoing White-Washed Histories

November 3: Daniel Bucar Abbotsford Cenotaph History Project

November 17: Speaker TBC

December 1: Michele Fontana Improv, Museums, and Pizza Boxes

December 15: Holiday Fête

For more details on the C3 program schedule and how to register, check out our Event Calendar and join our newsletter.

Exhibition – Video Tours

Free | Virtual Event | Everyone welcome

Look for new videos in our popular series of virtual curator tours. Visit home, or follow us on social media, to be sure you don’t miss an episode!

The Docent is Present

Free | Drop-in | Open to the Public

A knowledgeable docent is available Thursdays from 10am to 2pm and Fridays from 10am to 3pm for Exhibition Tours. Even if you’ve already seen the current exhibitions, you can deepen your experience with a free, drop-in tour.