The Royal BC Museum has dug deep into its collections to unearth powerful material about the Great War, creating a traveling exhibition that will soon set up camp at The Reach Gallery Museum, 32388 Veterans Way, Abbotsford.
The exhibition, called British Columbia’s War, 1914–1918, and which aims to educate British Columbians about the contributions of their forebears in the First World War, will visit The Reach from the public opening reception on September 27, 2018 to January 6, 2019.
“The Great War had a monumental impact on the formation of British Columbia as a political entity, with its own emerging sense of identity,” said the Royal BC Museum’s CEO, Prof. Jack Lohman. “The Royal BC Museum’s collections help show how the province coalesced around this traumatic global event, as soldiers and nurses from all corners and various ethnic groups of the province signed up for service.”
The exhibition began touring the province in March 2016. One of the strengths of this traveling exhibition is its deeply collaborative nature. Partnering community museums have been encouraged to expand upon the exhibition’s major themes by adding content from their own collections to tell the stories that matter most to their visitors.
Kris Foulds, Curator of Historical Collections has selected artifacts from The Reach material culture and archival collections to introduce local content to British Columbia’s War, 1914–1918.
“The stories associated with the artifacts and presented in the documents will allow visitors to identify with local families and better understand how Abbotsford was impacted by WWI”, says Foulds.
This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.
In recent years the Royal BC Museum has embarked upon the creation and distribution of an ambitious series of traveling exhibitions made in-house by the Royal BC Museum’s Exhibition Arts Team. For example, the Royal BC Museum’s Species at Risk traveling exhibition, a marvelous trailer that opens up like a teardrop-shaped Transformer, is again travelling the province in 2016 – this time to the Kootenay region.
About The Reach
The Reach is a registered charity and the centre of cultural and creative innovation in the Fraser Valley. We are committed to preserving and sharing the stories of our rich and diverse cultural heritage, and showcasing the best in the visual arts from both inside and outside our community. We develop and deliver engaging multidisciplinary public programming for all ages.
The Reach material culture, archival and photographic collections embody the heritage of the community and its citizens. Through exhibitions like the Governor General’s Award-winning Voices of the Valley, and its vast online photo archives library, The Reach works to make community heritage engaging and accessible.
About the Royal BC Museum The Royal BC Museum explores the province’s human history and natural history, advances new knowledge and understanding of BC, and provides a dynamic forum for discussion and a place for reflection. The museum and archives celebrate culture and history, telling the stories of BC in ways that enlighten, stimulate and inspire. Looking to the future, the Royal BC Museum will be a refreshed, modern museum, extending its reach far beyond Victoria as a world-class cultural venue and repository of digital treasures. Experience the Great War exhibition at The Reach, September 27, 2018 to January 6, 2019 at The Reach, 32388 Veterans Way, Abbotsford, www.thereach.ca. Admission is free.
Image: RBCM BCA 1-60880
The Reach Great War Exhibition Media contact:
Kris Foulds, Curator of Historical Collections, The Reach