In search of a Surrey cultural connection?

The Surrey Museum hosts a multicultural open house.

The Surrey Museum hosts an upcoming Culture Connections open house where visitors can take guided tours of the exhibit galleries, watch films on local history and culture, and learn more about their neighbours.

The May 24 event (from 2-3:30 p.m.) also includes tea and refreshments, plus a presentation (“Changing Faces, Changing Neighbourhoods”) by the ISSofBC on the Government Assisted Refugee program.

Surrey is one of the most attractive destinations for government-assisted refugees. The city is home to newcomers from Myanmar, Somalia, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan and more.

“They are our neighbours or our kids’ friends,” says Patricia Woroch, CEO of Immigrant Services Society of B.C., an organization that works with more than 23,000 immigrants a year.

We want to understand their culture, share the Canadian way of life, learn from each other, and add values to the cultural mosaic of the community.”

The event is a starting point for Surrey residents who have questions and want to learn more about their new neighbours.

Surrey is now the destination for 43 per cent of B.C.’s Government Assisted Refugees (or GARS). Many are from the Karen ethnic group of Myanmar, and Somalia.

Understandably, Surrey residents want to know how they can be welcoming to these newcomers how they can help them settle and integrate into the community.

The open house is Thursday, May 24 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. It’s open to all ages. Admission is by donation.

The Surrey Museum is located at 17710 56A Avenue, Surrey. It’s open Tuesdays to Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s closed Sundays, Mondays and statutory holidays.

Admission in 2012 is sponsored by the Friends of the Museum Society.

For more information, call 604-592-6956 or visit

Follow the Cloverdale Reporter on Twitter and Facebook. View our print edition online.