After a new Community Treasures exhibit opened at the the Museum of Surrey, the museum has followed up with a virtual tour online.
Called “20 Years: Surrey’s Heritage Rail,” the new Community Treasures exhibition is being showcased from June 2 to Sept. 5.
“The exhibit celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society,” reads a storyboard at the Museum of Surrey. “The organization is 100% volunteer run. Included are artifacts from both the Heritage Railway Society and the Surrey Heritage Collection.”
The virtual tour offers those who can’t make it down to the museum in person an opportunity to see the exhibition from the comfort of their own homes.
“My colleague Sandra Borger started the virtual tours long before 2020 and COVID,” said Colleen Sharpe, curator of exhibits.
Sharpe said Borger used to be the visitor experience coordinator for the museum. She added Borger did outstanding work to increase accessibility all over the museum.
“She organized Sensory Sunday’s, arranged Telecoil to be installed at the front desk and in the theatre, even iPads with an app at the front desk to connect with American Sign Language interpreters for visitors who need this. She did many many things around accessibility.”
Borger was inspired to create the virtual tours in an effort to expand on her goal of increased accessibility.
“It helps to reach audiences who may not be able to come to the museum either for financial reasons, or physical ones.”
Michael Gibbs, co-chair of communications for the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society (FVHRS), said he appreciates the exhibit’s online presence.
“Surrey is a very large city, so it’s wonderful that the Museum of Surrey has committed to virtual tours that make the exhibits more accessible.”
For in-person tourists, the exhibit features an interactive train simulator where people can virtually drive a B.C.E.R. train down the spike from Cloverdale Station to Sullivan Station.
“I’m really impressed with how the simulator works,” Gibbs previously told the Cloverdale Reporter. “The picture is crystal clear and it really gives you a feel for driving down the tracks. There are also bells and whistles that kids will get a kick out of playing with.”
A link to the Heritage Rail virtual tour can be found by visiting the museum’s website and searching under “Community Treasures”.
Virtual tours from past exhibits can be found on the museum’s website as well.
Train Days at the Museum is a separate event that will run June 25-26 and will be focused just on kids.
Visitors to Train Days at the Museum can participate in a train-themed scavenger hunt, check out train memorabilia, and learn about the history of trains in Surrey through the lens of the FVHRS.
Visitors to the Museum of Surrey must pre-register by calling 604.592.6956 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Visitors can also register online if they have a MySurrey account.