Surrey’s history will be free for the taking this year.
Ahead of the launch of its 2011 season, the Surrey Museum wants to remind residents in the area that admission to the facility will be completely free for the entire year. The year will begin with exhibits on Graduation Through the Ages, which tracks the changes surrounding the ritual of leaving high school over the past 100 years, as well as an exploration of India’s Bhangra music. Both exhibits open on Feb. 8.
Ursula Maxwell-Lewis, Friends of the Surrey Museum and Archives Society President and former editor and publisher of the Cloverdale Reporter, says offering free admission felt like the right thing to do for the community. She adds that the initiative will make it more comfortable for people to drop in and explore the city’s history.
“Surrey has a great history, and this is one avenue to allow us to tell it,” she said.
Maxwell-Lewis says local museums are important because history can provide an anchor for people in the community, giving them context, pride and, above all, roots in the area. History can also help newcomers become more involved, giving them a stake in the community and inspiring them to help out, she said.
“Museums should be the common man’s cultural bridge to the community,” she said.
Free admission was made possible this year via income generated through the Museum’s Endowment Fund as well as donations from businesses, service clubs and individuals in the community.
Admission charges had been $5.50 for adults, $4 for seniors and students, $2.75 for children and youth, and free for children under five.
Admission to the museum will be free for the whole year, and the society hopes to extend the discount into the future.
Donations will still be accepted at the door, and the community can continue to support the Friends Society by purchasing the new Surrey Museum Heritage Blend Tea at the China Cup Tea Company in Cloverdale.
– Colin Oswin, Black Press