Three ways in Chilliwack to see travelling exhibit on species at risk

A panel discussion about the exhibit on the evening of Monday July 6, at the Chilliwack Museum at 7 p.m. kicks off a new speakers' series

FVRD Parks staffer Gord Gadsden tours Hillkeep Park on Chilliwack Mountain

Admit it.

Your knowledge about the mountain beaver or the Giant Pacific Salamander is somewhat lacking.

No worries.

The Royal BC Museum is on its way to Chilliwack soon with its Species at Risk travelling exhibition on July 6.

Several ways for people to get a look at the exhibit are being planned.

One of them is an event kicking off a new speakers’ series from Chilliwack Museum & Archives, said Matthew Francis, executive director of the Museum.

A panel discussion is open to everyone on the evening of Monday July 6, at the Museum at 7 p.m. They’ll be talking about how museums can relate to their communities in new ways.

“To answer that question, we will take a look at the Species at Risk travelling exhibition, what goes into the creation of something like that, and what can learn from it,” said Francis.

The slightly different subject matter was no obstacle.

“While our Museum focuses primarily on human history, we still have a lot to learn from the incredible natural cultures surrounding us – flora and fauna.”

Panelists for the event on July 6 will include:

•    Dr. Gavin Hanke, Curator, Vertebrate Zoology, Royal BC Museum;

•    Janet Hutchinson, Executive Director, Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve;

•    John Martin, Chilliwack MLA

Here’s how it all came together:

He took a call from Chris O’Connor from the Learning Department at the Royal BC Museum a while back, “that great place of wonder inspiration in Victoria.”

Thousands have toured the museum on on a school trip, or with family over the years.

“Chris let me know that their Museum was planning a travelling exhibition on Species at Risk, and they were hoping to stop in Chilliwack.

“Would we be interested in partnering with them to showcase Species at Risk in Chilliwack?”

The answer was a resounding yes.

O’Connor will also be in town to help facilitate the event on Monday night.

“So, for one day only – July 6 – you will have three unique opportunities to experience this informative Royal BC Museum Exhibition here in our city.”

All events are free of charge, and open to everyone.

Before the evening panel discussion there will be a chance to view the travelling exhibit in nature: at 10 a.m. at Hillkeep Regional Park on Chilliwack Mountain, and at 1 p.m. at the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve.

The Hillkeep site with a great view of the Fraser River is a “hidden gem” said Francis. “It’s a pristine natural area and the exhibit will be on-site in the forested area. The bird songs are just amazing amidst the lush vegetation.”

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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