Submitted.– The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford’s team is proud to announce generous funding from the TELUS Vancouver Community Board to support a new heritage initiative, We All Have a Story To Tell. This project is timely, because we all have a story and it is crucial to collect the stories of the people who helped build our community while they are still able to share them.
“The TELUS funding allows us to spend meaningful personal time with our community trailblazers, including many immigrants, so we can preserve their stories for future generations who in turn develop a better understanding of what has and will continue to shape their community and their lives,” explains Kris Foulds, collections manager at The Reach, and coordinator of We All Have A Story To Tell. “By recording and sharing these stories in a stimulating and engaging way, our future young leaders and game changers will learn from them and pass them on.”
The initiative has also provided valuable opportunities for recent university graduates, currently employed by The Reach. David Seymour and Alisha Deddens have interviewed more than a dozen immigrants who hail from North to South Africa, Asia, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Mexico, Middle East, Eastern Europe. The students have learned interview methodologies while continuing to collect the important histories, including challenges and successes of those who have and continue to shape our community.
The TELUS Vancouver Community Board provided $5,000 to the Reach Gallery Museum for their “We All Have A Story To Tell program.”
“TELUS and our Vancouver Community Board are committed to strengthening our communities and supporting projects that create meaningful bonds between generations and cultures,” said Michael McCarthy, a member of the TELUS Vancouver Community Board. “We are proud to be able to support this project which has captured important historical stories that can be shared through the power of technology.”
The Reach will bring excerpts of these stories to life through online social media and through quality DVD recordings to deliver into classrooms and at public events, while simultaneously maintaining a written and digital stories history in its community archives for public access.
Furthermore, and in collaboration with The Reach and the MSA Museum Society, Freddy Latham, a local teacher, founder and producer of Abbotsford Children’s Theatre, has transformed some of these stories into a live production. The We All Have A Story To Tell play, ran April 23 & 24 in Abbotsford and integrated skills from a diverse cross-section of children to adults in our community including: artists, writers, listeners, storytellers, singers, dancers, mentors and producers, many of whom have never appeared on stage or in a video.
TELUS Community Boards are an innovative and ground-breaking effort that puts decision-making in the hands of local leaders who know their communities best. There are 11 Canadian TELUS Community Boards and three International Boards that provide funding to local grassroots organizations in major centres where TELUS operates. Since their inception in 2005, TELUS Community Boards have contributed over $47.1 million to both national and grassroots charitable organizations and supported more than 3,715 community projects geared to youth with the mandate of helping to drive better social outcomes in our local communities across Canada.
In addition to the TELUS funding, the Chris Spencer Foundation (Vancouver) provided grant support for this We All Have A Story To Tell Reach project. To learn more about the programs and archives at The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford, 32388 Veterans Way, visit: www.thereach.ca