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Heritage Reach Celebrates Sikh History


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Reach celebrates Sikh history

By Rochelle Baker, The Times

Read more: http://www.abbotsfordtimes.com/Reach+celebrates+Sikh+history/4600938/story.html#ixzz1JLn8KNOX

The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford is hosting a timely exhibition to celebrate the long-standing contributions of the Sikh community to the city.

The show - Our Communities Our Stories: Sikh Pioneers - 100 Years of Immigration, Integration and Identity - opens on April 14 to celebrate not only the 100th anniversary of Abbotsford's historic Gur Sikh Temple, but also the ancient spring festival of Vaisakhi.

The festival which marks spring, the upcoming harvest and the establishment of the tenets of Sikh faith, celebrates new beginnings and hopes for the coming year.

So while looking to a promising future, this historical photo exhibit at The Reach offers Abbotsford residents the opportunity to reflect on the seeds of prosperity sowed by Sikh pioneers.

Arriving more than a century ago, Sikhs from the Punjab in India struggled to establish a community in Abbotsford, with one of the first Sikh temples in North America as its anchor. Built in 1911, the Gur Sikh Temple, or gurdwara, on South Fraser Way has been designated a national historic site by the Canadian government.

The photo exhibit will touch on the temple's significance for Sikh residents and the role it played in helping them persevere against the odds and carve out a place for themselves in an oftentimes very hostile environment.

Also on hand are family artifacts to illustrate the stories told by pioneers and provide a glimpse into the Sikh faith during one of its most important festivals.

The Reach exhibition is organized in collaboration with the temple's Khalsa Diwan Society and the Centre for Indo Canadian Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley. It runs from Thursday, April 14 to May 29.

The exhibition opens Thursday, with a reception from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Great Hall at the Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford, 32388 Veterans Way.

Contact The Reach at 604-864-8087, e-mail info@thereach.ca or visit thereach.ca.

Read more: http://www.abbotsfordtimes.com/Reach+celebrates+Sikh+history/4600938/story.html#ixzz1JLmyT0qu