Exhibition: Echoes of the Komagata Maru
February 11 to July 12, 2014
Visit the Komagata Maru exhibit at the Surrey Museum
On display February 11 to July 12, 2014
Personalized through image, sound and video, the Surrey Museum's exhibit tells the social story of the Komagata Maru–a steamship carrying 376 passengers from Punjab, India that was refused entry into British Columbia by Canadian immigration officers in 1914. This exhibition is part of a year long project across Metro Vancouver to commemorate the centennial of this event.
The Komagata Maru and its passengers docked in Burrard Inlet in 1914. The passengers were challenging Canada’s discriminatory Continuous Passage Regulation which stated that all immigrants to Canada must come via direct journey from their country of origin. Because no direct route between Canada and India existed at the time, this was viewed as a roundabout way to exclude Asian immigration. However, Canada and India were both part of the British Empire at that time and had rights to migration and movement across colonies. Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet became the flashpoint for a standoff that lasted two months.
The exhibition features interviews with direct descendants of Komagata Maru passengers living in Surrey, first hand accounts of the ship's arrival, and thoughtful comments from Surrey youth on the importance of the Komagata Maru today, all told through video clips, images and sound.
The Komagata Maru episode has never been forgotten. It is not just a story of what happened in 1914; it is one chapter in a long struggle to create a Canada that accepts all races and cultures. It is a story that all Canadians can relate to today.
Project partners are Surrey Museum, Surrey Arts Centre, Khalsa Diwan Society (Ross Street Temple), Museum of Vancouver, Simon Fraser University (Library), Surrey Public Libraries, Progressive Intercultural Services Society (PICS) and the Vancouver Maritime Museum.
Location: Surrey Museum, 17710 - 56A Avenue
Town Centre: Cloverdale