Richmond is home to many different cultures, which has led to a diversity of co-existing religious practices.
Richmond Museum has gathered those faiths, religions and spiritual practices in its newest exhibit, called Highway to Heaven: Richmond's Multi-faith Community.
On display are artefacts and photos of Richmond's faith-based community groups, so residents can examine the city's diverse religious and spiritual heritage.
Instead of each religion or spiritual practice treated separately, "all objects are interwoven, so visitors will get to see a different story.
"They will realize how much faith groups have in common," said Rebecca Forrest, curator at the museum.
A special feature on show is a 50-foot "highway" sculpture, decorated with texts and photos of places of worship.
The sculpture pays tribute to Richmond's No. 5 Road, commonly referred to as "Highway to Heaven" with its remarkable collection of community churches, mosques, religious schools and temples.
The widely known roadway appears to be quite unique, according to Joe Greenholtz, a columnist for the News, who currently sits on the Richmond Intercultural Advisory Committee.
"It seems to be a cultural phenomenon of some sort; I haven't heard of a gathering of this type anywhere else," he said.
Participating groups not only shared stories about their places of worship, but also about their history, their evolution and their significance.
"It is timely to have an exhibit of this kind of theme," was the most uttered reaction of groups, said Forrest, referring to a time of conflict and war.
"They felt this was an opportunity to show what they are about."
An exhibit like this lets visitors exchange their individual interpretations of objects, guiding them towards new insights, according to Greenholtz.
Exploring messages of different faiths together also allows visitors to see each other as people, rather than stereotypes or caricatures.
"In religious conflicts, humanity is removed from the other side, which makes it easier to oppose," he said.
However, when people get together "they are exposed to each other as neighbours, not as an abstract idea of some sort of religion.
"And that makes it easier to engage with each other and more difficult to discriminate," said Greenholtz.
As for her part, Forrest expressed the hope each visitor will learn something new and leave understanding and celebrating the diversity in Richmond.
The exhibit opens with a free reception at the Richmond Museum, Saturday Dec. 8 at 6 p.m.
Food and music will be provided. Following the reception, a special ceremony will take place at the Cultural Centre Plaza; one of the world's largest Menorahs will be lit, marking the start of Hanukkah, a Jewish celebration.