Take a Look Into Kelowna’s Local History at the Okanagan Heritage Museum

    Featuring award-winning travel exhibits from around the world and the most comprehensive regional exhibits in the area, the Okanagan Heritage Museum is a must see for any tourist or resident in the Okanagan region. It is the headquarters for the Kelowna Museums Society and it contains the Kelowna Public Archives and the Ursula Surtees Regional Conservation Laboratory, which provides important maintenance and care for the collections. The museum has a significant collection of First Nation exhibits, and a large ethnography (the study of specific cultures in a group) gallery. Located at 470 Queensway Avenue in Kelowna, it is easy to access and admission is free (although a donation is appreciated).


    Take a Trip Back in Time

    The Okanagan Heritage Museum keeps a permanent exhibit on Kelowna’s history. It has First Nation artefacts from the turn of the 20th century, along with stories and actual history that bring these objects to life. You can tour a grocery store that was owned and operated by the area’s newly immigrated Chinese residents. You can also see John McDougall’s trading post. He was a packer for the Hudson Bay Company, and in 1861 the company allowed him to open his own trading post. He traded provisions, furs, and, of course, the trademark Hudson Bay blankets. You can also visit the past of other cultures with ethnography exhibits from all over the world. A visitor to the museum can take a momentary trip out of Canada and visit cultures in South and Central America as well as Asia and Africa.

    The Ripple Effect – An Exciting New Exhibit

    A brand new exhibit running from April 10 to September 27, 2014, the Ripple Effect is a tribute to Canadians who have made contributions to society in the way they have lived their lives that have caused ripple effects around the world. The exhibit revolves around three remarkable people, Peter Platt, an Ottawa police officer and male breast cancer survivor, Crystal Flamon, a world-class athlete and fundraiser from Kelowna, and George Harris from Winnipeg who has devoted his life to volunteering. This exhibit looks into their hopes, their lives, and the effect they have had on Canada and the world.

    Special Events and Demonstrations at the Museum

    Do you love bugs? The Bug Guys are regulars at the Okanagan Heritage Museum. This fun presentation involves a display of mounted bugs, as well as up close and personal learning. For those who like slitherers and creepy crawlies, they offer a reptile show as well. Additionally, there are school break activities for the kids and workshops available for the grown-ups. For more information on the events offered by the museum, be sure to visit their Facebook page.


    The Okanagan Heritage Museum contains an important link to British Columbia’s past while maintaining an eye to its future. In fact, its motto is “Alive with History,” which nicely sums up the Okanagan Heritage Museum’s mission. Whether you are a visitor to the area or a long-time resident, visiting this special museum is a worthwhile way to spend an afternoon.

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