The Kelowna Museums Society’s Constitution states that the purpose of the Society is to “promote a greater interest and awareness of the natural histories, cultural heritage, and military history of the Okanagan region and of the tree fruit and wine producing development of British Columbia”.
To do this, the Society collects, researches, and interprets artefacts of geological, biological, and paleontological significance, as well as ethnographic, cultural, social, military, and technological interest.
The Kelowna Museums Society collects artefacts on behalf of the Okanagan Heritage Museum, the BC Orchard Industry Museum, the BC Wine Museum, and the Okanagan Military Museum. All artefacts are acquired in a manner that is respectful of the public trust and that does not damage cultural resources.
The Society has a large and varied artefact collection which represents all aspects of life in Kelowna and the Okanagan. The main storage facility is located at the Okanagan Heritage Museum where new high-density mobile shelving units were installed at the beginning of 2004. These shelving units provide a safer environment for the collection and allow for easier access to artefacts by curatorial staff. The Okanagan Heritage Museum storage facility houses all of the natural history specimens, ethnographic materials, and clothing, costume, and textile collections. Also located at the Okanagan Heritage Museum are numerous objects which reflect the social history of the community.
The Kelowna Museums Society has two other storage facilities. The Laurel Packinghouse provides storage for the Society’s orchard and wine industry collections and houses all of the larger artefacts and those that are made from materials which are not affected by changes in the environment. All artefacts relating to military history are located in storage facilities at the Okanagan Military Museum.
The Kelowna Museums Society collects artefacts through donations from the community or bequests. Some items are purchased and others are acquired through exchange or transfer. Prior to any items being incorporated into the collection, they are evaluated by the Collections Committee. Once the Committee has determined that the artefacts conform to the criteria set out in the Collections and Collections Management Policy, the Curator of Collections assigns each item an accession number and enters the artefact information into the Collections Database. The artefacts are then placed in storage until they are ready to be used for exhibition or research purposes.