The historic Laurel Packinghouse, a nationally-designated heritage landmark, is the oldest and largest standing packinghouse in British Columbia.
The Laurel Packinghouse is located in the heart of Kelowna’s Cultural District and is home to the BC Orchard Industry Museum and the BC Wine Museum & VQA Wine Shop, and is one of Canada’s few industrial sites preserved to help give us a keener sense of our agricultural heritage.
The building’s expansive gallery space can host 300 guests in comfort, and its stage at the western end of the building is equipped to serve a wide range of event functions. The open and flexible design of this space lends itself well to everything from trade shows and conference break-out space to art shows, client appreciation events and receptions. Whatever layout you choose, the heritage of the Laurel Packinghouse enhances a unique experience for your guests.
The BC Orchard Industry Museum features the story of the region’s agricultural roots as cattle ranching gave way to orcharding just after 1900. Both large, industrial artefacts and more intimate displays tease out this exciting story in a space that can accommodate up to 60 people.
The BC Wine Museum & VQA Wine Shop combines the very best selection of this province’s wine making traditions with the emerging story of grape growing and wine making in the Valley. Able to host up to 75 people, the Wine Museum features the building’s unique architecture in a warm and comfortable setting.
The Laurel Packinghouse was built over the winter of 1917/18 of bricks made locally from clay from Knox Mountain and was a working packinghouse until the 1970s. In 1982, the Laurel Packinghouse was slated for demolition. Largely through the efforts of the Kelowna Museums Society, the building was saved and became Kelowna’s first designated heritage building. Over the next six years, the Laurel Packinghouse was restored.
The primary purpose of the restoration of the Laurel Packinghouse was to house the BC Orchard Industry Museum with the building showcasing the largest of this museum’s artefacts. In 1988, the building restoration was completed and in 1989, coinciding with the 100th birthday of the BC Fruit Growers’ Association, the British Columbia Orchard Industry Museum was officially opened. Further renovations to the building in 1996 resulted in the opening of The BC Wine Museum & VQA Wine Shop.
In 2010, the Laurel Packinghouse went through a revitalization process and today is used as a rental space for events such as weddings, private and community events.
For more information about renting the Laurel Packinghouse, click here.