Collections

What you see on display is the tip of the iceberg!

Only a fraction of the collection is visible to museum visitors. 

As in most museums, artifacts rotate between display and storage, thereby prolonging the life of the object, and providing vibrancy to the galleries. At Kelowna Museums, collections are stored behind the scenes in all of our facilities.

Kelowna Museums Society collects artifacts on behalf of the Okanagan Heritage Museum, the Okanagan Military Museum, the Okanagan Wine and Orchard Museum, and the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame.

Repatriation

Kelowna Museums Society has been engaged in repatriation work since 2007 when ancestral remains in collections were repatriated to their rightful homes. At this time, we are working with Indigenous partners to update our practice and policy to better reflect our organization’s commitment to reconciliation. In this work we are guided by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the findings of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, the Heritage and Reconciliation Pledge from Heritage BC, the Steering Committee on Canada’s Archives Reconciliation Framework, and the wishes of local Indigenous communities, and beyond.

Our Repatriation Policy, which is under renewal at this time,  reflects the Society’s pledge to return cultural materials to the rightful descendants and communities. The Policy serves as a guide for this important work, which is done in the spirit of cooperation, respect, and cultural sensitivity. The repatriation of cultural materials will be undertaken in partnership with the relevant Indigenous community, organization, or individual.

For more information about our repatriation policy and practice please contact Amanda Snyder, Curatorial Manager at asnyder@kelownamuseums.ca.

The logo for the BC Museums Association Repatriation Call to Action was created by Sarah Jim, an emerging artist of mixed ancestry and a member of the W̱SÁNEĆ nation from the Tseycum village. She holds a BFA from UVIC and conducts environmental restoration on her ancestral territory. Creating placebased artwork of her homelands and waters allows her to educate others about the importance of native plant food systems and coastal medicines in relation to the ecosystem and W̱SÁNEĆ culture.

 Sarah explains the elements used in the logo; “The moon and stars are ubiquitous entities that hold so much meaning for many. A moon in transition symbolizes the act of repatriation; communities are becoming whole again by receiving what truly belongs to them. The surrounding plants represent good medicine for this phase in life and stars are meant to give good wishes and represent ancestors.”

Collections Online

The Chinese Canadian Artefacts Project

In 2015, the Kelowna Museums Society began contributing to a provincial project facilitated by the University of Victoria. The project aims to promote greater knowledge and recognition of Asian Canadian heritage through an online artifact database. The searchable database contains over 6000 Chinese Canadian artifacts held by 16 local and regional museums throughout British Columbia.

The Kelowna Museums Society’s page includes photographs and information on nearly 400 artifacts from our Chinese collection. 

Visit https://ccap.uvic.ca/index.php/kelowna-museums-society to explore our amazing Chinese artifacts!

Collections donations and selection process

Prior to any items being incorporated into the Collection, they are evaluated by the Collections Committee. The Committee determines whether or not the artifacts conform to the criteria set out in the Collections Policy.

If you would like to make a donation or are interested in learning more about the Collection process please contact the Curatorial Manager, Amanda Snyder, at 250-763-2417 ext. 29 or asnyder@kelownamuseums.ca.

Kelowna Museums Locations

Okanagan Heritage Museum

Kelowna’s flagship museum, the Okanagan Heritage Museum, invites visitors to discover how the Okanagan Valley was formed, to gain insights into the world of our syilx hosts, to learn about the arrival of traders and settlers and so much more.

Okanagan Military Museum

Devoted to the preservation and greater awareness of Okanagan military heritage, the Okanagan Military Museum features uniforms, insignia, badges, firearms and fascinating stories of how locals have contributed to events on the world stage.

Laurel Packinghouse

One of Kelowna’s most historic and beloved buildings, the Laurel Packinghouse is the oldest and largest packinghouse in BC. Part atmospheric rental venue, part museum, this is a building that charms both locals and visitors alike.

Kelowna Museums’ Upcoming Events & Workshops

Earth Day Quest

Earth Day Quest

Take part on an extraordinary Earth Day Quest, taking place from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm Downtown Kelowna! Discover the wonders of our planet as you embark on a captivating journey filled with engaging activities that teach you about crucial environmental topics. Unlock the secrets as you decode five challenging clues that lead to eco-prizes. Let’s celebrate Earth Day together while making a positive impact on our beautiful world! 

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