Okanagan Heritage Museum

Discover the natural and human history of Kelowna

Experience fascinating displays and learn how the Okanagan Valley was formed, and why it supports tremendous biodiversity. Step into the world of the syilx/Okanagan people, and gain insights into their close connection to the land. Learn about the arrival of traders and settlers, and peer into the windows of a store from Kelowna’s Chinatown. Meet some individuals from Kelowna’s past and present, and be inspired by the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame.

Hours

Monday 10:00am – 5:00pm
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday Closed
Thursday 10:00am – 5:00pm
Friday 10:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday 11:00am – 4:00pm

Special Hours

Monday, February 19 11:00am – 4:00pm

 

Location

470 Queensway Avenue
Kelowna, BC, V1Y 6S7

(250) 763-2417

Google maps link

ADMISSION

Admission is by donation.

Suggested donation $10 per person/$25 per family

Feature Exhibit

La Nostra Famiglia Italiana: Our Legacy in Kelowna

 

September 23, 2023 to February 19, 2024
Okanagan Heritage Museum

Why did Italians settle here? How did they adapt? What is the community doing today? Explore the history and contributions of Italians in Kelowna – some may surprise you!

Discover la nostra famiglia Italiana – our Italian family!​

The Italian-Canadian community has a long history in Kelowna. In the 140 years since Giovanni Casorzo and Carlo Guaschetti arrived, Italians have contributed to shaping agriculture, industry, business and culture in the Okanagan. Their legacy remains an integral part of the region’s past, while new generations continue to enrich Kelowna today.

Co-created by the Kelowna Museums Society and the Kelowna Canadian Italian Club, the exhibition highlights the history of Italians in Kelowna. Displays lead visitors through four key eras of Italian immigration to the region. Within each era, artifacts, archival photographs, personal stories and multimedia elements provide examples of how the Italian community has contributed to the Okanagan. A kitchen table situated in the centre of the gallery, connects the eras through Italian food traditions and serves as a symbol of bringing people together.

Museums Are Living Places

There’s always something new to discover at the  Okanagan Heritage Museum!

In recent years, the permanent gallery of the Okanagan Heritage Museum has been completely transformed. This was a major project that was informed by the vision and expertise of syilx/Okanagan Elders and knowledge carriers, historians, scientists, and members of diverse communities. In particular, we are grateful to staff from the Sncəwips Heritage Museum (Westbank First Nation) for their guidance and support. We are proud to display an Eagle Staff which symbolizes our friendship in telling a story together.
Eric Mitchell, Elder of the Okanagan Indian Band, led the design and construction of a traditional Okanagan Winter Home. These remarkable structures are sometimes referred to as pithouses or kekulis, but Eric taught us the proper name, qʷćiʔ. A highlight of a museum visit is stepping into this gorgeous space. The gallery transformation continues as we layer in new information as it becomes available to us. Visitors remark they are astonished by new insights, engaged by the provocative displays and delighted to see how much children enjoy exploring the museum.

Additional Programs & Services

Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame

The Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame celebrates the athletes, coaches, and builders whose accomplishments have made them a part of history in the Central Okanagan.

Kelowna Public Archives

The Kelowna Public Archives, located at the Okanagan Heritage Museum, is a historical resource centre where public records and historical documents are kept and preserved for informational and research use.

Ursula Surtees Regional Conservation Laboratory

A state-of-the-art Conservation Laboratory offering a variety of conservation services to the public, such as repairs, cleaning and polishing, mounting and protective enclosures.

Upcoming Events & Workshops

nsyilxcen: the Journey Continues

nsyilxcen: the Journey Continues

Date February 20, 2024

Continue your journey with the nsyilxcen language and gain a deeper understanding of syilx culture. Through a series of dynamic classes, students with a beginner understanding of nsyilxcen will engage with each other and their instructor as they continue their learning....

Event Info

Visite guidée du musée

Visite guidée du musée

Date February 24, 2024

Visitez votre musée en français ! Rejoingez-nous pour une visite guidée en français pendant laquelle on plongera dans l’histoire et la culture de la valée au Musée du patrimoine de l’Okanagan. Les sujets incluent les premiers colons, la résurgence de la franc...

Event Info