Okanagan Wine & Orchard Museum

Exploring our agricultural roots

Unearth the agricultural treasures that make our region unique at the Okanagan Wine and Orchard Museum in the historic Laurel Packinghouse. Vibrantly coloured fruit crates, fierce-looking equipment and a live beehive are juxtaposed with barrels, bottles and machinery. Meet the determined people who lived the trials and triumphs of the tree fruit and wine industries. Discover how growing, processing, transporting and enjoying tree fruits and wine diversified our landscape and communities.

Hours

Temporary Closure

We’re currently reimagining our space and are closed to the public. Please follow us on social media and sign up for our newsletter to stay in the know.

In the meantime, visit Laurel Square, part of the Okanagan Wine and Orchard Museum behind the historic Laurel Packinghouse. This new park offers a fun and interactive way to experience Kelowna's agricultural past for kids of all ages.

Location

Located inside the Laurel Packinghouse

1304 Ellis St
Kelowna, BC, V1Y 1Z8

(778) 478-0325

Google maps link

ADMISSION

Admission is by donation.

Suggested donation $5 per person/$15 per family

What will you find?

The Laurel Square

Now Open!

 

Opened in 2020, the Laurel Square is an outdoor gathering space in the heart of Kelowna’s Cultural District. Located next to the Laurel Packinghouse in the downtown core, this interpretive green space tells the story of Kelowna’s agricultural history with special features including an irrigation flume to demonstrate how early irrigation was managed in the area, a giant ‘Codling Moths & Ladders’ game, ‘Shunty’ the historic shunting truck and more. The landscaping features plants indigenous to the Central Okanagan — selected in consultation with Elders from Westbank First Nation.

An initiative of the Kelowna Museums Society and the City of Kelowna, the Laurel Square is a great place to sit and read, to catch up with a friend, play a game with the kids and learn about the agricultural history that has been so vital to our region. We hope you’ll come and enjoy this special green space in the heart of urban Kelowna!

The Okanagan Wine Industry

 

The first large scale Okanagan vineyards were planted in the 1920s. Early experiments in commercial wine production resulted in a startling diversity of product which was described by no one as a ‘fine vintage.’ Over the years, growers and wineries experimented with terroir, variety and technique. Experienced wine makers moved to the Okanagan and the wine got better and better. Today, history is being made as the orchard and wine industries continue to shape the Okanagan. Find out how each of us is part of that unfolding story.

The Okanagan Orchard Industry

 

Beginning in the 1890s, land companies began to divide ranches and grain fields into irrigated orchard plots and tempt eager new growers into buying them. Within 25 years, packinghouses and canneries hummed and clattered in the rapidly growing industrial district north of downtown Kelowna. Conveyors groaned with colourful fruit while workers sorted and loaded apples, cherries, apricots, pears, peaches, and plums. Women working the packing line were called “Apple Wrapper Flapper,” and skillfully packed 160 boxes a day. The evil-looking cherry pitting machines were nothing to spit at, and box makers banged out 100 fruit crates every hour.

Kelowna Museums’ Upcoming Events and Workshops

A Flurry of Holiday Magic

A Flurry of Holiday Magic

Date December 15, 2021

Grab a lantern and step into the magic of the museum, all decked out for the holidays! This experience will leave you feeling nostalgic for that old-fashioned festive charm with stories, crafts, games, and the sights and smells that mark the holiday season.

Event Info