The Okanagan Heritage Museum provides you with an incredible opportunity to learn the rich history of the Okanagan Valley and how it was formed. In 2019, the museum was completely transformed, now welcoming people to come enjoy the gallery, the stories, and the incredible artifacts. This project was a major undertaking by the vision and expertise of the Syilx Okanagan elders, knowledge carriers, scientists, and individuals from a wide range of diverse communities.

Visiting the Okanagan Heritage Museum means taking a step back in history. Gain an appreciation for the Syilx people and learn their deep connection with the land. Learn about the settlers and traders, how individuals interacted with the land and each other, as well as the unique differences amongst the various regions of the world. The museum is grateful to staff members of the Sncəwips Heritage Museum (Westbank First Nation) for the highest form of knowledge, guidance, and respect for the region. The Eagle Staff display symbolizes friendship in telling a story collectively.

There is often a Feature Exhibit on display where visitors can get an in depth look at various traveling exhibits and stories. Along with the many artifacts, stories, and displays, the museum also hosts a variety of events, many of which cater to children. These events are a combination of education and fun, allowing them to interact and learn about history, culture, and different ways of life.

Along with the Syilx Okanagan gallery, the Okanagan Heritage Museum features three other programs and services. The Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame honours the athletes, coaches, and builders who have left their mark on the Central Okanagan sports scene, and celebrates their contribution to the region’s history. The Kelowna Public Archives serves as a hub for historical research and information. Located in the museum, there is a wealth of public records and documents for the use and benefit of the community. The Ursula Surtees Regional Conservation Laboratory offers conservation services to the public such as cleaning, polishing, and mounting protective enclosures.

Visiting the Okanagan Heritage Museum is a great way to spend the afternoon in Kelowna. What better way to gain an appreciation and understanding of the region than learning from the people who first inhabited this land? Next time you’re here, be sure to put this on your list.