Temporary (Rotating) Exhibits

Named in honour of the museum's first curator, the R.N. Atkinson Temporary Exhibit Gallery is a dedicated temporary exhibition space. Temporary exhibits usually have a local focus and remain on display for about four months. Because exhibits are always changing in the R.N. Atkinson Gallery, it's worth visiting frequently to see what's new!

ON DISPLAY NOW until September 2, 2017


How Do We Get From Here to There? Traveling the Green Highway

Connecting people to wildlife needs through wildlife corridors

PENTICTON – Make way! Bighorn sheep, badgers, and spadefoots are travelling through the Penticton Archives & Museum!

How Do We Get From Here to There? Traveling the Green Highway” is an exhibit that looks at how animals use natural pathways, or wildlife corridors, to travel finding food, water, shelter, and mates.

The upcoming exhibit hopes to increase awareness of the importance of wildlife corridors. Animals have a difficult time getting their needs met when human developments, like towns, roads, vineyards and power lines interrupt wildlife corridors.

“This science, new to some, highlights the importance of keeping wildlife populations connected so that they stay viable and are better able deal with environmental changes like climate change,” said Dennis Oomen, Penticton Museum & Archives curator.

The exhibit offers hands-on activities for families to experience life for an animal looking for ways to move around the Okanagan Valley. They can explore natural and human-made landscapes through a layered map interface and build their own pollinator garden to improve bee connectivity in a 3D neighbourhood.

Complementing the bee connectivity portion of the exhibit is a set of 12 hexagonal hassocks, featuring 12 most important flowers according to local beekeepers in North Okanagan (around Enderby). The hassocks were felted in a community workshop facilitated by local Grindrod artist Cathy Stubington. Visitors to the museum are also invited to make their own xeriscape seed packet courtesy of the Kelowna Nectar Trail Project.

On display from June 8 to September 2, 2017, the travelling exhibit is a community outreach initiative coordinated by the Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program (OCCP).

“This exhibit is part of a broader project that the OCCP is undertaking to enhance habitat connectivity in the Okanagan,” said Tanis Gieselman, OCCP’s Projects Coordinator.

“We are helping local governments work together to plan for the protection of a network of wildlife corridors, but we also hope to inspire local individuals and communities to take action to support habitat connectivity in their own neighbourhoods.”

This project is a collaboration of UBC Okanagan’s Centre for Culture and Technology and the Complex Environmental Systems Lab, with assistance from Border Free Bees and the Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program.

The exhibit will be on display to the public and school groups until September 2, 2017. Tours are available by contacting the museum at 250-490-2454.

This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.


Coming soon

September 2017

Penticton 150
This exhibit will feature a review of Penticton's last 150 years plus more in celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary.


Permanent Exhibits

Penticton: The Shaping of Place

On permanent display at the Museum is the exhibit “Penticton: The Shaping of Place” which invites you to step back in time and explore the forces that shaped Penticton through its history. As you walk through the exhibit you will journey through a series of landscapes that stand as milestones in the development of the area.

  • Space-scape begins the story of Penticton at the Big Bang and explains the formation of the Universe, the stars, and planets. Watch a short film to understand how the Earth was formed and observe the inner workings of an atom with an interactive model.
  • Geo-scape describes the geological formation of the Okanagan Valley through volcanic and glacial action over the course of millennia. View our collection of minerals from around the world and discover how the site of our city was created as the glaciers retreated after the last ice age.
  • Nature-scape is devoted to the explanation of local natural history and the many unique ecosystems that exist within the Okanagan Valley. Learn about local endangered species through our wetlands and mountainous terrain dioramas, and meet Merry and Pippin, our live resident spadefoot toads.
  • Syilx-scape focuses on the first people to inhabit the Penticton area, the Syilx or Okanagan First Nation. See a model of a traditional village, watch a film about the effect of first contact with Europeans on native populations, and learn more about a culture and way of life thousands of years old.
  • Settler-scape begins with the arrival of the first European fur traders and settlers in the South Okanagan in the 19th century. Learn what life was like for the early settlers as you visit our replica pioneer home and KVR train station. View displays on the lakeboats, railway, and early industries such as mining, ranching, and orcharding.
  • Town-scape tells the story of Penticton's first forty years as a town, starting with its incorporation in 1908. Walk down our replica Main Street and explore a period doctor's office, general store, schoolhouse, and the lobby of the Hotel Incola.
  • City-scape describes the growth of Penticton into a booming modern city in the decades following World War II.
  • Future-scape explores what Penticton might look like in the years to come and discusses the issues that may play an important part in our city's future development.



Bill Pickerill Military Gallery

The Bill Pickerill Military Gallery features permanent exhibits about local military history, with a special focus on local involvement in the First and Second World Wars. The gallery is named in honour of Bill Pickerill, a long-time RCMP officer and WWII veteran who was a dedicated volunteer at the Penticton Museum for two decades.

  • The First World War exhibit includes displays on trench art and war souvenirs, a biographical feature about local WWI veterans, and a shrine containing an important Canadian army battle flag.
  • The Second World War exhibit contains displays about local members of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Pacific Coast Militia Rangers, and the Royal Canadian Navy. Also featured is a large collection of military medals, shoulder patches, cap badges, and other insignia.