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!


The Spirit of a Caring Community

This exhibit looks at our communities' hospitals from the very earliest days to the near future, and the opening of the new David E. Kampe Tower. Augmented with evocative period photography from the Penticton Archives, this display provides a comprehensive look at one of our oldest and most indispensable institutions.

On display from March 2019 to the Fall 2019



The History of Board Games
Join the Museum for a stimulating exhibit on the world of board games.


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.



The Hands-on Heritage Lab

The Penticton Museum now has an interactive learning space where kids, parents, and caregivers can explore together how science and history connect. Explore the how and why of human and natural histories by:

  • Building a bridge or an arch
  • Finding a forest fire
  • Watching a model steam engine work
  • Building an earthquake-proof building
    and much, much more...



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.