As you enter the museum, you are welcome to immerse yourself in the history and culture of Penticton and the South Okanagan through fascinating exhibits and interactive learning spaces. The Penticton Museum & Archives also offers temporary exhibits, so check back often to see what's new!
Covid-19 Protocols at the Museum
The Penticton Museum is excited to welcome visitors back!
To ensure visitors, volunteers and staff have a safe and enjoyable experience, museum staff have developed a comprehensive plan to address and reduce the spread of Covid-19.
- All visitors must sanitize their hands upon entering the museum.
- Floor markings direct movement of visitors through the museum.
- Please help us maintain our one-directional flow and use the alternate exit pointed out by our volunteer when leaving the museum.
- Visitors will be reminded to maintain physical distance of 2 m or 6 ft. (about the length of our grand piano).
- Floor markings and wall signs identify the direction of flow through the museum.
- A regular cleaning and disinfecting schedule is maintained.
- Visitors will be asked the following questions:
- Do you currently have any symptons related to Covid-19?
- Have you been outside of Canada in the last 14 days?
- Have you been in contact within the last 14 days with anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19?
Anyone answering yes to these questions will be asked to return at a later date.
Named in honour of the museum's first curator, the R.N. Atkinson Temporary Exhibit Gallery is a dedicated temporary exhibition space. Temporary exhibits typically remain on display for about four months.
Play Hard, Fight Hard explores the relationship between sports and military service in Canada.
Produced by Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and The Military Museums (Calgary) this exhibit features over 200 artifacts, and the personal stories of members of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame who served in the military. Canadian sports legends Conn Smythe, Myrtle Cook and Jeff Nicklin are showcased in this fascinating new exhibit.
On display March 2020 to mid-November 2020.
The Boy Scouts gave young boys and men formative experiences that have lasted their entire lives. In many cases it was the community volunteers who played a central, yet often uncelebrated, role in keeping the Boy Scout traditions alive. The Boy Scouts in the South Okanagan will celebrate their 110 year this year. The exhibit will feature some of the local volunteers and traditions.
On display mid-September.
Bats: Out of the Darkness
Bats are fascinating creatures, but are often misunderstood. For instance, did you know that:
- BC is home to 15 of Canada's 18 bat species?
- A single Little Brown Bat can eat over 600 mosquitoes in an hour?
- Bats make up nearly 20% of all mammal species around the world?
- Bats are the only mammals that can truly fly?
Most of us are in the dark about bats, yet their survival depends on us!
This exhibit shines a light on the bats of BC, bringing them out of the darkness. Discover interesting facts about bats, examine bat specimens, hear their calls, and join a virtual bat count. Visit the exhibit and learn about the threats bats face and how you can help these amazing mammals.
On display mid-November to the end of February.
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 the 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 the 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 lake boats, 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 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:
- Discovering how airplanes fly
- Finding a forest fire
- Watching a model steam engine work
- Building an earthquake-proof building and much more...
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 are a large collection of military medals, shoulder patches, cap badges, and other insignia.
Penticton Museum & Archives
785 Main Street
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Hours of Operation
Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
(Closed Statutory Holidays)
Thursday and Friday, 12 pm to 4:30 pm
Thursday and Friday mornings are set aside for individual school group visits. These mornings allow us to prepare and sanitize the museum for our visitors. Please contact us if you would like to book a program for your class.
By donation (Suggested donation: $2 for adults, $1 for children)