Immerse yourself in history and culture through fascinating exhibits and interactive learning spaces. Penticton Museum & Archives also offers temporary exhibits, so check back often to see what's new!
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.
Games are one of the earliest of all human activities. Every culture in the world, it seems, plays games. Game play develops skills that are vital to any healthy society. Games not only provide amusement, but help develop memory, critical thinking skills and introduce important cultural and behavioural standards.
Games existed long before the emergence of writing and literacy. When you play a game, you are participating in a truly ancient activity.
This exhibit will look at one of the more familiar game types; the board game.
Board games can be found almost everywhere, and many have a truly ancient pedigree. We hope that you enjoy this exhibit and that you appreciate the deeply historic and cross-cultural origins of these games.
On display until March 2020.
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 the end of June 2020.
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:
- 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...
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 to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Closed Statutory Holidays)
Archive Hours: Wednesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (access to records by appointment only)
By donation (Suggested donation: $2 for adults, $1 for children)