In 2017, Canadians celebrate the 150th anniversary of our nation — the Sesquicentennial.
On July 1,1867, the British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were united as the Dominion of Canada. A nation was born.
One hundred years later, Canadians celebrated their Centennial.
To many people, 1967 seems like only yesterday. Snapshots of loved ones in bell bottom pants and miniskirts enrich many family photo albums.
Memories of Expo ’67, songs like Gordon Lightfoot’s Canadian Railway Trilogy, and the Centennial banknote are legacies of the yearlong celebration.
Community infrastructure is another legacy of the Centennial.
In Kelowna, citizens built the Rutland Centennial Hall and a new building for the museum, renaming it the Kelowna Centennial Museum.
All across Canada, many Centennial Museums opened. It was a confusing new world, and many communities felt the need to capture their history before it slipped out of sight.
Kelowna has changed in the last 50 years, and so have its museums. Kelowna Museums Society now operates the Okanagan Heritage Museum, Okanagan Military Museum, Okanagan Wine and Orchard Museum, Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame, Kelowna Public Archives and the Laurel Packinghouse.
To celebrate the Sesquicentennial, museum staff are overhauling the entire permanent gallery of the Okanagan Heritage Museum (formerly the Kelowna Centennial Museum).
It is a two-year project, and progress continues in 2017.
As displays are renewed, visitors are experiencing surprising stories, diverse voices, and family-friendly activities.
These reflect the cultures, histories, and possibilities of the Okanagan region.
Linda Digby, executive director of the museums, invites everyone to bring their family and explore the changes.
“If you haven’t been to the museum lately, you haven’t been to the museum,” says Digby.
“The Centennial Museum opened its doors in 1967. In the Sesquicentennial, Kelowna’s flagship museum is re-imagined.”