Okanagan Heritage Museum is Now Open to the Public
Like many others in the community, the Kelowna Museums Society, which operates multiple locations across downtown Kelowna, closed its doors to the public in March to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. For the past several weeks, staff have been preparing for reopening.
The relaunch began with Kelowna’s flagship museum – the Okanagan Heritage Museum – as the OHM welcomed guests for the first time in months on Saturday, June 13. Meanwhile, the Okanagan Military Museum will reopen on Saturday, July 4. Stay up to date on the latest hours across all of the Kelowna Museums Society’s downtown locations here.
As part of the OHM’s relaunch, the museum is offering ‘The White Glove Experience’ which invites attendees to put on the white gloves of the curator and to lead their family on a tactile tour of the museum. The museum’s interpreter will provide tips and tricks to help guests create their very own museum show and tell. ‘The White Glove Experience’ is running Sundays from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 5 to 7:30 p.m.
In addition, to ensure all visitors have a safe and fun experience, KMS has developed a comprehensive procedural list. Some of the key safety measures are as follows:
- Anyone displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will not be admitted. Visitors are asked to take the 2 min self-screening tool found here to verify.
- Floor markings and wayfinding signage is in place to regulate visitor numbers, direction and physical distancing. Occupancy signs are posted throughout.
- A regular cleaning and disinfecting schedule is maintained and hand sanitization stations are in place throughout. All visitors must sanitize their hands upon entering the museum.
- Visitors are asked to refrain from touching displays. Interactive exhibition elements have been modified to become touch-free or made temporarily unavailable.
- Special visiting hours are offered for immune-compromised visitors. Please contact email@example.com to book a visit.
The Kelowna Public Archives remains closed to the public until further notice, however, some services are available remotely/by appointment.
Despite the closure for COVID-19, Curatorial Manager, Amanda Snyder, reveals that it has been a busy time at the Kelowna Museums Society:
“Even though we’ve been closed to the public, museum staff have remained busy renewing exhibitions, delivering virtual programs for folks to enjoy at home, staying in touch with our community and also working on our reopening strategy. We’re so excited to be welcoming guests again and can’t wait to see some friendly faces – from a safe distance, of course!”
The Kelowna Museums Society is also inviting the general public to be involved in documenting COVID-19’s impact on Kelowna. The community is invited to share thoughts and experiences of the pandemic by visiting this page on the Kelowna Museums Society’s website where they will be guided through the online submission process.
The Okanagan Heritage Museum at 470 Queensway is now open Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays from 12 noon to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. The museum is currently closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, however, it will be open for visitors from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Canada Day (Wednesday, July 1).
You can find the Kelowna Museums Society online here.