Okanagan Military Museum Celebrating Anniversary with Special Exhibit

Keepers-of-the-Flame

As the temperature drops and the leaves change, attention naturally begins to turn to Remembrance Day. A time when, as a society, we come together to remember those who have made significant sacrifices for our country.

Remembrance is a year-long endeavour at downtown Kelowna’s Okanagan Military Museum. In fact, this coming Remembrance Day marks the 20th anniversary of their opening.

Now officially a part of the Kelowna Museums Society, the OMM was originally founded by a core group of veterans and volunteers. Their goal was, and remains, to collect, preserve and exhibit militaria related to local contributions to Canada’s military history.

In the time since, the OMM has collected more than 20,000 objects, including artifacts, photographs, books, and archival documents. Many of the items reflect the service of Okanagan Valley residents.

With such a vast collection, the range of items is diverse. There are uniforms, medals and weapons, but also rare and unique items too, including at least one item made from icing sugar.

To celebrate their 20th anniversary, and to recognize the service of local men and women, OMM is currently holding an exhibit entitled Keepers of the Flame - 20 Years of Connecting and Collecting.

To celebrate their 20th anniversary, and to recognize the service of local men and women, OMM is currently holding an exhibit entitled Keepers of the Flame - 20 Years of Connecting and Collecting.

“I genuinely believe this exhibit will appeal to anyone interested in local history. Of course, it will appeal to the military history buff, but the depth of our collection is such that I really do feel that there’s something for everyone in our archives,” explains Keith Boehmer, Military Historian with the Kelowna Museums Society.

The exhibit also features some fascinating insights into the Okanagan’s overseas connections - places where Canadian men and women have served as part of their duties. Ultimately, Boehmer believes Keepers of the Flame will bring people together:

“For two decades now our collection has wowed both locals and visitors, and we’re excited for that to continue! This is part of our shared history and a chance for us to come together in remembrance. I look forward to greeting as many people as possible to our Keepers of the Flame exhibit. It’s always a special feeling when you see multiple generations of a family - say, grandparents and grandchildren - checking out an exhibit. These stories have the power to bring people together.”

The Keepers of the Flame exhibition runs through to April 2020 at the Okanagan Military Museum - 1424 Ellis Street in downtown Kelowna. Admission to the exhibit is by donation, suggested at $5 per person or $15 for a family. The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.