Since its inception in 1985, the Lake Country Museum and Archives has been active in collecting, preserving and presenting to the public, artifacts, manuscripts and photographs documenting the history of Lake Country.
The Lake Country Museum and Archives is operated by the Lake Country Heritage and Cultural Society, a group of community volunteers who have nurtured the Museum since its inception in 1985. The Founding Members persuaded School District 23 to donate the Okanagan Centre School for community purposes.
An evolving Board of Directors and an active group of volunteers work diligently to maintain museum displays and archives, offer school programs, present lectures and exhibitions and maintain the building and grounds. Financial support comes from the District of Lake Country and from individual donations and bequests. Dan Bruce became part-time Curator in 2006. Laura Neame is the current volunteer Archivist; she replaced Sonja MacCrimmon, who served as volunteer Archivist from 1996, in 2012. In 2010 the Museum hired Shannon Jorgenson as its first manager, allowing the Museum to substantially increase its programming. Shannon resigned in 2017 and was replaced by the present manager, Julie Trewartha.
The Founding Members had the vision of a community museum: Helen Gatzke (Founding President), Flora Snowdon, David Lodge, George Kozub, Jack McCarthy, Yvonne Saunders, Win Sutton, Jane Arnold, James Baker, Penny Baughen, Rosemary Carter and Ron Carter.
Persons who have been especially active in supporting the Lake Country Museum have been recognized as Life Members: Anne Land, Peter Short, David Lodge, Ross McDonagh, Ruth Whitson (2005), Sonja MacCrimmon (2007), James Taylor (2010), James Baker (2011), Andrew Miller (2014) and Carol Thomson (2018).
The current Board of Directors is comprised of fourteen members representing all four wards of Lake Country: President Duane Thomson, Vice-President Eleanor Geen, Secretary Lynne Blake, Treasurer Tom Turner, Past-President Richard Gibbons, Webmaster Tom Ritchie, Geoffrey Broughton, Rosemary Carter, Bob Hayes, Janice Larson, Roger McDonnell, Laura Neame, Ann Nott and Elaine Pybus.
The backbone of our organization is the dedicated group of Volunteers who give their time so freely to the preservation and presentation of Lake Country history.
The Lake Country Museum’s constitution was adopted March 31, 2014 and amended April 10, 2014. View the full text of our constitution.
The Lake Country Heritage and Cultural Society is involved in a very wide range of activities:
- Accessioned and mounted online the large Rainbow Ranche Collection in collaboration with the University of British Columbia
- Accessioned the Dorothea Allison photograph collection and the George Goulding photograph album collection
- Digitized the letters of Dorothea (Scott-Coward) Allison and posted them with their typescripts and biographical sketches, on the website
- Created and maintained satellite exhibits at the DLC Municipal Hall, George Elliot Secondary School and at the Lake Country Community Complex
- Created Oral Histories of Lake Country Artists, a documentary film of twelve local artists in collaboration with the BC Arts Council, the Lake Country Art Gallery, UBC Okanagan, ARTSCO, and the Lake Country ArtWalk and Public Art committees
- Collaborated with the Okanagan Indian Band to celebrate the history of the Okanagan First Peoples in this region
- Created a Heritage Driving Tour of Lake Country)(hardcopy and digital App format)
- Created our second online exhibition with the Virtual Museum of Canada – Canadian History Museum, Applebox Belles: The Women of Lake Country’s Packinghouses. This documents the experiences of women in Lake Country’s early packinghouses
- Special projects in progress are:
- Creating QR codes for some of the exhibits in the Museum
- Creating History pins at various local areas of interest
- Collaborating with the Oyama Community Hall Association to install a permanent, legacy exhibition commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Oyama Hall and Community Club
- Creating heritage markers which will be placed along the Okanagan Rail Trail.