Our stories, Our history

 

Learn about the history of the North Okanagan through stories of notable citizens, remarkable community groups, local businesses, sporting and cultural events, local traditions, and quirky news stories. We share some of the stories that create our shared history and make this place unique.

Below are some highlights from our latest posts on the GVMA Gazette, updated every 5-10 days with stories of all kinds.

 

100 YEARS AGO: OCTOBER 1921

October 15, 2021

What was happening in Vernon 100 years ago, in the autumn of 1921? The Vernon News (and particularly the “Town and District” column) provides some insight.

 

 

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PIONEER PARK CEMETERY

October 8, 2021

An unassuming plot of land off of Alexis Park Drive is all that remains of Vernon’s first cemetery. The Pioneer Park Cemetery, as it is now known, was established in early 1885 on 52 acres of land donated by Vernon’s first white settler, Luc Girouard. Up until then, the closest cemetery was located at the Okanagan Mission, and with a growing population, Vernon was in need of its own facility.

 

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LARRY KWONG

September 30, 2021

With the cooler weather setting in, hockey season is only just around the corner. The 2021/’22 National Hockey League season begins on October 12 between this year’s Stanley Cup champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The NHL has a long history, dating back to 1917 when it replaced the National Hockey Association. But it was not until 1948 that the league saw its first non-white player; the player who broke the colour barrier was named Larry Kwong, and he was born right here in Vernon.

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TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION IN CANADA

September 24, 2021

On June 3, 2021, the Canadian Government declared September 30 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This announcement marked the most recent development in Canada’s efforts towards Reconciliation, which remains an ongoing process. The following timeline highlights some of the local and national developments in this fight for justice, but is by no means comprehensive.

 

 

The Vernon INTERNMENT cAMP

September 17, 2021
On Sept. 18, 1914, the Vernon Internment Camp opened on the site of what is now MacDonald Park. Around 1100 men, women, and children, mostly of Austro-Hungarian and German descent, passed through the Camp’s gates before it closed in February of 1920. 

 

TOWARD TRUTH & RECONCILIATION

September 12, 2021

Please join us in honouring Canada’s first annual National Day for Truth & Reconciliation.

We will be offering exhibits and programs throughout the day. 

 

PROHIBITION COMES TO BC

September 12, 2021
On this day (Sept. 12) in 1916, a public referendum was held in Vernon and across B.C. to determine whether or not prohibition would be implemented around the province. Three days later, the official results were all in; those in favour of prohibition had won with a 56.5% majority.

 

REMEMBERING THE OKANAGAN HOTEL FIRE

August 10, 2021
Early on the morning of August 10, 1909, a fire started in the Okanagan hotel. 60 people were inside at the time. 

 

SILVER STAR’S PIONEERS

August 6, 2021
In 1921, Bert Thorburn and Tini Ryan road their bicycles up Silver Star Road, stopping one half mile below the first switchback. Strapped to the frames of their bikes were pairs of skis.

 

STRENgTH & RESILIENCE

June 11, 2021

Former Grand Chief and Chair of the Okanagan Nation Alliance Stewart Philip states that “we can celebrate the fact that the Indian residential school was a complete and dismal failure. We are still here. In fact, we are thriving. Our languages are coming back through our children. Our songs and customs are coming back through our youth. Our traditions are being openly shared by our Elders. Our women are providing the leadership to ensure everything is done in a good way.”

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VERNON THEN & NOW

April 26, 2021

As part of the GVMA Earth Day, Every Day focus on ecological change in the Okanagan, we’ve developed a short slideshow of photographs comparing archival photos around the Greater Vernon area, with photos from 2021.

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MUSEUM BEGINS PROCESS OF RECONCILIATION

October 13, 2020

The Greater Vernon Museum and Archives (GVMA) is honoured to host the Cultural Safety Program, facilitated by local Indigenous Elders. The program provides training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, and anti-racism for partners in arts, culture, and heritage in the North Okanagan as they share positive information about Syilx People and participate in a process of reconciliation and future collaboration. 

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WE RESPECTFULLY ACKNOWLEDGe

Greater Vernon Museum & Archives is located on the Ancestral, Traditional and Unceded Territory of the Okanagan Nation and the Syilx People.