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 our latest posts from the GVMA Gazette, updated every 7-10 days with stories of all kinds.
meanwhiLE, BACK AT THE RANCH…
January 15, 2021
Take a Virtual Trip back in time through the Wild West and ranchlands of the North Okanagan. Interpretive guides and special guests will tell tales of life back on the early ranches of the valley through streaming video, on-location film clips, and multi-media displays.
Learn more about the early relationships between the settlers and the Syilx Indigenous First Nation. Find out about the Syilx and settler women who made this place home, and the fur brigadiers, gold rushers, cowboys, and bank robbers who made this place wild.
January 15, 2021
The Vernon Winter Carnival is beginning in just over two weeks, and for those of us who have been starved for a change—albeit a safe one—to our repetitive lockdown lives, it couldn’t come too soon.
This year’s Carnival theme of “Wild West” fits in quite well with our mandate here at the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives.
themore things change…
January 11, 2021
Time passed strangely in 2020.
It felt like both the slowest and fastest year, with long periods of time spent following the same routine, in the same environment, day-after-day, while a decade’s worth of monumental historical events were occurring concurrently around the world.
Working in a museum in some ways can cause one to lose a sense of linear time.
December 16, 2020
The Vernon Museum’s artifact collection has a lot of is Christmas cards. But this is certainly not a complaint! They don’t take up much space, are pleasantly festive, and provide firsthand insight into Christmases past.
These paper sentiments of peace and joy actually have quite a complex history that is, paradoxically, heavily intertwined with that of global military conflicts.
December 11, 2020
Imagine you are driving down Vernon’s 30th Avenue, when you are confronted by a lit Christmas tree in the middle of the road! It seems hard to fathom by today’s safety standards, but throughout the 1930s and ‘40s, when traffic was much lighter than it is today, this was one of Vernon’s favourite seasonal traditions.
Each December, a large spruce was cut down, installed in the middle of the intersection of 30th Avenue and 32ndStreet (this, of course, was before the construction of Highway 97), and strung with twinkling, multicoloured lights.
December 3, 2020
After what has felt like a long, challenging year, several Okanagan locals are looking forward to feeling a sense of freedom in skiing down the slopes of Silver Star. However, in its early days, that feeling was hard-won, and simply getting up Silver Star Mountain was a feat and challenge in and of itself, only attempted by the most adventurous and determined ski enthusiasts.
Silver Star – named after a mining claim on the mountain – could only be accessed by trails, and later, a small, unmaintained road which only allowed vehicles to make it halfway up the hill.
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.
WE RESPECTFULLY ACKNOWLEDGe
Greater Vernon Museum & Archives is located on the Ancestral, Traditional and Unceded Territory of the Okanagan Nation and the Syilx People.