Arts & Culture

Experiencing Art and Culture in Kelowna: Top Museums and Galleries

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Kelowna Art Gallery

Experiencing Art and Culture in Kelowna: Top Museums and Galleries

Known primarily for its lush vineyards, marvelous sandy beaches, and thrilling outdoor adventures, Kelowna also boasts a diverse cultural scene that often gets overlooked by these popular attractions. The city is home to a rich abundance of world-class museums, art galleries, and cultural centres that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the local art and culture scene.

1. Kelowna Art Gallery

As a major centrepiece in Kelowna's cultural landscape, the Kelowna Art Gallery chronicles the historical and contemporary Canadian art scene. The gallery is the city's visual art liaison. It hosts a wide variety of premier exhibitions, spanning local, national, and internationally acclaimed artists. The gallery also offers numerous opportunities for learning and engagement with workshops and programs aimed at children, teens, and adults alike. Featuring up to twelve diverse exhibitions annually, it attracts a vast audience of approximately 75,000 visitors a year.

2. Okanagan Heritage Museum

Looking into the fascinating history of the area, the Okanagan Heritage Museum allows visitors to spin the wheel of time and travel back in the Okanagan's diverse past. Here, local history unfolds through a series of well-curated exhibits, which include natural history displays, insight into Okanagan’s indigenous nation, and the impact of settlers. Visitors can explore, from the era of dinosaurs to the present day, this area's compelling past. The museum is also home to the Kelowna Public Archives, offering a rich collection of information for history enthusiasts.

3. Okanagan Military Museum

The Okanagan Military Museum shines a light on Canada's military history, with a specific focus on the Okanagan Valley's contribution. With a vast array of exhibits showcasing wartime memorabilia, artifacts, photographs, and military gear, the museum serves as a living reminder to Canada's brave military past. Many of the displays have a personal narrative tied to them, providing a window into the lives of those who served, making the visit a truly emotive and educational experience.

4. Geert Maas Sculpture Gardens and Gallery

The Geert Maas Sculpture Gardens and Gallery is a unique cultural destination that elegantly combines nature and art. Hosting over 350 high-quality bronze, steel, and mixed-medium sculptures crafted by renowned artist Geert Maas, visitors get to explore art pieces staged against a backdrop of meticulously manicured gardens and pools. The semi-abstract depictions are a magnificent source of inspiration and a display of Maas's creativity.

5. Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art

The Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art is a dynamic platform dedicated to the production, exhibition, and promotion of contemporary visual art. It's known as one of the region's most experimental art venues. This not-for-profit space hosts exhibitions featuring emerging and established artists and serves as a platform for artistic innovation. It's also a hub for critical dialogue concerning contemporary artistic concerns.

6. Okanagan Wine and Orchard Museum

Situated in the historic Laurel Packinghouse, the Okanagan Wine and Orchard Museum is a tribute to two of the region's most prominent industries - wine production and fruit orcharding. The museum takes you through a delightful journey of Okanagan's wine industry progress, from grape cultivation, harvesting, and winemaking methods to the end product. The museum also highlights the area's successful transition from planting orchards to growing vines.


Kelowna’s rich culture is visible in every corner of the city, and these museums and galleries are just a glimpse of the extensive cultural substance the city has to offer. These destinations will provide a rich and rewarding cultural journey. Actively participating in these cultural hubs allows you to understand not only the city's heritage but also its present and prospects for the future. These immersive experiences will ultimately bond you closer with this charming city, proving that Kelowna is more than just beautiful vineyards and majestic natural scenery.