Penticton Museum and Archives manager/curator Dennis Oomen shows off an item that demonstrates how lift works on an airplane wing in the Hands-on Heritage Lab, a permanent exhibit with hands-on learning tools for families opening at 3 p.m. Thursday. Dustin Godfrey/Western News

Two new exhibits launching in Penticton Museum Thursday

The Social Life of Water, a temporary exhibit from Kelowna, and the Hands-on Heritage Lab opening up

Kids and families in Penticton will soon get access to some hands-on learning tools in Penticton’s museum in a permanent exhibit that its curator says is unique within the Okanagan.

The Hands-on Heritage Lab opens to the public at a reception from 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday. For adults, the reception will include wine and cheese.

Dennis Oomen, manager/curator of the Penticton Museum and Archives said the Hands-on Heritage Lab was made possible with a grant first from the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan-Similkameen and second from the Canada 150 heritage grants.

“The idea behind the Hands-on Heritage Lab is to just give parents and kids the opportunity to come together and do things together and do hands-on experiential sort of learning through doing things,” Oomen said.

“Whether it’s putting a building together to withstand an earthquake on our earthquake table; finding a fire using our firefinder, here, which is an actual British Columbia forestry service firefinder; looking at natural history specimens through a microscope, building a bridge, building an arch, listening to bird song, identifying birds.

“All these sorts of things we have available here.”

One item in the hands-on area has actually been in there for a while — the museum’s interactive sandbox, which works with a projector and scanner that acts as a real-time topographic map.

The permanent exhibit’s Thursday opening will be timed alongside the opening of The Social Life of Water, a new temporary exhibit from Kelowna’s museum that explores water issues in the Okanagan.

“It’s a travelling exhibit they put together about two years ago,” Oomen said. “Prior to us, the Vernon museum had it, and prior to that it was at the Kelowna museums. It’s an overview of the water history of the region and the history of water resources and how different communities and cultures view water.”

Oomen said that will come with a variety of perspectives, including agriculture and irrigation and the Indigenous perspective.

“Of course, coming together and bringing it all together is the idea of conservation of the resource,” Oomen said. “On the surface it looks like we have a lot of water in the Okanagan, but in actuality it’s quite a dry area, and there’s only so much we can draw from the lakes and the rivers and so forth until we start to draw down on the water in excess of what any surplus may be.”

For that reason, Oomen said it’s important to keep that aspect of the region in the public dialogue as the population grows.

For the Indigenous perspective, Oomen said the Kelowna Heritage Museum conducted extensive interviews with various Indigenous groups to get a sense of the impact of water on their culture and livelihood.

And for its stay in Penticton, the displays, largely images and words in a space in the museum, will be augmented with some local artifacts that the Penticton Museum and Archives have, including a dugout canoe.

“It’s a really, really impressive craft, when you consider that it was made from one cottonwood tree log and the amount of labour and work that went into building it, it must have been many, many days of work,” Oomen said.

“This one is actually from Chase. Chase is in Shuswap or Secwepemc territory.”

Report a typo or send us your tips, photos and video.

Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

@dustinrgodfrey

Send Dustin an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Air quality remains at high risk for Okanagan

The whole Okanagan is forecast to be set at a high risk for the remainder of the day

UPDATE: RCMP help man down from tower at Penticton Regional Hospital

Police have closed a section of Government street while they deal with a distraught man

Woodpecker goes out with a bang

Untimely death of woodpecker causes power outage in Cawston

Kelowna’s crying judge refuses to pull herself from case

Judge Monica McParland has refused to pull herself off the case.

Residents asked for feedback on cannabis sales framework

The proposed framework will be up for review Aug. 28 at a city open house

Coast Oliver Hotel celebrates grand opening

This full-service hotel is the first of its kind in the Town of Oliver

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP catch wanted man

Falkland man found in Enderby home wanted on outstanding warrants

Communities on evacuation alert in many areas of B.C. as wildfires flare

Warning was issued for 583-square-kilometre blaze that has charred Fraser Lake to Fort St. James

Complaint coming about cattle prod use at B.C. rodeo

Fair reps investigate after Vancouver Humane Society pics show shocking device at bullriding event

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Kim XO is Black Press Media’s fashionista

Starting Sept. 7, stylist Kim XO will host Fashion Fridays on the Life channel on Black Press Media

Publication ban lifted on details about Fredericton shooting that killed 4

Judge lifts publication ban on court documents related to the Fredericton shooting

PHOTOS: Chase Cornstock enters its ninth year

Celebrating a bountiful harvest in the Shuswap

Most Read