Our Impact Why We Exist
The mission of the Penticton Museum & Archives is to collect, preserve and interpret the human and natural heritage of the region. By doing so, we provide a platform for public engagement in defining, conserving and managing the heritage values of the greater Penticton community. The PMA strives to place heritage, historical knowledge and conservation as integral parts of civic dialogue within the city and the region.
Accessibility, professionalism and relevance are some of the core values underpinning the museum and archives engagement with the community. We endeavour to be a responsive, civic minded institution promoting heritage to the wider community and a contributor to positive, sustainable growth.
Our Story What We Do
The Penticton Museum & Archives began as a hobby for local collector Reg Atkinson in the early 1920's. Eventually, his collection of pioneer artifacts, militaria and native artifacts required an appropriate home and so in 1958 he donated his entire collection to the City of Penticton with the objective of opening a museum in the berthed paddlewheeler SS Sicamous.
The construction of a Community Cultural Centre in 1965 included a dedicated museum space of 7,000 sq feet alongside the Public Library and Art Gallery. The site, on which the present day Penticton Museum is located, underwent several renovations and changes, including the renaming of the museum to the RN Atkinson Museum in 1984. In 2006, the museum changed back to the Penticton Museum & Archives and named its newly refurbished Temporary Gallery to the RN Atkinson Gallery.
The Museum holds over 10,000 artifacts and 13,000 archive documents detailing a history that focuses primarily on the Penticton region. The museum collection falls into the following categories: Decorative Arts, Human History (covering Pioneer Life, First Nations, Industry & Agriculture and Military) and the Natural Sciences. The archives holds an impressive collection of original documents and over 20.000 photographs of unique importance to researchers or anyone interested in Penticton's historical record.
Our Programs How We Do It
The Penticton Museum strives to deliver professional exhibits, public programs, archival services and collections management practices with the goal of ensuring cultural and heritage resources are properly managed to ensure they become a long-term component of Penticton's physical identity and community character. A crucial part of this is the museum and archives public programming efforts. The archives holds seminars and workshops on archival practices and methods, while the museum gives tours and lectures on temporary and permanent exhibits. The museum's long running "Brown Bag" lunch lecture series remains a great favourite with the community, while new programs such as "Still Life Saturdays" gives the community new ways to engage with our collection.