The Kelowna Museums Collection Connection – Nice to Meet You!

Hello Awesome Okanagan Readers -It’s Great to Meet You!

Kelowna and the Okanagan is full of interesting history, people, innovations and ideas. All of this and more can be found within the invisible walls of the Kelowna Museums Society which believe it or not is comprised of 5 different museums, 2 Archives and Reference Libraries, a specialized Conservation Laboratory, a very cool Heritage Building, a VQA Wine Shop which is open 7 days a week, and 2 associated gift shops!

Some of you may be familiar with the Okanagan Heritage Museum (the Kelowna Museum), that big grey building with the big red MUSEUM on the side which faces the Kelowna downtown Bus Loop. You may have come to some of our exhibitions, checked out our Fabulous Finds and One-of-a-Kind Gift Shop, or participated in some of our education programs as a kid? But do you know that the Kelowna Public Archives and the Ursula Surtees Regional Conservation Laboratory are located on the first floor of the Museum? Ever been to the Okanagan Military Museum,  which is right next door?  Well, up the stairs is the Okanagan Military Heritage Research Center which is the home of the Vince Bezeau Military Archives and Library. How about the BC Orchard Industry Museum or the BC Wine Museum and VQA Wine and Gift Shop which are located inside the historic Laurel Packinghouse? What about the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame Museum which is presented through several exhibition cases at the Capri Mall?

Each of these facilities are here for you and have a specific purpose in our community! There are about 20 staff members that work for the Kelowna Museums and over the next several months we will be introducing ourselves to you and letting you know what awesome things we are up to.

The Collections and Conservation Department is thrilled to be administering this blog and so we thought we would introduce ourselves to you.

Donna Johnson

Telling New Historians about the Kelowna Public Archives

Donna was born in Grenfell, Saskatchewan,  and moved to Kelowna when she was eight years old (we won’t tell you how long she has been living in Kelowna, as a lady never tells her age…). What we will say is that Donna graduated from Kelowna Secondary School and started volunteering with the Kelowna Museums when she was 18 years old! A few years later she became the Program Coordinator for the Education Department and in 2000, Donna officially moved into the position of Archivist.

As Archivist, Donna is responsible for assisting researchers, accepting archival donations, and maintaining and organizing the Archives and her Volunteers. Over the last few years, the Kelowna Public Archives has undergone extensive renovations which have created more space and easier access for all staff and researchers (yay!).

Donna has been employed at the Kelowna Museums longer than anyone else that works there and encourages everyone to contact her about the services her department provides.

Tara Hurley
Registrar and Archivist

Getting Ready to Send a Cretaceous Turtle to the Tyrell (say that 5 times fast)

Tara has not worked at the Kelowna Museums as long as Donna… She has been here since 2007, yet knows a lot of our secretes – that’s why she has two job titles. With a background in history and archaeology Tara is right at home working with the objects in the collections storage rooms and all of the materials housed in the Kelowna Public Archives.

As the Registrar, for all 5 of the Museums, Tara is responsible for accepting new donations, photographing and cataloging all of the objects, organizing the collection storage rooms and assisting all Collection based researchers and Volunteers.

As an Archivist for the Kelowna Public Archives Tara works with Donna to do many of the same types of activities she does for Collections but with paper-based materials. She assists researchers, accepts archival donations, works with our Archives Volunteers and is responsible for the general maintenance and organization of the facility.

If you are interested in learning more about the Collections or Archives feel free to give Tara a call and make an appointment!

Teresa Boehmer
Collections Clerk

Photo Op! The Okanagan Military Museum Receives Thanks from The 1st Canadian Army Veterans in Support of The Ride to Remember (2011)

Teresa was born and raised in the Calgary area and has always liked working with people. In 1998 she packed up her belongings in a 5-ton truck to move with her family to the sunny Okanagan, convoy style on her husband’s birthday (what a birthday present that was, at least the kids were traveling with their grandparents in another vehicle) and they have never looked back.

Just a short time after she moved to Kelowna, Teresa started volunteering with the Okanagan Military Museum Society. In 2006 the Okanagan Military Museum (OMM) became part of the Kelowna Museums and Teresa became our part-time Collections Clerk. Up until a few years ago she was the only woman in the OMM and during her day-to-day duties she has the responsibility of taking care of all of the artefacts, archival materials and her husband (who is on the Museums Curatorial Team) – quite the job (and not just because of the Hubby:) )!

If you are interested in learning more about Kelowna and the Okanagan’s role in our Military History, donating objects of military significance or would like to learn more about an individual who has served, by all means – give Teresa a call!

Tracy Satin
Associate Director: Collections and Conservation (… and Conservator)

Half Scientist, Half Artist

Tracy has worked with the Museums since 2004. Before coming to Kelowna Tracy worked in a variety of museums in Europe, the United States and Canada. Starting off her career as an Archaeologist (the only one on her team that ever wore jewelery, a skort and make-up to site) she found that it just wasn’t enough. She channelled her passion, drive and scientific skills into becoming an Objects Conservator and found her way here where she was hired as the Conservator, fixing and stabilizing artefacts and making sure that the exhibition and museums environment were ideal for their preservation. Tracy’s office is located in the Ursula Surtees Regional Conservation Laboratory, which is on the first floor of the Okanagan Heritage Museum, not only is it a fully functional Lab it is also pink!

As the Museums grew there was a need to create various departments and in 2008 she became the Associate Director for the Collections and Conservation Department. As AD, Tracy continues to do all of the conservation work for the Museums and works with Donna, Tara and Teresa to ensure that all of the objects and archival materials, which are under the care of the Kelowna Museums, are safe and sound and here for you to see and learn from for a lot longer than any of us will be around!

 From all of us to all of you – Happy Holidays!

We look forward to sharing more of what the Museums do with you in 2012!

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