The Great War comes to a museum near you

Image Credit: Contributed/Penticton Museum & Archives

PENTICTON, BC - The Royal BC Museum has dug deep into its collections to unearth powerful material about the Great War, creating a traveling exhibition that will soon set up camp at the Penticton Museum & Archives

The exhibition, called British Columbia's War, 1914-1918, aims to educate British Columbians about the contributions of their forebears in the First World War. It will be at the Penticton Museum & Archives from January 26 to May 29, 2017.

"The Great War had a monumental impact on the formation of British Columbia as a political entity, with its own emerging sense of identity," said the Royal BC Museum's CEO, Prof. Jack Lohman. "The Royal BC Museum's collections help show how the province coalesced around this traumatic global event, as soldiers and nurses from all corners and various ethnic groups of the province signed up for service."

The exhibition began touring the province in March 2016.

One of the strengths of this traveling exhibition is its deeply collaborative nature. Partnering community museums have been encouraged to expand upon the exhibition's major themes by adding content from their own collections to tell the stories that matter most to their visitors.

The exhibit will feature local content found in the Penticton Museum & Archives' collection. First World War veteran, Reg Atkinson, considered to be the museum's founder, collected many of the
military items that will be on display.

"The artifacts on display will also tell the stories of local residents who participated in the conflict and, in some cases, never returned," said current Curator, Dennis Oomen.

As a special feature to run concurrently with the British Columbia's War, the Penticton Museum & Archives is pleased to present a complementary exhibit: Canadian Sikhs in World War 1: A Forgotten Story.  This exhibit comes to the Penticton Museum from the Sikh Heritage Museum in Abbotsford, BC. The exhibit describes the lives and sacrifices of 10 Canadian Sikh in both English and Punjabi languages, a first for the Penticton Museum & Archives.

"Hosting an exhibit about Canadian Sikhs who fought in World War I highlights an often unknown piece of history that took place during World War I," said Oomen.

The official opening is January 26, 2017 from 4:30-6:30. The public are welcome to attend.

The exhibit will be on display to the public and school groups until May 29, 2017. Tours are available by contacting the museum.

This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.

In recent years the Royal BC Museum has embarked upon the creation and distribution of an ambitious series of traveling exhibitions made in-house by the Royal BC Museum's Exhibition Arts Team. For example, the Royal BC Museum's Species at Risk traveling exhibition, a marvelous trailer that opens up like a teardrop-shaped Transformer, traveled to the Okanagan in 2015.


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