Jorgenson moves on from Lake Country museum

Jorgenson was the first manager of the museum; a successful grant writer

A well-known Lake Country community backer has stepped back from her duties with the Lake Country museum.

The board of the Lake Country Heritage and Cultural Society recently accepted the resignation of Shannon Jorgenson, the manager of the Lake Country Museum and Archives.

Jorgenson was the first manager of the museum and was thus responsible for establishing many of the procedures for operating the museum. Her work was multifaceted. She managed the day-to-day operations and she trained and supervised museum volunteers, summer students, and occasional researchers.

Jorgenson was also a very successful grant writer and project manager, especially for exhibitions published with the Virtual Museum of Canada, including the Japanese-Canadian Pioneers of Lake Country and Applebox Belles: The Women of Lake Country’s Packinghouses. She edited and published two significant booklets for the museum, Spirit of Lake Country: Heritage and Culture and Kakonosedai: A Century of Community. The latest successful grants are for the digitization of the Rainbow Ranche collection held by the museum.

Jorgenson has also worked diligently on community outreach through such projects as History Pins, the Heritage Driving Tour, school programs, historical panels in the Oyama Community Hall and strong collaboration with UBCO.

The board thanked Shannon for her diligence and initiatives in her more than seven years as Manager.

Jorgenson has accepted the position of managing director of the Central Okanagan Heritage Society based in Kelowna.

In saying goodbye to Shannon, the museum is also introducing its new manager, as Julie Trewartha began in her new position at the beginning of May. Trewartha has a strong background in the non-profit and cultural sector. While living in Ottawa her most recent position was with Habitat for Humanity. There, she was responsible for fundraising and grant applications as well as volunteer management. Prior to that, she assisted the Director of L. A. Pai Gallery, and was a Resource Coordinator for the Ottawa School of Art.

Trewartha, her husband and her young son, moved to Lake Country at the end of January in order to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle and to experience what the Okanagan has to offer.

Trewartha begins her immersion in the work of the museum and archives with a major funded project to supervise, preparing the extensive range of Rainbow Ranche records for digitization. These records document the Rainbow Ranche from 1906 to its sale in 1949. There are ledgers, payroll records, farm diaries and an extensive range of correspondence, kept by the manager and part-owner, James Goldie.

This project, funded thanks to a grant from the Central Okanagan Foundation, with further support from UBC’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, is the central focus for the work of one of our two summer students. In addition to overseeing this project, Trewartha will be ensuring that the museum is open and ready for the summer opening schedule and preparing to welcome summer visitors.