Kelowna, BC – First the bugle sounds, and war is declared. In keeping with that first exhibit commemorating WW1, Kelowna Museums further interprets the realities experienced by Okanagan members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force with The Glory Passes, a new exhibit at the Okanagan Military Museum.
“This was our first major action in the trenches of France and Flanders,” explains military historian Keith Boehmer. “We see how humour, music, art, literature and language began being employed as psychological defence mechanisms.”
The new exhibit stresses the transition from the ideal ‘happy warrior’ to a fatalistic, pragmatic soldier, in a captivating, hands-on kind of way.
“We have special interactive displays designed to appeal to children and adults alike,” exhibitions manager Cuyler Page said in a press release. “You can try using a periscope to view out over a replica of a trench wall, and a long distance sighting device with maps to calculate distances to familiar locations in Kelowna.”
The various objects, props and stagecraft show will show living conditions in trenches. In addition there are quotations and local stories to highlight what would have been the first impressions of combat experiences.
“Do you have what it takes to have been a soldier back then?” programming coordinator Christina Neale asked. “Take the observation tests at the exhibit. Find out if your own perception of depth, colour and field of vision would have saved you in the trenches.
“We’re confident you’ll be captivated by this immersion in the daily trials of soldiering,” Neale said, “that feeling of knowing death is but a moment away and that survival is almost hopeless. Almost.”
About Kelowna Museums Society
The Okanagan Military Museum is a facility of the Kelowna Museums Society, located in Kelowna’s Memorial Arena, 1424 Ellis St. Okanagan Heritage Museums Society is a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to a greater awareness of the agricultural, wine-producing, military and cultural heritages of the Okanagan.