Kelown museum explores the meaning of water

A multi-disciplinary exhibition will open at the Okanagan Heritage Museum in Kelowna this October.

Social Life of Water

What does water mean to you? Life-sustaining, thirst quenching, essential; water is precious for all living beings.

And water certainly is a hot topic in the Okanagan. With concerns about water supply on the minds of many in the wake of the 2015 drought, protecting our water in the Okanagan, the most water-scarce basin in the country, is essential to our wellbeing. And indeed, a slew of restoration initiatives of water bodies – from Mission Creek to Okanagan River and more – are unfolding throughout our watershed to help restore the balance between people and nature.

This fall the community is invited to embark on an enlightening trek through the Okanagan Basin. The Social Life of Water, is a collective endeavour that will be unveiled at the Okanagan Heritage Museum in October.

This multi-disciplinary exhibition extends beyond the reaches of a traditional museum display, calling on the community to join in this pertinent discussion. In addition to exploring the past and present, the exhibition will examine our relationship with water in the future, inviting participants to imagine how a responsible relationship with water might look.

The Social Life of Water has been a collaborative undertaking between the Kelowna Museums Society, UBCO researchers and the Centre for Culture and Technology, the Sncəwips Heritage Museum, the Okanagan Basin Water Board, and Watercycles Consulting. All of these community organizations have offered diverse contributions ranging from archival content, to curatorial support, syilx perspectives, graphic design, dynamic multimedia collages, and space to interact.

Immerse yourself in this ongoing collaboration and become inspired to share your water knowledge via the online contribution form.

This fascinating, immersive exhibition will be on display until the spring of 2017 and will include a series of public events throughout this time. An advance storytelling event, WaterVoices will take place at Kelowna Art Gallery on Sept. 24, from 7-pm.

—JR