Council has approved the city entering a five-year lease and operating agreement with the Kelowna Museums Society (KMS).
The KMS lease expired in 2020. The new agreement includes amending the 2022 financial plan from $625,570 to $675,000 in grant funding to KMS. It operates and maintains multiple museums in four municipal facilities: Okanagan Heritage Museum, Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame, Okanagan Military Museum and the Wine and Orchard Museum/Laurel Packinghouse.
KMS hosts more than 60,000 visitors every year, with approximately 22,000 of them coming from school programs.
A staff report to council stated that over the past twelve months the city’s annual investment in KMS consisted of a $625,230 operating grant and the use of the civic facilities. KMS leveraged the investment by providing $1.3 million worth of programming. In 2021, KMS received operating support of approximately $507,000, including COVID recovery funding, from other levels of government. KMS continued to offer programming during the pandemic through virtual tours and educational workshops.
While the lease and operating agreement increases the city’s annual grant funding, further increases will be adjusted annually by the BC Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the term of the agreement. There has been no increase in the city’s operating grant to KMS between 2010-2022.