The Westbank Museum was established in 1978 to provide a repository for artifacts of the early days of the Westbank area, to generate community programs of historical and cultural worth, and to preserve Westbank heritage.
The Westbank Museum started as the retirement dream of Claire and Billee Small. Claire decided that his retirement project would be to create a museum for Westbank artifacts and antiques to save as much as he could for the future. After years of frustration, delays, and disappointments, his dream was brought to fruition in October 1978 when Mr. Small received a Young Canada Works grant and permission that half an acre of his property could be donated to use as a home for the Museum. The grant allowed him to hire five young people for seventeen weeks to do the work required.
He was informed that the half-acre of land must be transferred to the Museum Society, which had been formed in March 1978 and so he sold the land for the required nominal sum of one dollar. Officiated by Premier Bill Bennett, the Museum finally had an opening ceremony in July 1982. On its opening day Claire pointed out the purpose of the Museum, which was to provide a heritage repository for artifacts of Westbank’s early days; a facility for special interest groups, such as arts and crafts persons; a community cultural center for the display of trade and art shows; for local collections of school history projects, and to generate community programs of historical and cultural worth.
The museum resided on the Smalls’ property located on Lower Glenrosa Road until 2011. During that summer, the Museum moved to its new current location in Downtown Westbank on Dobbin Road. We transformed the old RCMP building into our beautiful new museum. On the west side of stunning Okanagan Lake, the Westbank Museum invites its visitors, as well as its community, to share in the goal of preserving the physical history of Westbank’s achievements.