Museum plans

Drawing shows what the revamped Westbank Museum may look like.

The Westbank Museum is looking for support from the community as it revitalizes its building and our past.

The museum is creating a facade on the building inspired by 1920s Westbank.

“This is really something that's going to be unique in this area,” said Jaden Cormack, museum and visitor services co-ordinator. “We’ve noticed a lot of buildings that have been torn down in the past few years and we’re losing our Westbank history.”

The facade will allow people to take a step back in time and see what Westbank used to look like. It will include a blacksmith shop, a general hardware store similar to the Dobbin store inside the museum and a brick packing house inspired by Kelowna’s Laurel Packing House.

“We wanted to make it Instagrammable, so young people can share it and increase traffic for us,” she said.

Cormack said it’s always difficult to get younger people into museums, so they are focusing on interactivity.

“We want kids to be excited when they’re learning about where they grew up or where they’re living,” she said.

The middle section will stay as the Westbank Museum, with a new paint job in a more attractive colour.

“We spent last year redoing the inside, painting it, redoing the displays, lighting, but no one's going to want to come into a building that’s ugly on the outside,” said Cormack.

As well, the museum will be adding a 36-foot-long visitor information centre sign to the back of the building facing the highway to increase visibility.

Cormack hopes visitors driving along the highway will see the cool building and want to stop and check it out.

Work is expected to start on the project in the next few weeks.

The project, which is expected to take several weeks, has a budget of $75,000 and is being funded by donations to the museum throughout the years that have been set aside.

The museum is hoping for support from the community for cash or in-kind donations to give them a buffer on the project.

Cormack said they are crossing their fingers they will have enough funding to include a mural by a local artist or university student on either side of the building.

If people are interested in making a donation, they can phone the museum at 250-768-0110 or email info@westbankmuseum.com.