Monday 10 June 2024

 Kimberley Heritage Museum Summer Exhibit "Celebrating 100 Years of Kimberley Golf Club 11924-2024" Come and see the origins of our rich golfing history - and take in the many other exhibits which showcase the stories and people who have shaped our community!

Tuesday 2 November 2021

 The Kimberley Heritage Museum's current display is for Remembrance Day, "Kimberley's War Years". We are open 1 - 4 pm Monday to Friday.

Thursday 3 June 2021

 Kimberley Heritage Museum is ready to welcome Visitors! COVID-19 Protocols require a mask and we are currently limited to 10 visitors at a time in the Exhibit Rooms.

Summer Feature Exhibit "Fun and Games" showcasing toys and games for the child in all of us.

Come by and check the Museum out and see what the history of Kimberley is all about.

Wednesday 3 June 2020

Kimberley Heritage Museum Open For Visitors

Hi everyone, the Kimberley Heritage Museum invites you to check our local history on your summer holidays. We are celebrating 40 years of collecting, recording, preserving and exhibiting the history of Kimberley. We now have 10823 artifacts and 11467 archival photographs ( as of Dec.31,20190.)
Our feature exhibit this summer is commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II. The exhibit features photos and memorabilia of Kimberley people who served in the war and locals who did their part for the war effort at home.
Hope to see you !

Saturday 25 August 2018

The Kimberley District Heritage Society is celebrating 40 years since its inception in 1978. Since that time there have been numerous projects, exhibits and donations of items to the Kimberley Heritage Museum. The collection of artifacts now numbers 10343 artifacts and 11314 photographs, (as of Dec.31,2017)

You can show your support by purchasing a Membership in our Society or make a donation, over $20.00 will receive a tax receipt.

Join us for a look at Kimberley's amazing history!

Friday 1 June 2018

The Kimberley Heritage Museum has a summer student position available from July 3, 2018 to August 25th. Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm at $12.65 per hour. Resumes can be dropped off at the Museum or emailed to until June 22, 2018. You must be a full-time student returning to school in the fall to qualify.

Friday 5 August 2016

Looking for a Volunteer

Do you like to be involved in the community? Do you have interesting ideas? Are you computer savvy and have a bit of spare time?
If so the Kimberley Heritage Museum has the perfect opportunity for you!
We are in need of a "Volunteer Community Liaison" who can be a representative of the Museum at community meetings and add to and update our Facebook page and blog.
This is a great opportunity for anyone who would like to be a part of the community and help out the museum!

Friday 4 March 2016

Change in Admission

The Museum has had a change in policy and is now charging $5.00 for 16 and over, $3.00 for 10 to 15, Family (2 adults & 2 children), $14.00 and under 10 free, as of June.1,2024. The fees will help with the rising costs of archival supplies and conservation materials.

Tuesday 14 July 2015

July Fest week

Happy week of July Fest everyone! The Kimberley Heritage museum is selling some useful items for anybody this week. Here we are selling some classic July Fest and non-July fest themed mugs and coasters! Come by and get them before they're all gone!

Wednesday 8 July 2015

Welcome to the Summer of 2015! it will be a warm couple of months and here in the museum there is air conditioning which is perfect for beating the heat. Follow the signs in the platzel and it will lead you right too us. While you're cooling off come enjoy our displays and learn about Kimberley!

Saturday 23 August 2014

Summer Student Reflection 2014

           Having lived in Kimberley for twelve years I thought I had a thorough understanding of the small city. However, after working at the Kimberley Heritage Museum this summer I  can see just how wrong I was. On the contrary, I have only just begun to scratch the surface of the wealth of information available detailing Kimberley's rich history. Thankfully, I have been given the chance to use the many research tools available at the museum to expand my knowledge. I was able to thoroughly examine many photos and artifacts, and to read old newspapers, Cominco magazines and newsletters. However, the most insightful experiences were those I shared with museum visitors. Be it their mind-opening questions or their recollections of memories triggered by the museum exhibits. As the summer draws to a close, I am very grateful I have had this opportunity and encourage others to learn from the museum as well. 

      Although, perhaps the most important lesson I learned this summer was actually that no matter how many warning signs you put out people will still try and touch the exhibits when you aren't looking :)

Barbara, Summer Student 

Thursday 7 August 2014

More DVDs !

We will now be introducing three new DVDs to the museum gift shop! This includes:
Historical Trail (History of Trail, B.C Canada) circa 2000
Reclaiming The Land ( Documentary on the reclamation of the Sullivan Mine) circa 2000
Wintertime Fun (Winter fun and events in Kimberley, B.C Canada) circa 1950s
Each cost $10, and are approximately 15 minutes in length.

Friday 1 August 2014

Travelling Pictoral Exhibit

Over the last couple days we've been working hard on a portable picture display, depicting various early photos of Kimberley's landmarks with accompanying descriptions. The Kimberley Museum is willing to loan the informational panels free of charge to any interested groups or individuals!
The display consists of two, three-paneled folding boards (four by three feet each). Anyone interested can contact the museum by email (,phone ((250)-427-7510), or feel free to stop by!

Guided Walking Tours This Saturday!

This Saturday the Kimberley Heritage Museum will be offering a guided walking tour through the city center! This tour costs only six dollars and includes a copy of  the guidebook "Footsteps Through The Past". Your guided tour will begin at 1:30pm and lasts approximately one hour. Participants are asked to meet at the Kimberley Heritage Museum (located on the west end of the Platzl above the library) about 5-10 minutes before the tour begins. Come out and share our history by taking footsteps through the past!

Friday 25 July 2014

New Arrivals For Sale At The Gift Counter!

We will now be offering two new DVD's at our gift counter for $10 each!

 "The Sullivan" (2000) is a narrated film, originally intended to be used as a brief historical record. The film follows miners underground and discusses the history of the mine."No Man Is An Island" (1949) Is an old Cominco promotional film made in the peak of the Sullivan mines operations.

Tuesday 15 July 2014

New Additions To The Museums Gift Shop!

    Come check out some of the new additions we have made to the Kimberley Heritage Museum gift shop!

                              Greeting and Postcard Colouring Kit (As shown below) includes:

                                        ~ 1 pack of 24 crayons
                                        ~ 5 postcards, reverse side blank
       ~ Assortment of "Happy Birthday" and "Thank You" cards, blank inside, fill in your own greeting!
                                       ~ 10 envelopes
                                       ~ All enclosed in a lovely carrying case handmade in Kimberley, B.C

                                  Novelty Postcards of Canadian Wildlife (below) includes:

                                              ~ One cut-out, 3D postcard (Beaver, Moose, or Bear)
                                              ~ Assembly instructions 

Wednesday 9 July 2014

Canadian Invention: The Electric Kettle

         No one knows who pioneered the first electric kettle, but we know for sure it is a Canadian original. Legend has it an unknown engineer in the steel stamping factory at Canadian Motor Lamp Company saw a headlight of a McLaughlin Buick and thought that, turned upside-down, would make a perfect receptacle for an electrical coil. From this concept, in 1940, the electric kettle was born. Fred Moffatt, an industrial designer at Canadian General Electric in Ontario, was given the task of improving the design and Moffatt's is the name we associate with the iconic "K42" kettle.

        One of Moffatt's improvements was to raise the handle away from the kettle's hot exterior, to avoid burned knuckles. Moffatt also improved the spout to prevent spillage.

        The kettle's dome was created by drawing a flat circular sheet of brass using a powerful hydraulic press. Over fourty separate parts were incorporated into the first model, including a steel base plate and Bakelite handle. The gleaming shine was achieved by a process using sixteen separate polishing steps.

     This amazing Canadian invention will be showcased at the Museum, so stop by and take a look!


Tuesday 8 July 2014

Summer Students 2014

Summer is here once again and with it our two new summer students!

Our names are Barbara and Emma and we are very excited to learn and share more of Kimberley's history with museum visitors! 

I'm Barbara, a recent high school graduate who will be attending the University of Calgary for their Law and Society program this September. 

 Hi! I'm Emma, I attend Selkirk Secondary School, and will be returning in the fall for grade eleven. 

We are both very grateful for this opportunity to gain insight into Kimberley's heritage and share it with our community and visitors, so please stop by! Also, continue to check out the museum's blog and Facebook page, as we will be updating both with new information throughout the summer.

Thank-you, we look forward to your visit!

Friday 2 May 2014

Summer Student Jobs

Once again the Museum is looking for 2 summer students, to start work on July 1st. Hourly wage is $10.25, Tuesday to Saturday from 9 am to 4:30 pm. Students must be returning to school in the fall and be between the ages of 16 and 30 years old. You can drop off a resume at the Museum or email for further deatls at

Thursday 5 September 2013

Summer Student Recap

Where does the time fly! Our two summer students have come and gone already!

We were fortunate enough to have Allanah return for her second summer with us. Allanah is in the fourth year of her Archaeology degree at Wilfred Laurier in Waterloo, ON. She hopes to specialize in underwater archaeology.

Artist and physics student, Alec, is returning to College of the Rockies in Cranbrook this school year.

Both students had lots to do and shared lots of our history with many very appreciative visitors to the Museum.

Here are some pics of the student's activities over the summer:

Archival Work:

Alec painting one of a dozen or so drawings he made of a local business as it was in the 1920s.  This piece will be part of a diorama depicting the storefronts along the south side of Spokane Street in the Platzl

Allanah finishing off the catalogue for a stamp collection.  Both students spent many hours scouring in the internet to identify the many stamps in this collection.

Nice page of ship stamps: Canada 10-cent full sheet of Inland Vessels, Scott numbers 700 - 703

Cancelled stamps from the Netherlands and India.

Learning more local history

Allanah and Alec reading up on the Platzl and 'Bavarianization' history in our main gallery

Stepping out Bavarian-style?

Sharing fascination

Alec and Allanah with a family of visitors in the 'household' gallery

Visitor, sensing the import of this 'end-of-summer photo shoot' of the students, gathers both for a pose.

Good luck to Allanah and Alec in all your future endeavors! We enjoyed having you at the Museum this summer of 2013.  Thanks for all your hard work.

Thursday 13 June 2013

The Bavarianization of Kimberley, BC

  1973 marks the opening of Kimberley's Bavarian-style downtown pedestrian mall. 2013 is its 40 year anniversary!

1972 Deer Park Avenue, Kimberley BC, before "Bavarianization" - the lines down the centre of the street mark the planned water feature. Photo scanned from the original Kimberley Daily Bulletin

"Bavarianization" - to make, become, engage in, or use, or to treat or combine with the styles and activities of Bavaria particularly in regard to architectural facades, style of dress, festivals, music and culinary offerings.

The Bavarianization of Kimberley has not been without controversy from the start. The story goes that some business owners visited Leavenworth, Washington in the early 70s and, being impressed by the theme's economic benefits to that city, actively promoted the idea as a means of economic insurance and renewal for Kimberley. In the mid to late 60s, Kimberley's businesses were experiencing severely declining revenues. The downtown core was looking rather ragged and new businesses in Cranbrook were attracting more and more Kimberley shoppers. Also, the end of life was in sight of the City's main employer, the Sullivan Mine. People wondered what could be done to keep our little town vibrant and liveable so they could stay in the city they loved.

But, in fact, the discussions about revitalizing the buildings and businesses of Kimberley didn't start in the early 70s, it started earlier than 1968! AND actually, the first proposals did not suggest a Bavarian theme, but called for an ALPINE theme!

That debate is STILL going on, especially now that many of the facades are 40 years old, one of our turnkey festivals is no more (The International Old-time Accordion Championships), the mine has been closed for a dozen years, and, well, there have been a lot of changes in those 40 years both in our economy and the make-up of our population.

Back in February, 1968, the City hired urban planners from the Regional District of the East Kootenays to start the process of a new plan for the City. Planner Alfred Miller described the City Center businesses as "a deteriorating conglomeration of substandard buildings". The first committees formed called themselves the "Alpine" committee and were made up of local business owners.

Some did not wait for any official declaration of a theme and remodeled their storefronts in 1971. It was not until the fall of 1972 that the City of Kimberley jumped on the bandwagon and came up with money to landscape the platzl. Bud Buckle was the Mayor of Kimberley at the time. Once started, the transformation to a pedestrian-only platzl was finished within the very next year. Bavarianization was a fait acompli and many businesses, homeowners, and attractions soon followed suit, even dressing themselves and employees in mostly home-made interpretaions of Bavarian dress.

Allocating funds to the project was also very controversial at the time. Students at the local high school said they would rather have an indoor heated pool - something Kimberley did not get until many years later.

Celebrate Kimberley's newest festival, "First Saturdays Kimberley", by learning more about our Bavarianization through the myriad newspaper clippings and photos featured in the Museum's seasonal display on the back wall of our main gallery.

Also showing are some of the artifacts created especially for Kimberley in keeping with the Bavarian theme, such as beer mugs and thalers, as well as examples of traditional authentic German Bavarian clothing worn by local merchants.

Dianne Cooper, volunteer

Thursday 7 February 2013

Curling Sweaters - Spring 2013

The seasonal exhibit up now at the Kimberley Heritage Museum is all about curling sweaters, bonspiels, and curlers. Most curlers had hand-made sweaters crafted by themselves or other local knitters to wear during weekly club play. The heavy knit 'Cowichan Sweaters' are a trademark style developed in the 1860s by the Cowichan people of SE Vancouver Island. First done in solid colours, patterns were added in the 1890s:

Example of traditional motif - Cowichan Sweater - (M. Stang, donator)

By the 1940s, knitting pattern and yarn companies such as Mary Maxim were offering patterns for the so-called Curling Sweater as well as other themed patterns:

Mary Maxim graph-style knitting pattern - "Bonspiel Days" - for Men

Nordic Sportsman's youth's and ladies curling sweater pattern

Before long, commercial manufacturers such as White Ram of Calgary, AB and Indian Art Knitting were selling their versions of the sweater in finer wool: 

Fireman's League championship sweater: Seagrams Stone National Curling Championship 1972 - S. Jereb donor

The machine-made types of sweaters were mostly worn during tournaments when they first came out.

Bonspiels always had a lot of socializing off the rink. Below is the type of outfit worn to a more formal dinner associated with a bonspiel.

Late '50s ladies suit

Bonspiel Programme from February 1939

Up now and until about the end of April, 2013, be sure to come in and see our collection of curling memorabilia and curling sweaters, most of which were donated by Ina Hansen and Mae Shaw (see National Curling Champs 50th Anniversary blogpost)

Dianne Cooper, volunteer

Thursday 29 November 2012

Holiday Season 2012

The Museum's seasonal display, up now until the first week of 2013, (see Hours tab above) features artifacts and historical cultural thoughts and events about Christmas.

Our classical glass ornaments are in very fine condition and include bears, snowmen, birds, and more.

The little tree may not look like much but it is the perfect size for displaying our large, fine collection of ornaments.

In days past, museum volunteers would be on hand to sing carols and give visitors a home-like experience.  Below is a photo by famed Kimberley newspaper photographer, Charlie Wormington,

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and hope to see you at the Museum for a visit.

Dianne C.

Thursday 25 October 2012

Remembrance Day 2012

Commemorative plate including CWACs - Canadian Women's Army Corp

The Museum's Remembrance Day display is featured in two display cases and approximately 4 square meters (45 square feet) of vertical space in the main gallery.  It features artifacts, memorabilia, and photos in remembrance of the local people who served in the Canadian Armed Forces and will be up until just after 11 November 2012.

Local Armed Forces Members

Two hand-lettered scrolls, commissioned by Cominco, document the names of the men and women from the Sullivan Mine and the Sullivan Concentrator in active service in the Canadian Armed Forces during World War Two (WWII).  These scrolls were previously on display in Kimberley's Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 67 which existed from 1926 to 2011. 

Sullivan Mine Employees

Sullivan Concentrator Employees

Remembering Those Back Home, WWI

While overseas, some armed forces personnel in World War One (WWI) may have sent back a hand-crafted embroidered silk postcard to a loved one; such as the one shown below.  These postcards were embroidered by French women in their homes, then sent to factories where they were mounted on cards.  Embroidering these became a thriving cottage industry in 1915. Approximately 10,000,000 of these cards were made between 1915 and 1919.

Handcrafted embroidered silk postcard and modern Canadian coins

World's First Coloured Coin

In 2004, The Royal Canadian Mint struck a commemorative quarter, on the right in the photo above, featuring a single red corn poppy. It was the world's first coloured coin in circulation.  The coin on the left, is a 2010 Canadian quarter issued by the Royal Canadian Mint to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Armistice. 

The 2010 Poppy quarter: Royal Canadian Mint Poppy coin

Battledress, WWII

WWII battledress uniform and wreath

The Canadian battledress featured hidden buttons on the blouse and a large map pocket on the trousers. It was a very durable uniform made of wool in a colour slightly greener than the British uniform.

Armed Forces personnel would have worn their uniform, even after the war, to Remembrance Day ceremonies and other special events, training exercises of local militia which went on after the war, and special veterans' meetings.  Rifle training after WWII was conducted at a shooting range east of the current entrance to the main parking lot of the Kimberley Ski Hill.

Cominco support of the war effort

"Our baby elephant develops a kick"
Cominco, the main employer in Kimberley, BC, often featured war-related themes in their company magazines distributed to all employees during the World Wars.  The magazine was published from 1940 to 1971; first as a monthly magazine, then down to six times a year at the end.

 Airmen and their gear

Model plane and cipher flags code book

Aviator, Gordon Fisher's head gear

This head gear belonged to aviator Gordon Fisher pictured here, (Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History) in the cockpit of an airplane ca. 1944.  The special construction around the ear allowed for the wearing of headphones so all crew could communicate during flight in the noisy, unpressurized airplanes.

Kimberley's Rememberance Day Ceremonies will, as usual be conducted at the Kimberley cenotaph, constructed in October of 1956 from 3 tonnes of rock from Cominco's open pit mine.  The cenotaph is located at the corner of Spokane Street, Kimberley Avenue, and Gerry Sorenson Way.  This year, members of the Kimberley Community Band and the Kimberley Community Choir will lead the music.

As always, please come in to the Museum to see more items - such as an air force nurse's uniform, newspaper articles, photos of local veterans, and much more - and gain more knowledge of the influence of military service on Kimberley's citizen and culture.  See hours above.

Dianne C.
Director and volunteer

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Cominco Photo Collection - Kimberley, BC

Just one of the several boxes of Cominco photos gathered by their Kimberley Operations

Starting in ca 1910, shortly after the Sullivan Mine was opened here in Kimberley, BC,  the mine owners began collecting photos of the whole operation.  These photos were used for such things as advertizing, personnel and community relations, communications about machinery repair, and much more.

By the time the mine closed in December 2001, a vast collection of official company photos had been amassed.  Most were stored at Cominco’s Kimberley Office on Howard Street and some were kept in Trail and various other company locations.  When the Kimberley Office was closed, Teck Cominco kindly donated the older photos to the BC Archives and the more recent photos to the Kimberley Heritage Museum.

The Museum received 5,217 photos of Kimberley Operations, making this the largest photo collection from a single donor archived here at the Museum.

Organizing these thousands of photos required a person with intimate knowledge of the mine’s layout, it’s workings, it’s employees, their daily activities and special events. Who are the people in the photos? Where exactly in the mine was this photo taken? What is that machine? Which part of the Kimberley Operations does this depict – the mine itself, the mill, the fertilizer plant, the tin plant ... ?  What special or community event is this? And so on. 

Brian Crowe, miner and historian, holding an original photo depicting the workings deep in the Sullivan Mine

The task of describing, categorizing, and registering a photo in the Museum’s catalogue fell to a person most qualified to do the job, Museum Director Brian Crowe – himself a miner in the Sullivan for 32 years, and the son of George Crowe who served as a mine foreman for 37 years.

As a technician in the Geology Department, Mr. Crowe visited every corner of the mine. One of their jobs was to determine the fate of the recently blasted ore (called ‘muck’) now lying in a heap on the tunnel floor. If the muck had high enough concentrations of sought-after minerals to make it worth processing, it went to the Mill to be broken up in smaller pieces then shipped by rail to the Smelter in Trail, BC.  If not, it went to the ‘waste rock’ pile or was used to back-fill tunnels and raises (vertical tunnels). They could tell if the ore was economical usually by just looking at it!

Mr. Crowe worked on describing and organizing the thousands of photos every work day for 7 months.

Galena - Sullivan ore, on sale at the Museum

The Museum’s collection of Cominco photos is now easily searchable!

Now we can easily tell if we have a photo of a certain subject or person, for example, by looking at the digital or the printed copy of the finding aid.

Summer student, Allanah, compiling the descriptions to create a 'finding aid' - July 2012

Some of the subjects in the collection are as follows:

Community areas and buildings
Community events and organizations
Retirees and events
Sports teams and events
Local landscapes
Mining and processing locations

If you are searching for a photo that may be in this collection, the Museum advises that you first check the website of The Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History, which has some of the photos and an online ordering system for prints.

If you would like the Museum to search the collection for a specific subject, please phone 250.427.7510 to make an appointment or email to  Be advised there is a fee for researching and providing copies of the photo on a cash/cheque-only basis (see tab “Fees” on the above menu bar).

D. Cooper, volunteer - photos and article