Kelowna’s B.C. Wine Museum isn’t going anywhere.
While the VQA wine store will be leaving the Laurel Packinghouse in January, the Wine Museum will be staying put.
The news from museum society executive director Linda Digby, comes on the heels of an earlier announcement that the VQA wine shop and Discover Wines were both selling their licences to the Overwaitea Food Group.
Digby says it is a bittersweet time for the museum society.
“We love the wine shop, and we are very much going to miss it,” said Digby.
“We feel it has been a great part of the operation for 19 years, but it also ties in well with some of our strategic goals to make the change at this time as well. There will be more floor space, so we can actually grow the wine museum.”
Once the wine store vacates in January, Digby says the museum will shut down for a few weeks to staff can rearrange things.
“We will reopen in February during Heritage Week with an expanded wine museum.
“With just a few weeks, it may not be a door crasher, but we will do what we can during that time to expand and make it bigger.”
Digby says the museum society will also take the opportunity to engage the public to find out what they would like to see within the space at the historic packinghouse.
“I think the Laurel Packinghouse is getting better and better. It’s a place people love, and we think people are really interested in tree fruits and wine,” said Digby.
“But, we also know, beyond that, they are interested in food and drink generally. Things produced in the Okanagan.”
People will be asked whether the museum should stick to tree fruits and wine or think bigger.
“What kind of experience do people want? Are they looking at a museum, a heritage attraction, a discovery centre?” asked Digby.
“What’s the best way to engage locals and visitors with the exciting topics of fruit and wine in the Okanagan, which are pretty character defining?”
It’s time to hit the pause button, said Digby
“We want to take this opportunity to do it right.”