Thank you for your interest in the Central Okanagan Heritage Society, our properties and our activities. We trust you will find the information on this website both practical and useful. Whether planning a wedding, a concert, anniversary or craft show, our Benvoulin property has much to offer. You will find more information contained within. If you are looking for information on local heritage properties, or upcoming heritage events, you will find this site helpful. We welcome your input and are always on the lookout for volunteers to help with fund-raising projects, lending a hand in one of our two gardens, or folks who like to do small repair projects. For those wanting to make a larger commitment, we have committees and a board of directors who welcome new members.
Who We Are:
The Central Okanagan Heritage Society is a non-profit Society and a Registered Charity. The Society was incorporated in 1982 and operates with a volunteer Board of Directors, and several part-time and seasonal staff. The Society operates within the geographic boundaries of the Central Okanagan Regional District.
Our Mission Statement:
The mission of the Society is “build awareness of the district heritage of the Central Okanagan through conservation, collaboration, advocacy and education for the benefit of current and future generations.”
What We Do:
For a relatively small not-for-profit organization, the COHS is involved with some major heritage landmarks within our geological region. Our current activities include:
~ We own and operate Benvoulin Heritage Park, featuring the fully restored Benvoulin Church, a 1892 Gothic Revival style church. The site also holds the recently rebuilt Reid Hall, a lovely English cottage-style garden and McIver House, an early 1890′s farmhouse, which serves as our on-site caretaker’s residence.
~ We also maintain Guisachan Heritage Park under contract with the City of Kelowna. Guisachan Park is a municipally designated heritage park and features Guisachan House, built in 1891 for Lord and Lady Aberdeen. This site also holds McDougall House, owned by COHS, and used as a revenue-generating property, and the Milk Shed, which serves as the society’s offices. The buildings are surrounded by the 1920s Edwardian gardens, fondly known as the Cameron Gardens.
~ Since 2008, COHS has managed the City of Kelowna Heritage Grants Program, whereby owners of heritage registered properties can apply for assistance with the upkeep and maintenance of their buildings.
~ COHS is an active participant in Heritage Week, the 3rd week of February.
~ sponsors the Annual Heritage Awards which are presented each February during Heritage Week
~ COHS is an active member on the Kelowna Heritage Commission
~ is an active member of Heritage BC