The KMA explores current issues, events, and ideas through its temporary and permanent display galleries, bringing relevant exhibitions to Kamloopsians.


November 22, 2019-April 4, 2020 | A Primary Exhibition Organized by the KMA

This exhibition showcases the Kamloops Museum & Archives' considerable collection of taxidermy in order to explore ideas and values that inform the practice of preparing, stuffing, and mounting the skins of animals. Looking at the KMA collection through a museological lens, the show foregrounds the role of taxidermy in museums and how taxidermy represents a particular way of understanding.  

View Photo Gallery


May 24, 2019-November 2, 2019 | A Primary Exhibit Organized by the KMA

Photographs from the KMA Archives, and prints from the McCord Museum, along with archival support materials showcase Montréal photographer Benjamin Baltzly’s 1871 images of BC. Baltzly, along with a team from the Geological Survey of Canada, was tasked to prospect and document a route through the interior plateau that would be suitable for the new railway that would connect the province to the rest of Canada.  

View Photo Gallery


November 30, 2018-March 2, 2019 | A Primary Exhibit Organized by the KMA

This exhibition explored the life and work of the late Kamloops painter and marks a donation of his materials to the Kamloops Museum & Archives.

Smith began art school in his late twenties and spent his career investigating abstraction through painterly depictions of the Kamloops landscape. The paintings, photos, and artifacts in Ideal Forms emphasize Smith’s interest in the natural physical features of the region and his commitment to the pure properties of paint. In continuation of a 2014 retrospective of the artist by the Kamloops Art Gallery, this exhibition brings forward correspondence and biographical information about the artist and presents both complete and unfinished works to cast light on his iterative approach to composing in paint.

Photo Gallery


June 15-November 17, 2018 | A Primary Exhibit Organized by the KMA 

This exhibition explores our relationship with fire through an evolution of ideas, including the way we manage it today, with an emphasis on local practices.

Arriving just prior to the first anniversary of the area’s largest fire season on record, Ruin & Renewal provides ways for volunteers, evacuees, firefighters, and others to share their stories about the fires. It also helps create a historical record of living with a force that has always been connected with human life. With information, images, and artifacts from individuals and agencies, including Kamloops Fire Rescue, BC Wildfire Service, and Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc, cultural issues surrounding fire are explored, including deliberate burning, the scientific understanding of fire, and the tools and techniques of contemporary fire management.

Encompassing a range of biogeoclimatic zones, the Interior Plateau is home to large, softwood forests next to hot, dry grasslands, making fire an ever-present possibility for Kamloops. For many people, this possibility is seen as catastrophic, causing disastrous losses of property and life. Yet, fire also has regenerative properties and is a crucial aspect of the processes of biodiversification. Fire’s presence in our landscape, industry, and cultural traditions make it a subject worth investigating.

View Photo Gallery


February 2–May 26, 2018 | A Primary Exhibit Organized by the KMA

This exhibition explores the people, places, and principles that shape the culture of skiing in Kamloops.

Arriving on the 50th anniversary of Senator Nancy Greene Raine’s Olympic gold medal win in Grenoble, the display will include a feature on Ms. Greene Raine and her achievements, along with profiles of some of the many notable figures that have shaped Kamloops’ ski culture. Objects, photos, and stories about local ski hills—operating and obsolete—will link to games and materials from local ski traditions such as the annual Sun Peaks Top to Bottom Race and Velocity Challenge. Known for high speeds and deep, dry snow, Kamloops has a unique ski culture that will play host to the 40th BC Games, February 22–25, 2018. It will be the city’s first return to the role since the inaugural Winter Games in 1979.

View Photo Gallery


riverpeoplenationstatepeople is a set of displays, revisions, questions, and responses for attaching Kamloops' cultural history to an ongoing process of self-evaluation.

Starting with stories of the first people of this region told through the voices of Secwépemc Museum & Heritage Park and Stk'emlupsemc te Secwépemc Nation and Secwépemc guest curator Tania Willard, a record of Secwépemc experience and cultural production has been placed at the centre of the KMA's permanent exhibition of regional history. This display is now being complemented by a set of features developed with the Kamloops Chinese Freemason's Association and the Kamloops Chinese Cultural Association chronicling Chinese contributions to Kamloops' cultural life, including the construction of the CP Railway.

riverpeoplenationstatepeople signals a widened frame of reference for understanding the current of our region's histories by exploring the tributaries that feed it. Unfolding incrementally, imperfectly, and unendingly, it is a sustained effort to use the unique space and tools of the KMA as a sounding board for voices from Kamloops' oldest and newest cultural communities.

View Photo Gallery


Spring & Summer 2017 | A Primary Exhibition organized by the KMA

Explore enlarged archives photographs of Kamloops houses from Downtown and West End, built mainly between 1900 and 1930. These houses typify the Bungalow style, which is an expression of the British Arts and Crafts movement—often referred to as the “Craftsman” style of architecture in North America.

The style permeates Kamloops with wood siding, exposed posts, beams, brackets, and rafters. While the West End and Downtown are undoubtedly inscribed by the Craftsman style, its clearest and most homegrown expression comes through the diminutive and varied forms of the bungalow.

View Photo Gallery


September 9, 2016–February 25, 2017 | A Primary Exhibition organized by the KMA

Morris Lum is a Toronto-based photographer who has, over the past several years, produced a series of art projects documenting Chinatowns across Canada. The KMA has introduced a new project that collaborates with Morris Lum, exploring our collection and archives and the history of the Chinese community in Kamloops.  Through photographs, documents and historical artifacts, Lum's project raises questions about the role cultural norms play in the production and maintenance of cultural histories.

View Photo Gallery


April 22, 2016–August 20, 2016  | A Primary Exhibition organized by the KMA

Ground Control explores skateboard culture with a focus on Kamloops. Along with an array of historical skateboards, films, photos, and video footage of local skateboarders, this exhibition highlights some of the issues that shape the activity. Ground Control represents a step toward connecting Kamloops youth to Kamloops culture. This interactive display encouraged participation and made clear that we're all culture makers, and culture matters here.

View Photo Gallery


October 16, 2015–April 9, 2016 | A Primary Exhibition organized by the KMA in partnership with Western Canada Theatre

Front and Centre derives from a place of relative honour within a theatre: the first row of auditorium seating at centre stage—the best seats in the house. Founded in 1975, the company has rightfully claimed a place at the front and centre of cultural life both within and beyond our region. This exhibition puts their storied past in the spotlight.

Front and Centre; Western Canada Theatre at 40 is a showcase of costumes, props, videos, interactives, and interviews along with an evolving selection of digitized materials from the fascinating collection of WCT’s records including screenplays, correspondences and promotions.

View Photo Gallery


February 27–October 2, 2015 | A Primary Exhibition organized by the KMA in partnership with the Summerland Museum & Heritage Society

Mary Spencer, Photographer, tells the story of Mary Spencer (1857–1938), who during 10 short years between 1899 and 1909, produced many of the most stunning photographs ever taken of Kamloops and the surrounding area. A prolific photographer, artist, and pioneer, to this day Spencer remains relatively unknown outside of Kamloops for her lasting contribution to the history of women photographers. Her portraits reflect honest vulnerabilities and sometimes humorous snapshots of a community on the threshold of modernity, when the sometimes stuffy assurances of the Victorian era were giving way to a new world.

View Photo Gallery


September 18, 2014–December 31, 2014 | A Primary Exhibition organized by the KMA in partnership with the Rocky Mountain Rangers

Into the Fray explores an extraordinary moment of sacrifice through the eyes of the Kamloops Community and the individuals who experienced the war first-hand. Not all were lucky, not all would return. Their experiences reflect the darkness of war and the brightest hopes for the future.

View Photo Gallery


May 15, 2014–August 30, 2014 | A Primary Exhibition organized by the KMA in partnership with the Secwépemc Museum & Heritage Park

A Storied Land celebrates and interprets the living and evolving cultural landscapes of the Interior Salish, with special emphasis on the Secwépemc. Explored are artifacts connected to travel, daily life, artistic expressions, traditions, laws, stories, and beliefs held by the Interior Salish peoples. A Storied Land places KMA artifacts in the wider context of the natural and cultural history of the region.

View Photo Gallery


January 10, 2014–April 30, 2014 | A Primary Exhibition organized by the Revelstoke Museum & Archives

Chinese Legacies tells the fascinating story of the Chinese labourers who helped build the Canadian Pacific Railway through the difficult mountain terrain between Port Moody and Craigellachie. Working under terrible conditions in extreme weather, Chinese labourers blasted tunnels, built bridges and levelled the right-of-way to make Canada's national railway a reality. Between 600 and 2,200 of these men died from accidents and sickness during construction.

View Photo Gallery

The KMA gratefully acknowledges financial support from the following organizations: