R.J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum is a forty acre site east of Salmon Arm which includes a local Museum, Ernie Doe Archives Room and Heritage Village comprising seventeen buildings:
- the original 1910 Haney House
- ten relocated community-valued heritage structures
- five buildings are replicated structures depicting the history of the Salmon Arm area
- Montebello Museum
- 145 Seat Amphitheatre
The Montebello Museum is the association’s Canada 150 project and was proclaimed by the City of Salmon Arm as the City’s Cornerstone Canada 150 project. The project is enormous: the building is 12000 square feet and the funds raised for construction have been through donations from local individual, business, and Provincial and Federal funding programs. The grand opening and public celebration were on July 9, 2017, with a crowd of 900 in attendance. This newly constructed building has nine dioramas and has been carefully designed to look like multiple buildings that tell individual stories of the local history which include:
- Miss Puff’s Millinery and Dress Shop
- McGuire General Store
- Telephone exchange office
- Bank of Hamilton
- Lingford Photo Studio
- E. Palmer Butcher Shop
- Barber Shop and Pool Hall
- Salmon Arm Observer
- Also in this building is the Museum, which tells additional stories of the local history, the Ernie Doe Archives Room and it is home to the Museum’s collection of artefacts.
The property boasts a 2.3-kilometre walking trail in a woodland setting. The trail covers two climatic zones, which parallel Canoe Creek. Programs use the natural history at R.J. Haney Heritage Village to interpret the use of plants by both the First Peoples and pioneers. The facility is a heritage destination and used by regional residents and tourists travelling to the area.
The Open-Air Museum is defined by the geographical area at R.J. Haney Heritage Village. Once a productive farm, and currently zoned in the Agricultural Land Reserve, the property has been developed to tell agricultural and natural histories that reflect the community’s growth and development. The property is set up with zones dedicated to the telling of separate but inter-connected stories.
Salmon Arm Museum and Heritage Association was incorporated as a Society on July 9, 1963, and has registered charity status. Its constitution includes the following purposes:
- Establish and operate museums and archives in keeping with good conservation and display practices for the preservation of artefacts and archival materials representing the Salmon Arm and Shuswap Area.
- Promote and encourage the research, writing, and recording of histories of the Shuswap Area.
- Encourage and co-operate in the education of our children regarding their Shuswap heritage and culture.
- Support, encourage, and facilitate conservation, maintenance, and restoration of heritage property and sites in the Salmon Arm Area.
The mission of the Association is to keep alive the history and heritage of Salmon Arm and area by collecting, preserving, documenting and interpreting artefacts, records and stories of the region in a public community museum. R.J. Haney Heritage Village, the Museum and Archives are places where all are welcome.
The vision of the Museum Board and Management is to create a place where people, young and old, can see, feel, smell, and hear Salmon Arm history and love it!
R.J. Haney Heritage Village is open from mid-May to the end of September. During the shoulder season, days of operation are five days a week. Days of operation are extended to seven days a week in July and August. In 2018 the Museum and Village had a visitor attendance of 16,110 visitors.
The Museum is home to five exhibits:
- The train stopped here
- Mah Yick Laundry
- The Secwepemc - First Nations
- The Peterson Brothers Ltd.- Salmon Arm Orcharding Family
- No Irrigation Required – Salmon Arm’s Apple Industry
The Museum Galley in the Montebello Building is home to the exhibit “Can you dig it” telling the story of gold mining in the local area. It was also used to showcase two photo exhibits in 2018, “Seniors to Seniors” and “The Knowledge Keepers”.
The most popular program is the live dinner theatre performances depicting the history of Salmon Arm to the local residents and tourists to the Shuswap area during July and August. Exactly 2322 people took part in the program last year.
As a collective, visitors fully experience the diverse activities carried out by the cultural institution by supporting the development and delivery of the heritage educational and public programs and special events in conjunction with the Museum, Heritage Village, and community partners. Services offered at the Museum include:
- Special community events
- Educational school programs
- Summer education program
- Village, Museum, and House Tours
- Live theatre depicting the history of the area
- Archival research
- Private events