About Us

KMA Photo #7624

Vision

History by everyone. History for everyone.

Purpose

The KMA holds a mirror to Kamloops, building relationships with those who aren't yet reflected. The Museum is committed to rigorously examining its own practices as it collects, interprets, and shares the cultural evidence of this region. This commitment supports the KMA's responsibility to make itself a radically inclusive and welcoming space for community members to share community histories through community voices.

History

The KMA is one of the oldest museums in British Columbia. Established in 1937, the founding of the museum coincided with the 125th anniversary of Kamloops' first fur trading post. Volunteers relocated a Hudson's Bay Company cabin to a downtown park where they began to store and display historical objects. The City of Kamloops maintained the building, and volunteers formed a society to maintain the collection and develop exhibitions.

While artifacts were accepted into the museum collection, an archives was founded to take in photographs, maps, journals, and letters, anthologizing the recorded history of Kamloops. The collections quickly outgrew the cabin and, in 1939, the KMA and the Kamloops Library moved into a two-storey Victorian house. In 1957, the City held a referendum that pushed forward the construction of a 21,000 square foot, three-storey museum and library on the site of the house. The original fur trade cabin was dismantled and rebuilt inside, where it still stands.

The library moved into its own facility in c. 1990, and the Kamloops Art Gallery presented dozens of important exhibitions before relocating in 1999. Now the sole occupant of 207 Seymour Street, the KMA operates as part of the City of Kamloops, on Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc territory within the traditional and unceded lands of Secwépemc Nation, Secwepemcúĺecw.

Mandate

The KMA is entrusted with and responsible for collecting, organizing, interpreting, and making accessible its collection of records and artifacts related to Kamloops and the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.