In the 1960s, the Okanagan Historical Society took on the task of preserving the historic Father Pandosy Mission site on Benvoulin Road in Kelowna. It was here, in 1859, that Father Pandosy, an Oblate priest, established the first permanent non-native settlement in the Okanagan Valley.
Over the years many parties from the Historical Society and the Knights of Columbus have laboured to restore four of the original buildings; the Chapel, the Root-House, the Barn and the Brothers House. Four other historic buildings have also been moved to the site.
Today, the Okanagan Historical Society, through the Father Pandosy Mission Committee, and the Roman Catholic Bishop of Nelson, who remain the owners of this historic site, jointly administers the Pandosy Mission. The grounds are open to the public from dawn to dusk, Easter to Thanksgiving. A donation of $2 per person is suggested for admission; this goes towards site maintenance and upkeep.
For more information on the Father Pandosy Mission, its history, projects, events and activities, visit their official website here.
Kelowna artist Crystal Przybille worked with the Okanagan Historical Society to create a public, life-sized bronze sculpture of Father Pandosy. For more information, please see the Father Pandosy Mission 150th Anniversary Commemorative Sculpture website.