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Drawing on its history as a cultural intersection of art and performance, Nk’Mip and its expansion answer a complex set of challenges about the future of the Osoyoos Indian Band. The site is adjacent to a remnant of the Great Basin Desert, approximately 1,600 acres of which are being preserved as a conservation area. The interpretative centre, completed in 2006, includes a rich mix of cultural learning opportunities, with indoor and outdoor exhibit galleries, a multimedia theatre, and even facilities for the Band’s award-winning rattlesnake research. The expansion adds a gallery and function room, increased exhibition area and a renewed multi-purpose courtyard. This creates a focal point for the band’s most important gatherings and events, as well as hosting both travelling exhibits and the band’s collection of indigenous art. It’s all part of a larger 200-acre master plan to explore the transformative power of sharing aboriginal culture. Nk’Mip has won design accolades from across the world, including the Governor General’s Medal in Architecture, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Award of Excellence for Innovation in Architecture, and a World Architecture Festival Award. 

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Peter Atkinson