O’Keefe up to the challenge

Resident optimistic about the future of the historic ranch

It is my privilege to work at O’Keefe Ranch as an interpreter. Every day, I and my colleagues tell the story of Cornelius O’Keefe to visitors from all over Canada and the world and to about 75,000 Okanagan-Thompson students over the past 20 years.

It is a story of a man of courage,  fortitude and foresight.

It is a story of what can be accomplished through imagination, innovation, a can-do attitude and never giving up through good times and bad.

It is a story of a man who had all of the qualities of a true entrepreneur.

He embraced challenges, looking on them as opportunities. A possibility thinker, he was always doing things he couldn’t do because he just went ahead and did them.

He left Upper Canada with little money in his pocket, but with a big dream in his heart and a willingness to step out into the unknown to make his dreams happen.

And happen they did through hard work and determination and with the love and support of his remarkable wives, children and partners.

Today, 146 years later, we enjoy this beautiful heritage site and are inspired by the amazing story.

I doubt that Cornelius O’Keefe would be discouraged by rumblings of funding cutbacks. And neither am I.

After all, I am part of the O’Keefe team where anything and everything is possible as emulated by the life and times of this outstanding man, a man who not only survived the tough times, but thrived because of them.

I invite the good citizens of the Okanagan and B.C. to visit O’Keefe Ranch.

Enjoy a day with the family, friends and summer guests.

Hear the story for the first time or perhaps in a new way. Learn of the many ways you can be part of growing this important historical legacy.

Embracing the future with enthusiasm and optimism, I look forward to our big 150th birthday celebrations in 2017.

See you there.


Sharon Gardner

Lake Country