Management of O'Keefe Ranch Expression of Interest

Posted on Dec 21, 2020

O'Keefe Ranch & Interior Heritage Society

Box 955, 9380 BC-97,

Vernon, BC V1H 1W9


  December 2020


O'Keefe Ranch and Interior Heritage Society (the Society) is seeking Expressions of Interest for contract management services related to the operations of the O'keefe Ranch Historic Society (the Ranch) for the coming year, with the potential to extend for additional years.


The Ranch is a unique treasure of the North Okanagan established by Cornelius O'Keefe and his partners in June 1867.  A significant number of original buildings still exist with the gem being "the Mansion" which was the O'Keefe family home.  In the 1970's  the O'Keefe family  turned the site into a tourist attraction that has evolved into the current Ranch, which is enjoyed, by thousands of visitors each yearThe land, most of the buildings and some of the historic artifacts are owned by the City of Vernon and leased to the Society.  The current lease will expire in 2027.


A large cadre of volunteers has assisted Society staff over the years to provide a historic and meaningful experience for visitors.  This volunteer group is essential to keeping the Society operational on a limited budget.  Various tours, such as School and Ghost, historic based activities, and celebrations of the cowboy way of life have all been significant parts of activities held at the Ranch.


For 2021 the Ranch is expected to operate from Wednesday to Sunday from 9:00 to 4:00 using COVID protocols.   Opening is scheduled for Mother's Day and closure in the October timeframe with possible extension for a Christmas event.  Currently staff consists of a bookkeeper, animal care/security person and on call maintenance.  Over the summer additional staff is hired for seasonal jobs utilizing as many grants as possible.  Contracts also exist for a variety of functions that would need to be supervised.  The board has established policies that must be adhered to.  Event calendars from 2019 or 2020 can be provided if requested.  Management needs to respect the O’Keefe Family heritage, history of the Spallumcheen Valley and the head lease from the City of Vernon

Expressions of interest need to include a vision of how contract management could work, and background of proponent(s) experience.  References from current clients might be helpful to the Board when considering expressions of interest.  Some specifics to consider are:

            a.  Staffing requirements and management (keep in mind any required one-time or on-going activities, on-going daily work that needs to be accomplished, other aspects of services provided by the Society on the Ranch lands)

            b. reporting requirements to the Board (financial and/or otherwise)             c. event requirements             d. where the contractor has latitude to make changes and where they do not             e.  proactive volunteer recruiting and management

            f.  management of existing contracts


If you require further information feel free to contact Bruce Cummings at [email protected] or Carolyn Farris at [email protected]


The board will consider all correspondence at their January meeting, January 20, 2021.  They will only contact those who are selected for further discussions.