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Armstrong

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Dec 15, 2021

Armstrong is a city of about 4800 people (2016) in the Okanagan region of British Columbia. It is perhaps most famous as the home of the Armstrong Cheese factory, which closed in 2004.

Map of Armstrong

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Armstrong is a rural community and commercial center in the North Okanagan, with agriculture, grain farming of alfalfa and wheat, logging, and ranching being traditional economic activities. It is set amidst the dairy and farmlands of the Spallumcheen Valley (a name derived from a Shuswap language word with multiple meanings: “beautiful valley”,”flat meadow,””meeting of the waters” and “prairie-banked river”).

Armstrong was named after E.C. Heaton Armstrong, a London banker who helped finance the Shuswap and Okanagan Railway in 1892 and local development at the turn of the century, relocating the townsite originally at Landsdowne to the confluence of the Valley’s rail lines, and the city’s current site.

The influence of Dutch immigrants settling in the valley after the Second World War is represented by their cheese-making knowledge, allowing Armstrong to become well known for the cheese it produced.

The city is also known for hosting the Interior Provincial Exhibition and Stampede, which has been in annual operation since 1899. The IPE has a midway and popular retail show, but is very much still a country fair, with contests being held to judge animals, cooking, sewing, hobbies and other items. The exhibition offers a variety of entertainment options ranging from concerts, competitions, and the famous mini-chuckwagon races.

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Greyhound Canada terminated all services in Western Canada and Northern Ontario effective October 31, 2018.

The only highway through town is provincial highway 97A which travels from Vernon to the south and Sicamous to the north of Armstrong.

The closest major airport is in Kelowna to the south.

  • 50.448023-119.1964021 Armstrong-Spallumcheen Museum & Art Gallery, 3415 Pleasant Valley Road, +1 250 546-8318, e-mail: asmas@telus.net. M-Sa 10AM-4PM. Contains a museum, art gallery and archives for Armstrong and area. The site of the old Armstrong Machine Shop has over 30 historical displays, replicas of the railways, a schoolhouse, a grocery store, a blacksmith shop, and a comprehensive archive of photographs, newspapers and maps. The Old School House is one of the original educational institutions in British Columbia. By donation. (updated Jun 2018)
  • The Village Cheese Company, 3475 Smith Drive, +1 250 546-8651, fax: +1 250 546-8659, e-mail: vcheese@villagecheese.com. An artisan cheese production facility that models itself after an estate winery. Features tours and tastings. 
  • The Caravan Farm Theatre is where professional actors who have long provided entertainment throughout the Okanagan produce a number of annual events and festivals.

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