Written for Kelowna Guide Magazine by – Rhys Mahannah
PUBLIC ART GALLERIES
Kelowna Art Gallery
Founded in 1976, the Kelowna Art Gallery now features over 814 permanent public art pieces and, in 2014, welcomed 16,000+ visitors. Like the neighboring Rotary Centre, the Art Gallery features a variety of exhibitions: in the past, an interactive “Back to the 80s” feature or the eclectic Artist’s Garden Project. There’s also available art classes, camps, Family Sundays, public tours, and an art lab for people who want hands-on experience. A slew of events, including public talks and presentations, will grow your knowledge of the arts. If you’re flying out of the city, check out the work of a local artist prominently displayed on the 40-foot-long wall in the Departures area of Kelowna International Airport. The Kelowna Art Gallery is located at the corner of Cawston Avenue and Water Street. See kelownaartgallery.com.
Alternator Gallery of Contemporary Art
If you’re interested in art that transcends the traditional, then drop by the Alternator Gallery on Cawston Avenue. Since 1989, the Alternator has worked with emerging local and Canadian artists dedicated to alternative, experimental projects that both challenge and delight the creative community. You’ll find satellite, site-specific, performative, and interactive exhibitions. What’s uncovered by looking deeper into machines and data-collection, a family photograph, or printmaking? Find out at the Alternator Gallery, located next door to the Kelowna Art Gallery (see above). Check www.alternatorcentre.com for more details.
Rotary Centre for the Arts
The Rotary Centre (RCA), opened in 2002, is a world-class venue celebrating Kelowna’s expanding public arts and culture scene for Performance Arts. Located in the heart of the city’s Cultural District, the RCA lives in the historical Growers Supply Building, which has since been enhanced with modern amenities: a studio, rehearsal and small retail spaces, and even a delicious bistro. Check out the art, photography, and sculpture exhibits. Come to a concert, performance, or engaging lecture. Try your hand at a variety of activities, including painting, pottery—even drumming. Whatever your interest, this modern arts and performance centre has something for everyone. The Rotary Centre can be found on Cawston Avenue, near to the Kelowna Art Gallery and Alternator Gallery. Check out rotarycentreforthearts.com to learn more.
Prospera Place features shows from the world’s top entertainers, including Bryan Adams, The Tragically Hip, Diana Krall, Aerosmith, Hedley, ZZ Top, Russell Peters, Jerry Seinfeld, and Sting. Prospera is also home to the Western Hockey League’s Kelowna Rockets, winners of the 2004 Memorial Cup, and runners-up in 2009 and 2015. The Rockets have developed several premier NHL players, including Shea Weber, Alex Edler, Tyler Myers, Luke Schenn, Sheldon Souray, Jamie Benn, Josh Gorges, and Duncan Keith. Check out Prospera’s website to learn more: www.prosperaplace.com .
Okanagan Symphony Orchestra
Since its inception in 1959, Okanagan Symphony Orchestra (OSO) has grown to become the third largest professional symphony orchestra in BC. Treat yourself to a Masterwork Series show, featuring a guest artist and music from a variety of world-famous composers, including Dvorak, Sibelius, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Ravel, Beethoven, and Bach. OSO is also heavily involved with the community through its Outreach and Education programs—the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra (OSYO), for example, brings together youth to learn from and train with seasoned players throughout the season. See www.okanagansymphony.com.
Parks Alive! produces over 500 events a year suitable for the entire family—including live concerts, arts-based activities, and performances from locals and world-class professionals. Have fun in some of Kelowna’s best parks and outdoor venues.