The Cultural District was developed in what was once the centre of the Okanagan's historical fruit packing industry. Through the dedication of the arts community, municipal leadership, strong community planning and major investments, the Cultural District has become the hub of Kelowna’s artistic and cultural activity.
The District’s six square blocks are home to the City’s cultural venues, including galleries, theatres and museums. There are also 21 pieces of public art on display, created by local, regional, national and international artists.
Tour the Cultural District
There are great opportunities to tour the District and immerse yourself in the art, culture and heritage of the area.
Cultural District Walking Tours
Free, guided walking tours are done for the season but will resume in July of 2023
Self-Guided Tour Options
You can also take a self-guided walking tour:
Make time to stop at some of the city’s cultural facilities during your tour:
(Beside City Hall)
Open daily until dusk, except during the Winter Closure
A vibrant arts and culture community significantly contributes to the positive quality of life residents enjoy. There are a number of plans and initiatives underway to enhance the Cultural District and cultural facilities that will further strengthen this connection. Strategic growth of the Cultural District builds upon the Official Community Plan with the following plans, each focused on providing distinct benefits to the community.
As a community-based plan, the 2020-2025 Cultural Plan sets a course for the entire creative sector to provide accessible, diverse, and inclusive experiences, that uses resources effectively, leverages opportunities, is innovative and forward thinking and highlights the value of partnerships and cooperation.
Visit the Cultural Plan page to learn more about the five themes and how citizens, organizations and businesses across Kelowna can help support key initiatives.
The Cultural Facilities Master Plan (CFMP) builds on prior efforts to strengthen commitment to cultural facility development.
The CFMP is intended to:
- Assess cultural facility usage within Kelowna, primarily municipally-owned cultural facilities (based on facility size, characteristics, usage, capacity, condition and demand)
- Provide a description of the spatial needs of the local creative sector and address strategies for optimizing existing space or providing more space
- Provide recommendations to assist the development of a City prioritization and decision-making process in addressing each municipal facility and the collective inventory
- Provide common trends and examples in action that are applicable to the City of Kelowna and cultural facility usage and development from across Canada
- Support the review and development of future City plans and initiatives including the development of the comprehensive Strategic Facility Master Plan
While the CFMP does cover a lot of ground, it is not intended to address individual artists (rather, the CFMP is primarily focused on the needs of local non-profit arts and culture organizations), for-profit facilities or sectors, public art or heritage assets (including analysis of the City of Kelowna’s Public Art collection, future public art commissions, or municipally-owned heritage assets) and prioritization of facilities. The CFMP does not go above and beyond the context and priorities of larger City of Kelowna infrastructure needs as outlined in area plans such as the Civic Precinct Plan.
Development of the CFMP was underway since late 2018 until it's launch in early 2022, with the gathering of raw data from cultural facility operators and community stakeholders to not only help in the development of the CFMP, but also to help form key strategies when it comes to space as part of the development of the 2020-2025 Cultural Plan. One-on-one interviews were held with 43 non-profit arts and culture groups to garner firsthand perspectives on current facility use and conditions, satisfaction levels, threats, space sharing and future plans.
Check out the Cultural Facilities Engagement Report for more information on what we heard.
Learn more about the CFMP project by reviewing the Fact Sheet.
The Civic Precinct Plan outlines long-term (25 year) land use plans for the Cultural District as a destination to live, work, shop, learn and play. The plan establishes the City’s goals for the redevelopment of sites by defining future land uses, design guidelines, public space enhancements and partnership opportunities that will position the area to become a vibrant mixed-use district.
The Civic Precinct Plan outlines a long-term vision (25 years) as well as priority actions for the near-term (first 5-10 years of the plan) including the identification of key sites to support downtown living, while also protecting sites for future civic uses to support the growth of the Cultural District.
As Kelowna continues to grow, we are working to ensure its arts and culture community grows with it. The Civic Precinct Plan, 2020-2025 Cultural Plan and Cultural Facilities Master Plan are roadmaps that will be used to guide growth that not only meets the needs of this distinct community but Kelowna as a whole.