Cultural grants

We offer five categories of arts and culture grants to non-profit organizations on an annual basis. The purpose of these grants is to enrich the art, culture and heritage experience for Kelowna residents. An organization must be incorporated as a non-profit society and operate primarily in Kelowna to be eligible for a grant. Organizations may apply for grants under more than one category in the same calendar year.

We are presented with numerous opportunities to share the successes and stories of Kelowna's creative sector. This helps build support for arts, culture and heritage in our community. Therefore, a condition of the cultural grant funding is that all organizations will provide three high-quality, clear images that portray the programs and services they are offering to the community.

The images must be free of copyright from the photographer and you must have signed or written permission of any identifiable person included in the picture for unlimited usage rights for us and your organization. For more information, check out the photo submission guidelines, which include waiver templates.

New Online Grant Platform

We are launching our new Online Grant Platform on SurveyMonkey Apply.  Some programs are currently available on our platform, and others are on their way!

ENTER ONLINE PLATFORM

We know these transitions can be challenging. We’ve ensured that there are plenty of resources available to support you in navigating our new online system. Check out the FAQs on our grant webpage to steer through the challenges you may be facing.

2021 Cultural Grants
Cultural Grant Panel - Application process CLOSED

Update: The application process for the Cultural Grant Panel closed on Oct 23, 2020 at 4 p.m. Thank you to those who applied. You will be contacted by Cultural Services Staff if selected to participate on the Cultural Grant Panel.

We're seeking interested residents to serve on a Cultural Grant Panel. The Panel adjudicates funding applications and provides recommendations to the City of Kelowna's Cultural Services Branch on the distribution of cultural grants.

The panel provides its funding review and recommendations independently and at arm's length from the City. Staff will support the panel but are not active participants in the review process.

Individuals interested in serving on the Grant Panel are invited to complete an application by 4 p.m., Friday, October 23, 2020.

Applicants may be contacted for a telephone interview following the application deadline. Responses to all applicants will be provided by the end of November.

More details about eligibility and the role of the Cultural Grant Panel are provided in the Call for Applications and Backgrounder.

Grant Writers

We are regularly asked if we know any grant writers in our community. In order to better serve our non-profit organization, we’ve decided to put a list together of local grant writers they could connect with. 

Grant Writer Registration

We would like to invite all Grant Writers in the Central Okanagan to register by completing the webform. You will be required to tell us a bit about yourself, area(s) of expertise, experience and fees (optional). If you are a writer but new to grant writing and willing to support organizations in a volunteer capacity, we would like to hear from you.

Register by completing the webform to be on the list today!

Need a grant writer?

If you or your organization is in need of a grant writer, or grant reviewer, please email Cultural Services for our list of writers.

Past grant recipients

Learn more about the organizations and projects we have supported through our grants.

Professional operating grant recipients

In 2020, a total of $165,000 was awarded to five organizations. The professional operating grant recipients are listed below in alphabetical order.

NameAmount Received
Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art $26,000 
Ballet Kelowna $36,000 
New Vintage Theatre                     $20,000 
Okanagan Symphony Orchestra Society $62,000 
Opera Kelowna $21,000
General operating grant recipients

The general operating grant program received 18 applications requesting a total of $137,000 in funding. All 18 applications were successful, and $109,300 in funding was awarded. The general operating grant recipients are listed below in alphabetical order:

NameAmount Received
Arts Council of the Central Okanagan $14,500
BC Old Time Fiddlers $3,500 
Central Okanagan Heritage Society $6,500 
Centre Culturel Francophone de L’Okanagan $10,500 
Chamber Music Kelowna $10,000 
Cool Arts Society $15,500 
Creative Okanagan Artist and Event Development Society $5,000 
Dolyna Ukrainian Cultural Society $5,000 
Inner Fish Theatre Society $3,650 
Inspired Word Café $4,650 
Kelowna City Concert Band        $5,000
Kelowna Pipe Band $5,000 
Kiwanis Music Festival $8,500 
Okanagan Festival Singers $4,500 
Okanagan Historical Society $5,500 
Ponderosa Spinners and Weavers$2,000 
Sing for Your Life Foundation    $5,000 
Theatre Kelowna Society $5,000
Project grant recipients

The project grant program received 12 applications requesting a total of $99,000 in funding. Eleven of these applications were successful and $55,000 in funding was awarded. The project grant recipients are listed in alphabetical order below:

Creative Okanagan - Eurydice: $7,000 - postponed
A play based on the myth of Eurydice and Orpheus featuring seven semi-professional actors, original work by a contemporary musician and costumes by a local fibre artist. 

Inspired Word Café – Kickoff Classic Poetry Slam: $1,500
An all-ages, audience participation, literary event where poets compete over three rounds for cash prizes. 

Inspired Word Café - Metamorphosis Cabaret: $2,000 - postponed
Acts will be presented in a cabaret style with a range from dance, to comedy, to poetry. Workshops will follow the next day focused on public speaking, poetry, performance and community engagement.

KCR - Diversity and Inclusion Capacity Building Workshop: $4,000
Developing the curriculum for a workshop series focusing on intercultural and diversity awareness to deliver as a pilot program to the creative sector. 

Kelowna Canadian Italian Club – Oral History Project: $2,000
Collecting and preserving the personal histories of our Italian Community. Interviews will be conducted, recorded, edited and compiled into a collection that will tell their stories.

Kelowna Taiwanese Cultural Society - Kelowna Taiwanese Cultural Festival: $3,000 - postponed
A festival to showcase and celebrate the Taiwanese culture while fostering appreciation of diversity within the community. 

KVPACS - Culture Days Kelowna Hub: $10,000
Turning the Rotary Centre for the Arts into a hub for the national Culture Days weekend. 

KVPACS - Exploration Dance: $4,500
Dance classes and for persons with or without disabilities and two public performances. 

Okanagan Comedy Festival Society – Okanagan Comedy Festival: $5,000 - postponed
Welcoming Canada’s best comedic talent to the Okanagan, giving locals and tourists a good laugh before they return to work or school. 

Theatre Kelowna Society - OZone Theatre Festival: $6,000 - postponed
This theatre festival presents seven to eight community theatre presenters from the Okanagan Valley; 2020 is Kelowna’s year to host. 

Community art grant recipients

Ana Luyben Eries – Empowered Women of the Okanagan 

In late 2019, local artist Ana Luyben Eries received a Community Art grant for her project, Empowered Women of the Okanagan. The project was designed to highlight the attributes of real women who built up this community and to explore the concept of self-empowerment with the community. Portraits were painted of local women in the Okanagan and their stories were collected and posted alongside the portrait. Community members were invited to participate in the project by contributing their thoughts on empowerment for the artist to compile. This project is ongoing and expected to be completed in late 2020. 

Uptown Rutland Business Association – Rutland Mural Fest 

In 2019, the Uptown Rutland Business Association (URBA) received a Community Art grant for its inaugural Rutland Mural Festival. In collaboration with local businesses in the Rutland area, seven murals were painted over the Summer to enhance the vibrancy and sense of ownership for residents in the Rutland area. Students from Rutland Senior Secondary were invited to participate in the project, learn about painting murals and try their hand at mural painting in the Rutland Lions Park. The murals were completed in August of 2019 and URBA is hoping to host this festival as an annual event. 

Okanagan Chinese Canadian Association – Chinatown Heritage Mural 

In 2018, we funded the Okanagan Chinese Canadian Association to create a mural on the building of the Kelowna Gospel Mission in memory of the historic Chinatown in Kelowna. Multiple sessions were held to intake ideas, designs and quotes from the community at large. Mr. Charles Chau, a Kelowna resident and renowned artist from Hong Kong, led the project with his idea Seeds of Hope. Local residents and the Kelowna Gospel Mission were invited to participate in the preparation and painting of the mural. The mural was completed in June of 2019. 

Overview of grants
General operating grants - Closed for 2021

General operating grants are available to arts, culture and heritage organizations that carry out most of their work in Kelowna. These grants support the operations of the organization, but are not to be used for start-up, events or capital projects. This grant acknowledges the work these organizations do and how they positively contribute to Kelowna's quality of life, identity and economy. Grants are extended to recipients who demonstrate vision, accountability and a spirit of community service in their operations.

The 2021 General Operating Program is closed.

Project grants - Closed for 2021

Project grants are available to community organizations that provide a festival, event or project that feature arts, culture and/or heritage for the benefit of Kelowna residents. Eligible organizations are not required to be from the arts, culture or heritage sector.

All festivals, events and projects must be accessible to the public, offer a unique experience and prominently feature arts, culture or heritage content. Funding is provided for up to a maximum of three years on a matching 50/50 basis.

The 2021 Project Program is closed.

Organization development grants - open in-take

Organization development grants aim to assist non-profit organizations in undertaking activities or initiatives that will develop the organization’s capacity and sustainability. Funding can be used to cover 100% of the consulting or tuition/registration costs, to a maximum of $5,000. Two or more organizations may partner on an organization development project and undertake joint planning or training.

Due to the nature of the program, applicants will be asked to work directly with our staff to complete a screening tool to determine project eligibility. An application form will be provided for projects determined to be eligible.

Deadline: Open in-take for 2020

More information, including contact information, program guidelines and the screening tool is available on our main grants page.

Community art grants - closed for 2020

Community art is a collaborative, collective creative process between a professional artist and the community. It encourages the creation of publicly accessible artworks, fosters community pride and identity, and reflects the diversity of the community. One or more projects will be considered each year based on the applications received and reviewed by the Public Art Committee. Funding is provided on a matching 50/50 basis. We welcome proposals for projects using either traditional or new art practices. 

It’s advised that applicants should connect with Cultural Services Staff at culture@kelowna.ca prior to completing an application to determine eligibility. 

Professional operating grants - Closed for 2020

Professional operating grants are here to provide consistent and reliable annual support to professional, established non-profit arts and cultural organizations which provide impactful, quality programs and services, demonstrate sustainable operations and contribute to the realization of our cultural vision, principals and goals as outlined in the Cultural Plan. Funding assists these organizations with operational sustainability and enables them to develop and deliver their wonderful programs and services to the community.

Deadline for 2020 Annual Reports: December 13, 3 p.m. PST