Cultural Grants

We offer six 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.

2024 Cultural Grant applications are now closed. 

Thank you for all your submissions, cultural grants are now closed for 2024. Submissions for 2025 will open this fall. 

Overview of grants
Organization development grants

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.

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

Please apply through the online application system.

Community art grants

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. Grants are available for up to 100% of the total project cost, to a maximum of $5,000. 

We welcome proposals for projects using either traditional or new art practices by emerging or professional artists, collectives as well as registered non-profit organizations. 

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

Please apply through the online application system. 

General Operating grants

Accepting grant applications for 2025 in fall 2024.

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.

For more information, view the program guidelines.

Project grants

Accepting grant applications for 2025 in fall 2024.

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.

For more information, view the program guidelines.

Core Operating grants

Core 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.

For more information about the program, view the program guidelines.

Adaptability and sustainability program

Closed for 2023

The Adaptability and Sustainability Program is more than a financial contribution to the organization. It provides an opportunity to assess current levels of adaptability, learn a framework to explore adaptability, identify actions to foster adaptability and to re-assess to determine the impact of those actions.

Participating organizations are guided through a consultant-led planning process and provides a one-time grant of $5,000 towards the development and implementation of an organization Sustainability Plan. 

 

 

In addition to our Arts and Culture grants we offer a variety of grant opportunities each year focusing on other areas such as events, social development and park and neighbourhood improvement initiatives. 

EXPLORE ALL THE PROGRAMS AND APPLY ONLINE 

Check out the FAQs on our grant webpage to steer through any challenges you may be facing.

Photo Guidelines

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 includes waiver templates.

Past grant recipients

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

Core operating grant recipients

In 2024, a total of $180,200 was awarded to five organizations. The core operating grant recipients are listed below in alphabetical order.

NameAmount Received
Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art $28,395
Ballet Kelowna $39,315
New Vintage Theatre                     $21,850
Okanagan Symphony Orchestra Society $67,705
Opera Kelowna $22,935
General operating grant recipients

The General Operating grant program received 17 applications requesting a total of $137,500 in funding. Of theses, 15 applications were successful, and $117,700 in funding was awarded. The General Operating grant recipients are listed below in alphabetical order:

NameAmount Received
Arts Council of the Central Okanagan $8,500
Central Okanagan Heritage Society $9,000 
Centre Culturel Francophone de L’Okanagan $9,500 
Chamber Music Kelowna $10,000 
Cool Arts Society $10,000 
Creative Okanagan Artist and Event Development Society$9,500
Dolyna Ukrainian Cultural Society $6,000
Inner Fish Theatre Society $9,200
Inspired Word Café $10,000
Kelowna City Concert Band        $5,000
Kelowna Kiwanis Festival$8,500
Kelowna Pipe Band Society$5,000
Okanagan Festival Singers$4,500
Okanagan Society of Independent Filmmakers$8,500
Ponderosa Fibre Arts Guild$4,500
Project grant recipients

The Project grant program received 13 applications requesting a total of $89,240 in funding, 11 of these applications were successful and $63,320 in funding was awarded. The project grant recipients are listed in alphabetical order below:

Aesthetiks Lab Society - Fashion WEEKend: $10,000
An event celebrating fashion as an art form by showcasing local and provincial fashion designers of all ages.

Creator's Arts Studio – Kelowna Dance Teacher Training Program: $3,120
A structured dance teacher training program that is multi-disciplinary and services the dance sector as a whole.

Global Citizens Events - Sustainable Development Challenge: $4,800
An opportunity for youth of all ages, from elementary to high school, to learn and create an art project showcasing one of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals

Inspired Word Cafe: $2,000
An event focused on the concept of ‘turning a new leaf’ in the arts by showcasing local talent, comedy and music. 

Kelowna Japanese Language Society - Japanese Language & Calligraphy: $5,000
Hosting weekly Japanese language and calligraphy classes.

Kelowna Salsa Bachata Kizomba Society – KizOwna: $10,000 
An international dance conference bringing together artists, DJs, and dancers to celebrate the dance and music of Kizomba 

Kelowna Taiwanese Cultural Society - Film Festival and Cultural Festival: $8,500
A festival to showcase and celebrate Taiwanese culture while fostering an appreciation of diversity within the community.

Niteo Africa – Stories around the world: $7,800 
A series of events celebrating multiculturalism through sharing cultural folktales and storytelling

Federation of Canadian Artists - Okanagan Branch Art Exhibition: $3,100
A Juried art exhibit featuring local artists with the addition of art exhibitions focused on youth artists and artists with diverse abilities.

Orchard Valley Quilters Guild - Kelowna Quilts workshop series: $4,000
A series of quilting workshops exploring various techniques offered to members of our community.

Upstage Kelowna Show Choir Society – Show Choir Concert: $5,000
A choir production enhanced with a variety of performance styles, visual effects and musical genres.  

Community art grant recipients

Larissa Beringer - Weaving the Wool Future

With an emphasis on the interwoven narrative between textiles, place and community, this project will explore what it means to create a local, handwoven, biodynamic textile. The geographic, environmental and cultural implications of using raw unspun wool sourced from the central Okanagan will guide the direction of this community art project. While focusing on the value of sourcing locally, the traceability of materials, and paying attention to the organic and sensorial qualities of sheep's wool, this project values direct material experiences and local artisanal skills. Weaving the Wool Future will culminate in a large rya tapestry using raw wool sourced from small grazing orchards that actively implement regenerative farming practices. The weaving will be collectively woven in a public space on a custom built, upright, warp-weighted loom constructed from wood sourced from a local mill.

Jorden Doody 

This is a community art project that will illuminate the dynamic intersection between historical and contemporary public art in Kelowna. As we celebrate innovation and collaboration, this artwork will weave each participants’ designs into a digital tapestry that will ripple and flow to the rhythm of original beats. With the use of digital mapping technology, we aim to enhance the cultural vibrancy in our downtown core by wrapping a landmark in an immaterial blanket of hypnotic illusion to cultivate an enigmatic artwork where contemplation and entertainment mingle freely. Using projected light to activate one of Kelowna’s landmarks, this project will brighten the night and showcase a visual experience celebrating the beauty of water in all its elemental forms. 

Sara Gagnon - Books of Hope

Through a series of workshops, the artist, Sara Gagnon will engage with a group of women who receive services from Karis Support Society for addiction and mental health challenges.  Through public engagement and outreach the artist will invoke words of hope, inspiration and wisdom to share with the community.  These inspirational phrases and words will be accompanied by custom illustrations created by the artist to produce Books of Hope.  These Books of Hope will then be distributed to the group along with other community members who will benefit from it.

BikeRide Collective (and Associates)- TRAILART

Inner fish and the Bike Ride Collective presented TRAILART a one-of-a-kind experience connecting art to this place and this land.  TRAILART was a public, outdoor, site-responsive performance along Kelowna's Rail Trail. It featured local artists performing various forms of creative and artistic theatre. Audience members navigated between performances on foot, bicycle, skateboard……or any human-powered vehicle suitable for the Rail Trail where audiences discovered interpretive dance, visual images, representative and metaphorical performances, live music, and more! 

Hanna Karin – Art For Change 

Art For Change was an inclusive, community-based exhibition featuring the creativity and innovation of local and international artisans finding earth-friendly solutions to postconsumer waste. Art For Change featured art, inventions, films, music, fashion and design. It included three exhibits (Jenga Jenga, Beauty In The Beast, and Think Big), one film fest and one fashion and design competition. 

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. 

 

Grant Writers

We are regularly asked if we know any grant writers in our community. In order to better serve our non-profit organizations, 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.