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.

2020 grant recipients

Congratulations to our 2020 professional operating, general operating and project grantees!

Professional operating grant recipients

In 2020, a total of $165,000 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 $4,500 
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:

ARTSCO - Fringe Festival: $10,000
Presenting 12 companies and performers from across the globe and bringing a diverse range of 60 mind-blowing performances to Kelowna over a four-day festival.

Creative Okanagan - Eurydice: $7,000
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
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
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
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
This theatre festival presents seven to eight community theatre presenters from the Okanagan Valley; 2020 is Kelowna’s year to host. 

Overview of grants
General operating grants - Closed for 2020

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.

Project grants - Closed for 2020

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.

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 is used to pay for consulting services or for tuition in reputable programs. Organization development grants are a type of project grant, and are available for up to 50 per cent of the total project cost, to a maximum of $5,000. Matching contributions may be cash or in-kind. 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. 

Deadline: Open in-take

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, 3p.m. PST