As the fourth pillar of sustainability, we take culture seriously and strive to weave it into all aspects of civic planning and life in Kelowna. To achieve this, Kelowna's first Cultural Plan (2012-2017) was launched in 2012 to encourage and integrate local culture within all neighbourhoods of Kelowna. Since then, significant progress has been made in implementing 2012-2017 Cultural Plan goals and strategies. Many organizations continue to thrive, and new organizations and venues have emerged. Major initiatives such as the Bernard Avenue revitalization, the Civic Block Plan, the relocation of the RCMP, completion of new parkades and the opening of the Okanagan Centre for Innovation have had an impact on the landscape of the Cultural District.
Affordability of spaces for living, working and creating is an issue for many artists. In addition, key buildings in the City's inventory of cultural infrastructure such as the Kelowna Community Theatre and the Okanagan Heritage Museum continue to age, with mounting structural deficits, as new buildings go up around them.
While we realize that as an organization we do not create culture, our role is to facilitate and promote culture by providing vision, goals and adopting strong policies. An update to the Cultural Plan is intended to respond to changes and challenges and set a direction for the next five years from 2020-2025.
Over the next year, we'll be working to update the Cultural Plan, and we want you to be involved!
We sought community input on the Cultural Plan's current goals, how they are prioritized, and if anything is missing from the goals. We also collected feedback on strategies on how to work towards the goals - what can residents, organizations or what we can do. Review the goals and their definitions, and stay tuned for the first draft of the Plan's Vision, Key Themes, Goals and Strategies.
From July 16 to September 3, we were seeking your feedback to influence the Cultural Plan's vision. Survey responses helped us develop an understanding of what culture means to the community.
We invited individuals, organizations, businesses and collectives of diverse histories and practices to play an active part in the process of shaping the 2020-2025 Cultural Plan by “Hosting Your Own Engagement” event with their staff, board, volunteers, members or the general public.
A total of 13 conversations received grants but many more conversations occurred. The conversations were held in many different forms and drilled down into a variety of important topics such as live music, literary arts and integrating culture with well-being.
Thank you to all of our "Host Your Own Engagement" hosts!
- BC Interior Jazz Festival
- Cental Okanagan Heritage Society
- Craig Siemens and Kris Hargrave
- Dena Milanese
- Festivals Kelowna
- Inspired Word Cafe Society
- Jo McKechnie
- Kelowna Arts Council
- Kelowna Art Gallery
- Kelowna Community Resources
- Kelowna Museums Society
- Kelowna Visual and Performing Arts Centre Society
- New Vintage Theatre Society
- Okanagan coLab
- Tourism Kelowna
- UBCO African Caribbean Student Club
Feedback from these events will be used in the development of the Plan's goals and strategies.
On October 31, 2011 council reviewed the plan and directed staff to move forward with non-monetary recommendations and return with recommendations from the plan during annual budget deliberations and as needs and opportunities arose.
Cultural development in Kelowna began in the early 1970's when a committee formed to study the possibilities of developing a 'Cultural Arts Centre' in Kelowna. In 1989, a Mayor's Task Force was established to create our first cultural policy. Updated most recently in 2010, this policy gives form, support and provides direction for the cultural development in the city.
Over the past 20 years, significant progress has been made to integrate arts and culture into overall community planning and deliver cultural services to residents and visitors. Early work led to the establishment of a number of cultural facilities, the Cultural District, a granting process, and the establishment of a Cultural Services branch in 2001.