KELOWNA – The Rotary Centre for the Arts in Kelowna has received $30,000 as part of the 2015-16 Collaborative Spaces pilot project, which encourages innovation and partnership between arts organizations through the sharing of space and specialized equipment.

The Rotary Centre for the Arts is a thriving incubator for arts and culture creation, presentation and education in the Okanagan—home to six arts organizations, 10 resident artists, four public gallery spaces and a 300-seat theatre. The project will support the purchase of specialized equipment to increase the scope and profile of their work, helping to grow their impact on the local creative economy.

“It’s no surprise the Rotary Centre for the Arts is located in the heart of Kelowna’s cultural district,” says Norm Letnick, MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country. “This world-class venue does so much to improve the cultural, social and economic quality of life in our community.”

“The Rotary Centre for the Arts does great work to strengthen arts and culture in Kelowna,” says Steve Thomson, MLA for Kelowna-Mission. “In helping this organization work together with other local arts groups, that positive relationship with our community can’t help but become even stronger.”

Collaborative arts spaces are an important contributor to British Columbia’s growing creative economy. These creative clusters (or “hubs”) are mixed-use, flexible spaces that blend educational, recreational and cultural engagement uses to generate new artistic opportunities, enhance accessibility and strengthen local economies.

By infusing funds into targeted projects, the Collaborative Spaces pilot project is intended to expand their audience reach, range of programming opportunities or shared administrative services through the renovation of spaces and/or the purchase of specialized equipment.

“This pilot project will support artistic creation and expression, and the creative people who drive the B.C. Jobs Plan,” says Premier Christy Clark, MLA for Westside-Kelowna. “These funds will give the Rotary Centre for the Arts even greater capacity to help drive B.C.’s creative economy.”

The Province will invest $1.5 million in collaborative spaces opportunities over three years, as part of the new Creative Economy Strategy.

Further details about the 2016-17 Collaborative Spaces program will be released in June 2016. This program will include an open call for applications to qualifying not-for-profit arts and culture groups throughout the province.

Quick Facts:

  • Launched in February 2016, the three-year Creative Economy Strategy will help grow the creative sector.
  • The strategy focuses on four key areas:
    • Leveraging talent and creative clusters.
    • Accessing new markets.
    • Maximizing investment.
    • Enriching communities.
  • The United Nations has identified the creative economy as one of the world’s fastest-growing sectors for income generation, job creation and export earnings.
  • With 24,800 artists, B.C. has more artists per capita than any other province.
  • The B.C. Government is spending more than $60 million on artists, arts and culture organizations in 2015-16, including about $17.5 million in community gaming grants.

For more information about the Creative Economy Strategy, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/creativeeconomy.