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Cultural Facilities Master Plan gets glowing review from Kelowna council

The plan looks at how city-owned cultural facilities are used in support of cultural programming
Kelowna Rotary Centre for the Arts is one of six city-owned cultural facilities (File photo/Kelowna Cap News)

Kelowna City council has adopted its Cultural Facilities Master Plan, after being approved in principle in April 2021.

The plan looks at how city-owned cultural facilities are used in Kelowna in support of cultural programming, the opportunities and challenges related to city-owned cultural facilities, and what next steps are needed to enhance Kelowna’s cultural space to meet current and future needs.

The key recommendations and action items in the plan are working collaboratively with the community to understand specific needs, support sustainability of those delivering services in the community, strengthen processes for investment prioritization, rethink where space can be created, and make meaningful investments in amplifying existing spaces.

Coun. Brad Sieben was impressed overall by the plan.

“I think having a prioritization exercise that each division of the city is involved in, and ultimately that flows back to council from a budgetary standpoint to put all the different priorities together, whether it be culture, recreation, infrastructure and find out through council’s lens what is the priority based on staff recommendations is a really good process to do that. I look forward to seeing what that unveils because there is a finite amount of resources that can be spread around, and I think we have to manage the expectations of the public.”

A report from city staff indicated that in the short-term residents can expect to see, cultural facility renewal and development; implementation of a City of Kelowna prioritization tool; reserve funds for municipally-owned cultural facilities; clarity with available spaces for cultural programming; creation of a Creative Hub at 350 Doyle, including a civic plaza and Art Walk extension; consultation of the local creative sector in planning processes; adaptive re-use of city-owned heritage assets; and a long-term facility asset management strategy.

There are six municipally owned cultural facilities:

  • Kelowna Community Theatre
  • Kelowna Art Gallery
  • Rotary Centre for the Arts
  • Okanagan Heritage Museum
  • Okanagan Military Museum
  • Laurel Packinghouse

Read More: Kelowna Art Gallery exhibit showcases students’ learning on Indigenous culture

Read More: New non-profit focuses on revamping Kelowna Community Theatre


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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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