The Insider’s Guide to Underground Art, Theatre, and Music in Kelowna
Kelowna’s steady population growth over the last decade has incubated a vibrant contemporary arts scene.
While the Kelowna Art Gallery, the Rotary Centre for the Arts, and the Kelowna Community Theatre are all popular venues for art, music, and live entertainment; there’s a growing underground movement breathing new vibrancy into our city and inspiring a new wave of alternative Okanagan artists.
The independent collectives featured here let you experience local talent, learn new skills, and help build Kelowna’s arts community through volunteer engagement.
So get out and make some new friends, get inspired for your next creation, or rock out that original song or poem you’ve been working on.
1. New Arts Collective
Kelowna’s New Arts Collective (NAC) hosts local and visiting contemporary artists and musicians in their intimate studio spaces in the downtown core. Artists rent these spaces to produce art, deliver workshops, and host live performances. You can hear local bands playing live shows at centre stage or as an accompaniment to the NAC’s live theatre events.
The collective’s mission is to be a place where people can create and engage with Kelowna’s artistic community and learn from some of the Okanagan’s most skilled creatives.
The New Arts Collective is located downtown above the Starbucks at #5 375 Bernard Avenue and online at thenac.ca
2. Kelowna Actors’ Studio
The Kelowna Actors’ Studio is the place to be for exposure to theatre in Kelowna. As one of the oldest independent arts organizations in town, the Kelowna Actors’ Studio has provided the city with successful theatre productions for over 17 years.
The studio is primarily an educational facility for aspiring actors and theatre musicians, with a beautiful theater space complete with dinner seats, a full kitchen, and a licensed bar. The KAS Academy Foundation is a non-profit organization run by the Kelowna Actors’ Studio that offers performance art classes for high school students that count as Fine Arts or elective credits towards graduation.
Find the Kelowna Actors’ Studio across from the Kelowna Public Library at 1379 Ellis Street and online at kelownaactorsstudio.com
3. Inspired Word Café
The Inspired Word Café is a welcoming community for aspiring poets, enthusiasts or anyone looking for a fun way to spend an evening. The collective gathers a few times every month for a program of events running from September to April. These events include readings by local poets and visiting poets from across Canada, quarterly community slam poetry nights, and monthly open mic nights. The IWC also offers an educational component, with writing and performing workshops as well as workshops that offer emphasis on community development and accessibility to the arts that take place throughout their event calendar.
Check out the Inspired Word Café online at inspiredwordcafe.com and take a look at their calendar for their next live event.
4. New Vintage Theatre
Kelowna’s New Vintage Theatre is organized by a group of professional actors and artists who believe in making theatre productions exciting, engaging and community accessible. Their drama productions at the Kelowna Community Theatre, The Rotary Centre for the Arts, and vineyards throughout the Okanagan are fresh alternatives to traditional theatre.
Their year-round schedule of events has something for everyone; from classics like the famous Dracula, to innovative spins on popular stories like their live comedy soap opera, Game of Clones.
If you want to learn about acting and get some stage experience, The New Vintage Theatre offers performing arts classes for kids and teens.
Check out their schedule of classes and events online at newvintagetheatre.com/.