Arts and culture are once again set to take centre stage in Kelowna as BC Culture Days, which is part of the national Culture Days celebration that takes place across the country every September, kicks off this week. This year’s theme, RE:IMAGINE, focuses on "the commitment to building tangible change into the future of arts and culture" as we collectively move towards a "post-pandemic world." The 2021 Culture Days celebrations will once again take place for a whole month—running from September 24 to October 24—meaning there is even more programming to enjoy. All of the events are free to attend, though most are accepting optional pay-what-you-may donations for admission.

The Kelowna Culture Days kick-off reception takes place at the Rotary Centre for the Arts (RCA) on Friday, September 24, from 5-5:45 p.m., followed by a 90-minute jazz jam. The in-person event, which does have limited capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions, will be opened with a land acknowledgement from Elder, Grouse Barnes, as well as an address and welcome from Mayor Basran and RCA Executive Director, Colleen Fitzpatrick. The reception will also include poetry from Emcee, Rawle James, as well as a bellydance performance by local dancer, Leona.

Rove and Be Entertained

On Saturday, September 25, from 7-10 p.m., join in the  Cultural District Roving Audience Experience, a self-guided, outdoor experience where attendees will make their way around downtown Kelowna's Cultural District to watch six different performances throughout the evening (or pick and choose the ones they are most interested in).

This event—which is proudly presented by Tourism Kelowna and the RCA, thanks to sponsorship from the Downtown Kelowna Association (DKA) and to support from Festivals Kelowna and Peak Technologies—will feature performances from Opera KelownaEvolve Arts CollectiveInspired Word Cafe (IWC)Kinfolk Nation, The Isadorables, and Jazz duo, Zach Griffin & Cole Smith. 

Programs for the event, which include a map, will be available at the RCA or the Kelowna Visitor Centre on the day of the event. Social distancing and mask-wearing at each checkpoint are strongly encouraged and seating is limited at most locations. A list of public washrooms is available on our website.  

Watch and Learn

Beef up your culinary prowess and add new recipes to your repertoire with the Culture Cuisine Web Series. The RCA will release a new episode of the series each Friday in October (except October 29). Not only will you be able to switch things up in the kitchen, but you'll also gain cultural knowledge from local cooks and chefs, as they prepare a dish that represents their culture. The series will include Mexican, Korean, Ukrainian, and Jamaican dishes.

Explore and Discover

The City of Kelowna and Kelowna Museums Society will be hosting free walking tours of Kelowna’s Cultural District each Saturday throughout BC Culture Days. The 2 km walk, which starts at the Kelowna Visitor Centre, will explore the city’s past and present, perfect for history buffs and art lovers. The tours will follow all current public health orders. Registration takes place at the beginning of each tour, which will run from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

This is just a small sampling of the events taking place in and around Kelowna for BC Culture Days. Click here to find out what else you can explore throughout the month!

Sharing photos of your experiences on social media? Be sure to include #exploreKelowna, #KelownaCultureDays, and #BCCultureDays.

Header Image: Okanagan Mexican Folklore Dance Group performing at the Rotary Centre for the Arts during Culture Days 2018