Located in the heart of Kelowna’s Cultural District, the Rotary Centre for the Arts is a multidisciplinary visual and performing arts centre.

We continually strive to improve the economic, cultural and social quality of life in the community by fostering the participation in, and appreciation of the arts.

As a world-class venue celebrating creative expression through diverse art forms and disciplines, the Rotary Centre for the Arts is a unique City of Kelowna facility in which individuals of all ages and backgrounds can come together to share in the excitement of strengthening art and culture in the Okanagan.

History

Officially opened on November 2nd, 2002, the Rotary Centre for the Arts is a multi-purpose venue designed to accommodate special events, theatre, music and visual arts. The space on which the Rotary Centre for the Arts now sits was once home to the historical Growers Supply Building.

During the early 1990s, the need for an arts facility became increasingly evident. With cultural tourism on the rise, the Kelowna Visual and Performing Arts Centre Society (KVPACS) wanted to see the old Growers Supply building turned into a cultural centre for amateur arts and commercial businesses related to the arts.

Their vision became a reality in 1993 when the Kelowna City council agreed to a feasibility study to be carried out on the old Growers Supply Building. In 1998, Hotson Bakker Architects of Vancouver were chosen to design the Rotary Centre for the Arts and by 2001 its construction was complete.

Named after the Central Okanagan Rotary Clubs, the Rotary Centre for the Arts is the hub of Kelowna’s arts and cultural scene. By enhancing the existing former Growers Supply warehouse with a studio, rehearsal space, a bistro and small retail spaces, the RCA remains a part of Kelowna’s industrial past while embracing its status as a modern, multi-purpose arts and performance centre… more

Mission

To celebrate, nurture, and promote the Arts
through diversity, entertainment, and education.

Vision

To be the heart of
Kelowna’s Arts & Cultural experience.

Our Core Values…

  • Diversity

    Our strength relies on the diversity of people, ideas, perspectives
    and cultural backgrounds in our work, programming and team.
  • Collaboration

    with artists and arts organizations, governments, community partners,
    and businesses in pursuit of mutual goals and richer cultural experiences.
  • Access

    Provide the opportunity for all people of all ages, abilities
    and backgrounds to actively engage and participate in the Arts.
  • Excellence

    Maintain the highest standards of programming, professionalism,
    financial management, and leadership across board, staff and volunteer members.
  • Education

    Advance Arts education through fostering creativity, ongoing innovation,
    outreach, multicultural offerings, and supporting SD23 curriculum.
  • Advocacy

    We advocate for a social environment that values and supports
    artists and arts organizations, and encourages excellence in all art forms.

Thank you to our countless volunteers and supporters.

The Rotary Centre for the Arts exists thanks to those who served on committees and boards,
and supported feasibility studies and fundraisers over the past years.

KVPACS
BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Kelowna Visual and Performing Arts Centre Society (KVPACS) is a non-profit society managing the Rotary Centre for the Arts. We are governed by a volunteer board of directors.

(back row L-R) Shirley Dreja, Lisa Murray, Wade Klaver, Louis Blom, Ralph Rohrlack, Jenn Thatcher, Liza Wood, (front row L-R) Ed McLean, Denise Kenney, Gorden James, Christopher Wiebe, Shawn Harrison, (missing) Murray Bye

VICE PRESIDENT, Christopher Wiebe

Christopher Wiebe was called to the British Columbia Bar in 2002. His practice areas at Farris, Vaughan, Wills and Murphy LLP include labour and employment law and general litigation. Chris advises and represents businesses, employers and individual clients on a wide range of contract, labour and employment matters.

SECRETARY, Louis Blom

Louis Blom graduated from Thompson Rivers University (formerly University College of the Cariboo) with a Bachelor of Business Administration. He obtained his Chartered Accountant designation in 2003 while working for KPMG in Kelowna. Subsequently, Louis was the CFO for a uranium exploration company as well as a diamond exploration company. From 2010 until early 2015 he was the Controller for Sherritt’s interest in a nickel mine located in Cuba. Currently he is working for a contract drilling company located in Kelowna.

TREASURER, Shawn Harrison

Shawn Harrison is employed with Interior Savings Credit Union, his current position is acting Manager, Financial Accounting within the Finance Department at the corporate head office in Kelowna. Shawn obtained his Bachelors of Business Administration at Okanagan College in 2008 and completed the Chartered Accountant designation in 2011 while working at local accounting firms in Kelowna. Shawn also serves as Secretary on the Board for the Okanagan chapter of the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia and on the Finance Committee of the Rotary Centre of the Arts.

Shawn calls Kelowna his home and enjoys everything it has to offer, including its thriving art scene, wineries, trail running, hiking and the scenic back roads to ride fast through on his motorbike.

DIRECTOR, Murray Bye

Murray Bye started his career in public practice in 1984 with Arthur Andersen in Toronto. After starting a family, Murray returned to Sault Ste. Marie in 1988 and joined a local practice for three years. In 2001 he moved to St. Catharines as a partner at Crawford, Smith and Swallow, one of the largest public accounting firms in the Niagara region. Murray has spent most of his career providing tax, consulting, accounting, and assurance services to a wide range of industries, both large and small. His comprehensive experience includes large manufacturing, fruit co-operatives, software developers, credit unions, and privately held businesses.

In 2004, Murray moved to Kelowna to enjoy life on Canada’s beautiful West Coast and join Crowe MacKay LLP. He became a partner in 2006, and then took over as managing director of the Kelowna office in 2009. In August 2011, Murray took on the role of CEO for the
firm, while continuing to manage the Kelowna office. In January 2014, Murray became the firm’s first full time CEO.

In April 2016, after over 30 years in public practice Murray left his role at Crowe Mackay LLP to pursue more entrepreneurial opportunities. Currently Murray is the CEO of Piscine Energetics Inc., a local company that has been removing Mysis shrimp, an invasive zooplankton, from Lake Okanagan for well over a decade. Piscine Energetics processes this as a frozen fish food as well as a leading ingredient in both fish pellets and fish flakes. The products are sold around the globe under the branded trademark name PE MYSIS®.

DIRECTOR, Brian Curley

Brian Curley graduated from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2010 with an MBA. He also obtained his CPA, CMA accounting designation while working with Bell Canada in roles spanning financial planning, marketing and corporate strategy.

Brian moved to the Okanagan 6 years ago with his wife and two boys. He currently works for Disney Studios as Senior Manager, Finance and Operations.

DIRECTOR, Manik Dhir

Having completed his education in operations management, engineering and project management at a young age, Manik decided to venture into the entrepreneurial world at the age of 25.

With varied business interests throughout B.C, locally, he is the owner of Hollywood Market and eMDee’s Indian Bistro in Kelowna. He is also the Managing Director for Epitome Holdings Inc. where he is responsible for leasing, project management and property management for the assets in the portfolio.

Manik believes in continuous improvement and as such is enrolled in the Masters of Management program at UBCO with an intended graduation of 2019.

DIRECTOR, Shirley Dreja

Shirley Dreja has had a long and diverse career in the bookkeeping and accounting field, the longest of which was for a major oil & gas company in Calgary. The last eight years of her working life was serving as Financial Services Coordinator for the Rotary Centre for the Arts. Since her retirement, she has been a volunteer at the RCA. She also serves on the executives of Kelowna Grandmothers for Africa and Harvest Ladies Golf Club.

She feels that visual and performing arts are indispensable to a vibrant city, providing the heart and soul, and the Rotary Centre for the Arts is a wonderful centre to facilitate and promote this culture.

DIRECTOR, Gorden James

Gorden James is an accomplished singer/songwriter who describes his style as urban country, easy listening, with a touch of the blues. His debut album, Heart of the Matter, continues to get airplay across Canada and overseas and he was recently featured on CMT Canada’s “Big in a Small Town”.

When James isn’t performing, he spends his time on charitable work including volunteering with Kelowna Hospice, the BC Cancer Agency Cancer Lodge, and Soles4Souls, an organization that provides shoes to people that need them in Canada and around the world.

DIRECTOR, Wade Klaver

Wade Klaver works in research computing at UBC’s Okanagan campus serving researchers there as well as the greater research community at UBC. Wade began his career in Canada’s oil and gas sector, eventually coming to UBC after more than a decade spent with various high tech start-ups in the Okanagan Valley where he worked in several technical and managerial roles.

A science enthusiast from an early age, Wade’s varied interests and technology experience have prepared him well as a science communicator, effectively bridging the gap between science and technology on one hand and laymen and, whenever possible, the young, on the other.

Wade lives with his wife and two children in the downtown area of Kelowna, walking distance from the Rotary Centre for the Arts.

DIRECTOR, Ed McLean

Ed McLean enjoyed a highly varied educational career, serving as a teacher, vice principal, principal, college regional dean and international college director, with successful assignments in British Columbia, the Canadian Arctic, the Arabian Gulf, China, Turkey and Africa. He has been the Habitat for Humanity Okanagan director since 2010, board chair since 2012; Okanagan Institute director, 2010-2015; CORD Advisory Planning Council member since 2014; Kelowna Film Society vice chair, selection committee chair, and scholarship committee member since 2012; Wilsons Landing Fire Department volunteer firefighter since 2010.

Previously Ed served as a Vernon school trustee, school board vice chair, Vernon Parks and Recreation board member, and Okanagan Regional Library board member. Ed has always been highly active in community events as well as in recreational activities involving private flying, gliding, mountain trekking and scuba diving. He has visited more than 80 countries.

DIRECTOR, Ralf Rohrlack

Ralf is a retired Graphic & Architectural Designer (Greystoke Design). He has been actively involved in various aspects of the RCA since its inception.

DIRECTOR, Jenn Thatcher

Jenn Thatcher is currently Director of People and Culture at Quails Gate Winery. She is chair of the Advisory Council for the Southern Interior for Chartered Professionals in Human Resources (CPHR) of BC & Yukon. Previously she was Director of Human Resources for inSite Housing, Hospitality and Health Services Inc. and Human Resources Manager – Western Canada for Okanagan Spring Brewery.

DIRECTOR, Liza Wood

Liza Wood is currently Executive Producer at Disney Studios. She was previously at WB Studios in Montreal. Her background is in Engineering, Project Management, and the Video Game industry. Her strength is in managing growth and change, while balancing the social and technical needs of the organization.

Liza moved to Kelowna in December 2016. She is an avid amateur photographer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Our Impact, Annually

240,000

Visitors / year to our building

29,000

Tickets sold to events last year

4,900

Youth Arts Students / year