About the Alternator Centre

The Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of our creative community.

Since 1989, the Alternator has shown the work of emerging Canadian artists and helped develop the talents of local artists by providing a network of collaboration and sharing. We foster energetic, creative, critical discussion on art & culture. We believe in the greater positive potential of our creative community and value our role as key contributors to the cultural life of Kelowna and beyond.

The Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art is run by the Okanagan Artists Alternative Association.

Vision & Mandate  |  What We Do  |  Supporters  |  Submissions

Shyra De Souza, Phantom Limb, July 24 - September 5, 2015

Vision & Mandate

We seek to foster a Centre, a community, and art practice that is:


Art is produced, consumed, and interpreted within a social context and has a vital social and cultural role. We seek to foster art/new media practice that is engaged in contemporary social issues of importance to our community and, in particular, challenges normative constructions of art, identity, and value.


We value experimental forms of art production and exhibition and we seek to cultivate hybrid modes of expression with the goal of fostering a dynamic exchange between artist, art, and audience.


We value connection and exchange. We seek to transcend boundaries between artistic and intellectual disciplines by bringing together a diverse range of cultural workers. Further, we seek to integrate our work in our community by fostering formal and informal collaborations with other arts, education, non-profit, and social justice organizations.

We envision our artist run-centre as a welcoming site for radical art-making and community-building. We have two primary goals:

  • First, we seek to provide support and resources to emerging and alternative artists in the Okanagan region;
  • Second, we seek to inspire our members as well as the broader community by showcasing local, national, and international work that is engaged in its social context and that disturbs and transcends dominant constructions of art, identity, and value.

We recognize that our work takes place in a context, and so we seek to engage with our history and our community, and particularly our presence in unceded Syilx territory. We are a collaborative and community-building centre that develops relationships to share knowledge and ideas.

Robert Taite, Acrow Pillow Prop, September 18 - October 29, 2016

What We Do

  • Support emerging and alternative local artists by, for instance, providing studio space, audio-video production facilities, workshops, mentorship, opportunities to show work in the gallery and online, as well as networks of collaboration and sharing.
  • Support exhibitions and projects that are engaged, experimental, and collaborative; specifically exhibitions that transcend the boundaries of normative understandings of the gallery space to engage with the broader community, including satellite exhibitions, site-specific, performative and/or interactive (components of) exhibitions, presentations, film-screenings, talking-circles, etc.
  • Provide a sustainable structure for the support of artists and alternative arts. We believe that the state has an obligation to foster and support artistic culture but also believe that an artist-run centre depends upon its membership for its culture, management, operations, and vibrancy. We are committed to supporting people to live as artists by paying CAR/FAC,or other nationally recognized standard scale and wages. We recognize our role as a dynamic collective body within the physical and social environments of the Okanagan.

Amy Malbeuf, apihkew, May 13 - June 25, 2016


The Alternator is supported by funding from the federal, provincial and municipal levels of government, private foundations and community organizations, business and private sponsorships and donations, and earned revenues that include membership fees, voluntary admissions, and revenues from fundraising events.

Operational Support

Project Support

Community Support

Robert Jenkins, Okanagan Mountain Park, 2011


Since 1989 the Alternator has shown the work of emerging Canadian and international artists with an experimental approach, particularly those engaged in social and cultural issues.

Please visit our submissions page to see all the guidelines and criteria for making a submission for exhibiting in our gallery.

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