The Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art is a registered non-profit charitable 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 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.
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.
About Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art
What We Do:
- Support emerging and alternative local artists by, for instance, providing studio space, workshops, mentorship, opportunities to show work in the gallery, 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.
As a registered charitable organization, we require two things to keep our program robust and valuable: your interest and your financial support.
- $1600: Main Gallery exhibition
- $1000: Travel expenses to bring an out-of-town artist to Kelowna
- $750: 3 Month Artist-Co-op in studio 111 for a local artist
- $500: Community Gallery exhibition
How Do Artists Benefit?
Artists who have a regular outlet for their creative energies are productive within their community and connected to it. The young people who develop their talents at the Alternator Centre grow in confidence, not just in how they apply their art, but in how they view their importance within their community. Confidence is itself a regular outcome of the individuals who spend some time with us. That confidence is translated into other facets of their lives, just as athletes find ways to inculcate their own learnings and outcomes.
How Does the Community Benefit?
The act of creation is the essence of our purpose and is an essential component to our progress as a civilization. When we support the creative talent of young artists, we encourage culture, which humanizes us. Through our public outreach activities, which include a diverse selection of workshops, artist talks, and alternative events, we encourage dialogue here in our community. A community with a strong and regenerating artistic culture is a rich one. When our artists are engaged in artistic expression, they find a focus for their lives. They develop the ability to question, to reject conventional thinking, to open their minds to what isn’t always obvious, to persevere and to collaborate. What better gifts could we give the young artists of our own community than to encourage the ethics of hard work, creative expression and collaboration?
What People Are Saying
"Love what the Alternator does - continue to take risks, you bring a really unique perspective to the local arts scene. "
— Gallery Visitor
"It's great to see art from local artists, and non-traditional pieces. I love interactive art, and art that combines technology and an appeal for younger audiences."
— Alternator Member