A Brief History


    1968 ARTSCO is founded (known as KADAC – Kelowna and District Arts Council until 2006)


    1974 – Honour in the Arts Award created in the City of Kelowna’s Civic Awards after lobbying by ARTSCO – this program continues to run today.


    1981 – ARTSCO opens new Art Centre at the corner of Bernard & Richter, which is now the French Cultural Centre


    1994 – ARTSCO expands its Civic Awards program to include a Teen Honour in the Arts Award


    1995 – Artscape Exhibition program begins – this program continues to run today.


    2006 – The Okanagan Arts Awards begins – this program continues to run today.


    2006 – Created and Hosted the Central Okanagan Open Studio Tour program.


    2007 – Okanagan Arts Magazine launches with the goal to highlight local artists and provide the general public a tangible resource for arts-related events and individuals in the Central Okanagan community. Magazine runs until 2008


    2010 – Forms Youth Arts Council. Youth Arts Council offered Open Mic nights, opportunities to exhibit work, mentorship, and networking for youth. Runs until 2012.


    2011 – Mad Hatter pop-up installation and sculpture exhibition begins. Runs until 2014.


    2013 – 60 Artists in 60 Spaces to Celebrate ARTSCO’s 60th Anniversary


    2015 – ARTSCO moves into the Rotary Centre for the Arts (RCA)

Our Vision

A vibrant and empowered arts community.

Our Mission

To serve the Central Okanagan’s artistic community and fuel the creative economy through advocacy, empowerment, and partnership.

Our Values

Collaborative: We work with local individuals and groups towards the creation and success of arts-based events, projects, and cultural experiences.

Regional: We specifically engage with and support people, projects, and groups in the Central Okanagan.

Effective: We have guidelines and best practices in place to achieve measurable and/or expected results in a timely, efficient and effective manner.

Advocates: We are an active part of a multitude of arts-related causes and ventures and are available and committed to assisting our members in ways that will help them and their work thrive, succeed, and be handled fairly in all situations.

Transparency: Our operations are fully transparent and performed with trust and integrity to the communities and members we serve.

Inclusive: We are fully inclusive and strive to continuously assess, improve and share our practices with both the arts and the greater community.

Vibrant: We foster the growth and survival of the arts in a way that is strong, impactful, and with a positive and memorable impression on the residents and visitors to the Central Okanagan.

Excellence: Our organization seeks to perform these values with professionalism, efficiency and excellence.

Our Staff

Kirsteen McCulloch, Executive Director

Kirsteen McCulloch is the Executive Director of the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan.  Born and raised in the Okanagan, Kirsteen recently returned to Kelowna after many years living and working in the technology sector in Vancouver.  Her love of all things creative, progressive and boundary breaking was fostered at an early age.  In her role with ARTSCO, Kirsteen is returning to her roots as an arts advocate and community organizer.  Her natural sense of curiosity allows her to find solutions, solve challenges and create opportunities in the most complex situations.  Kirsteen’s effervescent optimism shines through in her humour  and her ability to relate to others.  She’s constantly looking for the dots — the sparks of magic — the moments of inspiration — that connect people, purpose and possibilities.

Our Board

The Arts Council’s Board of Directors are made up of key community arts organizations, artists, arts educators, and professionals who have the skills, the community support, the capability, and the commitment to take action as required to keep pace with the growth of the arts in our community and to enhance the Arts Council’s position in the areas of arts advocacy and education.

Philip J. Ashman M.Sc., President

Phil Ashman grew up in Nigeria while attending school in England. He moved to Canada in 1986 to complete his education and holds a Master of Science in IT Network Infrastructure and Design, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering. Phil spent 8 years working in Information Technology at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg followed by the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George. In 2002 he joined Okanagan College as a professor in the newly created department of Network and Telecommunications Engineering Technologies. He spent eight years in an instructional role before moving on to become department chair. In 2013 he became the Associate Dean of Science, Technology and Health and has served as the Regional Dean for the Central Okanagan since 2017. Phil is a director on numerous boards and works actively with employers and community partners to generate learning and employment opportunities for students throughout the Okanagan. One of the departments Phil helped bring to the College was the Animation Diploma program, currently taught out of the Centre for Innovation in downtown Kelowna, which inspired him to learn more about Fine Arts and join ArtsCO. Although his career has been focused on technology, he is a curious lifelong learner and excited to become more connected with the creative community of the Okanagan.

Max Walker — Bio coming soon!

Faye Craven — Bio coming soon!

Victoria Verge — Bio coming soon!

Join Our Board of Directors

Keys to our Success