RCA History

The Dream Comes True

Building the Mary Irwin Theatre

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.

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