Okanagan School of the Arts

The Okanagan School of the Arts, Shatford Centre is dedicated to being the creative centre of our community and surrounding area, providing an environment of artistic passion and activity, a place of peaceful contemplation and interaction, and of social inclusion for a wide range of activities. It is a location that provides a wide variety of activities and opportunities in response to the needs and innovative ideas coming forth from the people of our community. We are dedicated to helping our community be known for its creativity of all ages, social, mental and physical growth, and its welcoming environment of creativity and service.

Shatford Centre, 760 Main Street, PentictonOur Impact Why We Exist

MISSION: The Okanagan School of the Arts (OSA) assists with the awakening and expression of the creative spirit.

VISION: The Okanagan School of the Arts:

~ Continually expands its creative programs

~ Operates the Shatford Centre, a facility dedicated to enhancing creative entrepreneurship and well being in the community.

Our Story What We Do

The Okanagan (Summer) School of the Arts was established in 1961 on the Pen High School Campus by George Gay, Eva Cleland, Edith Sharpe and other arts and culture pioneers in the South Okanagan region. This significant organization has been operating since that time, providing quality creative programs for residents and visitors.

COMMUNITY FACILITY: The Okanagan School of the Arts operates the Shatford Centre, its 'brick and mortar' home. The Senator Shatford school building was completed in 1921. It is one of Penticton's most important heritage facilities, located at 760 Main Street on the Penticton Secondary School Campus, in the heart of the City of Penticton. With funding from all levels of Government, School District 67 and support from other funders, the Shatford Centre completed Phase I on March 31st in 2011. Since that time, Phase II has been in process, which is the updating and enhancement of the facilities. The Shatford Centre has a 300 seat recital hall, offices, classrooms and studios on three floors of the 30,000 sq ft building. The recital hall has 18 foot ceilings, original Eastern Maple hardwood flooring, embossed tin ceilings and great acoustics. This community treasure of a building is ideal for festivals, conferences, workshops and gatherings with inside and outside facilities in a highly visible location.

The Shatford Centre is a community gathering centre. There are 25+ organizations that use the Shatford Centre on a regular basis, for meetings, events and creative programs. Annually there are around 30,000 visits to the centre. There are community and town hall meetings held regularly. There are many events during the year due to the 300 seat heritage auditorium.

CLASSES AND LEARNING: The Okanagan School of the Arts holds classes year round engaging students in many disciplines, such as life drawing, painting, visual arts, sculpture, theatre, music and more.

There is the new Creative For Life Program, which is for 'people who weren't born yesterday'. This program invites individuals to share their talents and others to learn about interesting and stimulating topics. The program consists of short classes being held during three semesters: fall, winter and spring.


Phase III was the installation of the Rotary Community Learning Kitchen, which was operational September of 2015.

Phase IV is the Development of the Shatford Commons, the two acre property that the Shatford Centre is situated. This property will serve the community as a gathering space for all. There are plans to develop demonstration community gardens, such as for indigenous plants and Xeriscaping, community garden beds to compliment the kitchen and help to bring awareness to help engage our community with community food. 

Our Programs How We Do It

MANDATE: The Okanagan School of the Arts operates through an elected Board of Directors that is accountable to the membership and responsive to the community:

~ Promoting interest in and study of the creative process through arts;~ Securing on-going funding;~ Advancing arts appreciation through diverse experiences;~ Acting as an economic driver in our community;~ Providing space and facilities to expand and integrate creativityThe OSA operates the Shatford Centre as a social enterprise. The primary activities are:~ Programs are held year round with a diverse range of disciplines. There are regular on-going programs on a weekly basis, weekend and week-long intensives. Artist in Residence programs are being expanded to bring artists to this region. This allows the community to connect with visiting artists in our city. ~ Studio Collectives - Encouraging individual artists to join others in similar disciplines. As an example we have the Life Drawing Collective that meets Wednesday evenings year round. They take care of collecting drop in fees, arranging models and facilitating the sessions. We have a Plein Air collective which meets regularly and we are also developing the Printmaking Collective. We also have the Visual Arts Open Studio on Mondays.~ Events  - Fundraising events for OSA and other organizations are part of the annual schedule at the Shatford Centre. Rentals are also administrated for organizations holding meetings, conferences and sessions.~ Projects - Creative projects have been organized by the Okanagan School of the Arts. With the Shatford facilities, projects can really be supported with workspace, equipment and sometimes materials.~ Community Resources - Since 2011, the Shatford Centre has been gathering equipment, furnishings and supplies that are also used by other community organizations. When events are held at the Shatford Centre, these community resources are included.

What You Can Do

You are invited to:

Become a member: You can join this dynamic organization and support its work in our community be becoming a member. Individual memberships are $25 and family ones are $45. These memberships provide you with discounts on events and programs, voting privileges, advance notice and more.

Become a volunteer: We encourage you to become a 'help-mate' at the Shatford Centre. There are a wide variety of activities and tasks that makes a world of difference. Drop into the Shatford Centre and fill in the volunteer form so that we learn about what inspires you.  

Become a donor: Create a legacy for future generations with a donation to this community oriented, creative organization. Your investment will help to improve facilities and programs for years to come and help to support the 'Good Works of the Shatford'.

Become a director: Join the board of directors and take part in guiding this organization throughout the year. Directors are elected for two year terms. If you are interested in learning more about this opporunity, call 250-770-7668 or e-mail info@shatfordcentre.com.  

Become a student: Take classes in a variety of disciplines and awaken your creativity. Regular classes and intensives help to inspire you to learn more.

Become an instructor: If you have talent and an interest in teaching others then consider teaching classes at the Okanagan School of the Arts. Send in your bio, artist's statement and proposal to info@shatfordcentre.com  or call 250-770-7668.