Oxygen Art Centre is an artist-run centre located on the tum xula7xw of the sn̓ʕay̓ckstx (otherwise known as Nelson, B.C.).

Oxygen Art Centre acknowledges with gratitude that we are located on the tum xula7xw/ traditional territory of the sn̓ʕay̓ckstx/the Sinixt People. As uninvited guests we honour their ongoing presence on this land. We recognize that the Sylix, Ktuxana, and Yaqan Nukij Lower Kootenay Band peoples are also connected with this land, as are Métis and many diverse Indigenous persons.

We are grateful for the financial support we receive from the Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council, BC Gaming, Province of BC, Government of Canada, Vancouver Foundation, Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance, Vancouver Foundation, Columbia Basin Trust, Osprey Community Foundation, United Way, Nelson Lions Club, and Nelson and District Credit Union.

We offer thanks to Elephant Mountain Literary Festival and other key partners including Hall Printing, Speedpro Signs, and Selkirk College for their support.

We especially thank our collaborators, volunteers, donors, and members.

Vision Statement

Fundamental to the regional cultural landscape, Oxygen Art Centre is a rural artist-run centre that nurtures contemporary professional practices while engaging the wider community through multi-disciplinary programming.

Mission Statement

Through education, residencies, exhibitions and events Oxygen advances rural cultural development and achieves experimental, accessible and inclusive programming.


Oxygen Art Centre was founded as the Nelson Fine Art Centre Society in 2002 by former writing and visual art faculty at the Kootenay School of the Arts. Oxygen spent its first two years establishing its educational focus and in January 2005, the Society opened the Oxygen Art Centre in downtown Nelson. The Oxygen Art Centre is a 900 sq ft. renovated warehouse studio and serves as a classroom, exhibition space and residency centre.


Oxygen Art Centre is an active member of the Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres, Canadian Museum Association, West Kootenay Regional Arts Council, Nelson and District Arts Council, Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism, and other local organizations.


Oxygen Art Centre rents a 900 sq. ft. warehouse facility. It serves as exhibition, studio, office, and event space across all our programs. The space features an all-genders washroom, small library, seating, and a kitchenette, wash station, and office in our storage room. Located along the alleyway, Oxygen shares the building with Lillie & Cohoe Millinery (around the corner at ramp), Hemp Knit shop (unit beside), and La Grande Fromage (below on Vernon St.). The alleyway is directly below Baker Street, behind Kootenay Bakery and Home Hardware via Stanley Ave. or Kootenay St.


Oxygen’s public programs are free to attend.

No parking available directly outside Oxygen’s facility. Loading and temporary parking alongside iron fencing between stairs and ramp. Pay parking is available along adjacent streets or in nearby parking garages and lots. Public transportation to and from Oxygen includes Bus Route #3 (Schedule + Map here). Folks are welcome to lock their bikes to the metal fencing immediately outside of Oxygen. There are also multiple locations to lock bikes along Baker St.

Oxygen’s facility can be accessed by a concrete staircase with handlebars on each side or via metal ramp. The front door is equipped with a lever handle-set and features a 1″ lip at the door frame, as well as a runner style mat on the floor. The all-genders bathroom features a turn handle, fluorescent light, and overhead fan. The bathroom is accessible and is wide enough for a wheelchair or walker. There is a grab bar beside the toilet.

Oxygen is entirely one level indoors. The floors are concrete and are slightly uneven in one area by the south window. The facility features two large windows, one of which can be opened, as well as windows on the front door and entrance. Oxygen is heated by two radiators and is cooled by an overhead air conditioner. We also have an air purifier in the space that is in regular operation. The space features both overhead fluorescent and track lighting.

The space features three wooden benches, as well as chairs and bean bag chairs when appropriate. Oxygen’s classes feature standardized folding tables and cushioned folding chairs with backs.


Entrance: 35″ x 79.” high with 1″ lip

Stairs: 5 total, 60″ x 6.5″ high

Ramp: 45.5″ wide approx. 28 feet from entrance

Oxygen Art Centre Floor plan


Oxygen has two (2) sandwich boards that are typically located on Baker St. and along Stanley Ave. at the alleyway. We also hvae a red sign with a white Oxygen logo hanging on the south east corner of our building, which can be viewed from both directions of the alleyway.

The centre has vinyl signage on the front window to the left of the front door with a logo, website, and email address, which can be viewed from both directions of the alleyway. We also have a sign in the upper window of our entrance that features a black background with Oxygen’s logo in white and reg that can be viewed more easily from the alleyway.

Our Story

Oxygen Art Centre is located in South Eastern British Columbia, West Kootenay, in the town colonially known as Nelson. Nelson is a community of 10,000 people that also services around 70,000 people living in remote outlying areas.  Oxygen is an integral and long-standing cultural hub for artists of all disciplines (including youth) in the West Kootenay and the Columbia Basin. Oxygen provides meaningful professional development opportunities to local artists and brings artists of national and international repute into our communities to produce new work.

Out of 21 artist-run-centres in BC, Oxygen is only one of two in a rural location, and the only artist-run-centre to offer a residency program. Oxygen has played a vital role in creating the vibrant arts sector that the region enjoys and continues to contribute to its rich collective cultural identity and sense of place. The centre is open to all and provides affordable, accessible, and in many cases free or by-donation programming and membership. As an artist-run centre, it acts as catalyst and incubator for the development of the arts community and its audience.

Oxygen provides space and programming for artists and the public to engage in the creation, study, exhibition, and performance of contemporary art in all disciplines. Our robust year-round Education program curriculum offers high-quality art instruction to children, youth, and adults at a subsidized cost – a vitally important community service that is not offered at other local institutions.

Oxygen is the only organization in Nelson and region with such a unique legacy. It has and continues to support professional development in the arts, as well as supporting the region’s literary and academic community through readings, screenings events, and symposia.

Oxygen Art Centre is a long-time advocate for arts-based community development and cultural programming. We belong to the Canadian network of Artist-Run Centres, which have a rich history of supporting and providing platforms for experimental arts practices, academic dialogues, and diverse artistic networks. We are proud to be continuing this legacy from our uniquely rural context.

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