Our Story

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 Art. 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.


Priority Operating Areas: 2019-2022 Strategic Plan


Goal Statement: An organizational structure that supports all goal areas. A happy, healthy, well-organized and financially solvent society is critical to successfully meeting our goals. At this time in our society’s life cycle, we will focus efforts on clarifying our internal structure, documenting institutional memory and creating a multi-year funding strategy for an increase in operational funding.


Goal Statement:  We are known for our challenging and experimental programming across sectors.  We will continue to host regional, national and international events, exhibitions and residencies that support diverse artists in all stages of their careers. We are particularly interested in work with regional relevance, interdisciplinary work and work that engages audiences in participatory processes.


Goal Statement: We have developed a reputation for rigorous, inclusive and responsive offerings. We will continue to offer classes, workshops, camps and events with emphasis on incubating and supporting emerging artists and sustaining our vibrant arts community, as well as engaging the general public, through quality arts education offerings for all skill levels.

Community Engagement

Goal Statement: We have a strong profile, presence and substantial network within the community.  We seek to maximize outreach and efficacy of our organization to achieve our mission, ensuring best use of our staff and volunteers’ skills, passions and available time.  We program Special Projects and community collaborations that represent the mission of Oxygen Art Centre and are responsive to our community.

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