increasing the public understanding and appreciation of contemporary art

Founded in 2003, Arnica Artist-Run Centre Society is a not-for-profit gallery that provides a supportive environment for emerging contemporary artists. Arnica received charitable status in 2008 and is part of a Canada-wide network of artist run centres.

Arnica provides exhibition space for contemporary art that is dynamic, innovative and thoughtful. It also serves as a space for artists to research and develop new work and helps emerging artists in our city, adding to the cultural mix of Kamloops.


Arnica's Mandate

To educate and increase the public understanding and appreciation of contemporary art through the establishment and maintenance of a public art gallery.

To educate and increase the public understanding and appreciation of contemporary art by providing public presentations on topics pertaining to contemporary art.

Arnica's Mission Statement
  • To support and encourage experimentation, presentation and dissemination of contemporary art that engages artists and the community.
  • To provide a forum through special projects and a wide range of disciplines and media that fosters discussion, awareness, and understanding of contemporary art within our community.
  • To strongly support emerging artists within this framework.

Arnica’s board is made up of working artists, alumni, fine arts students and faculty of Thompson Rivers University and usually meets once a month.

The AGM is held in March/April. Other general membership meetings might be called if interest warrants.

Arnica operates with the financial support of the Province of BC Community Gaming Grant and project grants from the BC Arts Council, City of Kamloops, Canada Council for the Arts, business and personal donations, and several other sources. We also acknowledge the many dedicated volunteers who offer their time, expertise and ideas.

What is an Artist-Run Centre?

Artist Run Centres (ARCs) emerged in the early 1970’s in several Canadian cities.

These venues developed as a response to a lack of appropriate exhibition spaces for artists whose priorities were non-commercial, and were considered too early in their careers to exhibit in institutional or public galleries.

ARCs are not-for-profit societies and are often charitable organizations. They are typically managed by one or more staff and have a Board of Directors comprised mainly of practicing artists. Those ARCs that formed in the 1970’s have access to an operating grant from Canada Council specific to Artist Run Centres. However, this grant is finite, so ARCs that formed in the 1990’s or later survive through application to project grant after project grant.

Artist-Run Philosophy

The underlying premise of Artist-Run Centres is that artists are given creative control of their work rather than being constrained by the demands of the commercial market. Therefore, the work tends to be more experimental and diverse.

Visitors often find the work they encounter in ARCs to be outside the conventional definitions of what art can and should be.