OSA History

The Okanagan School of the Arts was opened in July of 1960 as a summer school. It offered band, drama, strings, ballet, piano, and writing. Since then, it has expanded enormously to include printmaking, pottery, batik, weaving, watercolour, acrylics, oils, rock, jazz, and more.

The OSA’s writing tradition has been strong since its inception, with Lister Sinclair, W.O. Mitchell, and John Robert Columbo teaching in the first few years. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, George Ryga, W.P. Kinsella, and John Lent taught humor, fiction, and journalism. The 1990’s brought a strong songwriting team with Shari Ulrich, Bill Henderson, and Roy Forbes. The 2000’s have continued the tradition of high-quality writing instructors, with Michelle Barker, Rose Delap, and Lois Dagneault.

This year, many of the literary team are also on the steering committee bringing you this conference: Dawn Renaud, Lesley Buxton, Jodie Renner, and Shatford Centre Executive Director, Jane Shaak.