Expect a warm welcome in Kamloops’ arts and culture scene, where venues are working hard to break down barriers to enjoying live performances, films, and galleries. There’s an inclusive space for everyone whether you’re looking for wheel-chair accessible exhibitions, scent-free spaces, or adapted theatre performances designed for people with lighting and noise sensitivities.

Kamloops Art Gallery

Kamloops Art Gallery Couple sitting in front of a large projection on a wall of a rainforest. Part of a new exhibit at the Kamloops Art Gallery
Dylan Sherrard outside of a building with a comet art installation on the roof
Raven Chacon and CrIstóbal Martínez/Kamloops Art Gallery Kamloops Art Gallery

Art has a heart at the Kamloops Art Gallery, where visitors with disabilities have access to exhibitions via ramps and automatic doors, free admission for all support persons, accessible washrooms, and a standard-sized wheelchair available for use if needed. Service animals are welcome and there are rest areas for visitors to sit and enjoy the exhibitions at their own pace. Young visitors can enjoy the exhibitions with student-led, inquiry-based learning in a variety of programming created for students of all ages including homeschoolers and alternative learners. Free, weekly drop-in studio programs for youth aged 14 to 22 offer opportunities for developing artists to explore materials and techniques in an inclusive, artist-led space.

Kamloops Museum & Archives

Radhika Tabrez Kamloops Museum
Radhika Tabrez New in the loops - Kamloops Museum
Dylan Sherrard Kids at the Kamloops Museum & Archives
@exploringtheokanagan Kamloops Museum - @exploringtheokanagan
Dylan Sherrard mom and son walking into a museum
Dylan Sherrard Entrance at the Kamloops Museum & Archives

Check out carefully curated exhibits at the Kamloops Museum and Archives where one of BC’s oldest museums (established in 1937) is making modern adaptations to make mobility access easier for all. Elevator access leads to exhibits, with free admission for all support persons, as well as wheelchair-accessible washrooms and accessible parking outside. Rest areas are also available on each floor for visitors to take a break when needed. 

Museum Curator, Matt Macintosh, has made information accessible for different audiences via initiatives such as placing key text underneath images so it can easily be read by all, and providing multiple ways of engagement. If focusing on audio visual exhibits is a struggle for you, you can choose to stand and listen to them, sit and listen, or use headphones provided to stand/sit and listen. Sign up for our 'Loops Explorer Pass and receive a free admission!

Sagebrush Theatre

@exploringtheokanagan Live performance at the Sagebrush Theatre
Dylan Sherrard Sagebrush Theatre
Dylan Sherrard bird's eye view of a theatre with props and display getting set up

When it comes to improving inclusivity there’s no drama at Sagebrush Theatre (unless it’s on stage!) as the team strives to break down barriers to traditional theatre, using physical and conceptual design change. Home to Western Canada Theatre (WCT) and the Kamloops Symphony, Sagebrush Theatre also hosts shows from local community arts groups such as Laughing Stock Theatre and Kamloops Music Collective. Accessible seating areas in the theatre are intended for people with limited mobility who might require minimal stairs or wheelchair access. Free wireless listening systems are on-hand to assist people who are hard of hearing, service animals are welcome, and mobility aides can be stored in a designated row or with the staff.

Western Canada Theatre offers ‘relaxed performances’ for select productions that are special showings for people who might struggle with the traditional theatre environment. Audio visual aspects are less bright and quieter, the theatre door remains open, and people are free to move around or use electronic devices during the show. There is also a live stream of the show in the lobby, for anyone who would like to take a break. Universal non-gendered washrooms are available and guests are encouraged to keep the facility ‘scent-free’ to be sensitive to allergy-related concerns.

BONUS TIP: Check out the 'Loops Explorer Pass and redeem a "Buy 1 Get One 50% Off Regular Adult Tickets to Western Canada Theatre Performances"

The Kamloops Film Society

@karpiakcaravan classic movie theatre at dusk
Dylan Sherrard Projector at the Paramount Theatre
Dylan Sherrard Popcorn at the Paramount Theatre for Kamloops Film Society
Dylan Sherrard (photo taken pre-covid) Kamloops Film Society at Paramount Theatre

Film buffs can join in the fun with The Kamloops Film Society (KFS). Despite the Paramount Theatre being in an older building, the Kamloops Film Society is trying to make it more accessible for visitors and was given an Ability Friendly Accessible Business award by the Self Advocate Newsletter in recognition of this. Recently more seats have been removed to create more wheelchair-accessible areas, and accessible washrooms and parking are available. Service animals, assistive devices, and support persons are welcome and holders of an Access Pass can get free tickets to any KFS screening.

More of an outdoorsy person? Check out accessible adventures in Kamloops from wineries to adaptive sports!