What We Do

Applied Initiatives

Beyond our classrooms, faculty in the English department also run several initiatives that contribute to the vibrant arts community in the Okanagan valley. These initiatives are integrated into our courses in the Writing and Publishing program, offering our students valuable real-world experience to bring to their future careers.


Kalamalka Press

the bunker

Kalamalka Press is a publishing house based out of Okanagan College, run entirely by faculty and students. While Kal Press once published trade paperback books by Canadian writers, it now specializes exclusively in fine press chapbooks. Every year, Kal Press publishes a chapbook for both the winner of OC’s 3-Hour Short Story Contest and the winner of the annual John Lent Poetry Prose Award. Working with over 50,000 pounds of equipment, including three antique printing presses and dozens of cases of metal type, students in the Writing and Publishing Diploma program work alongside our faculty in the letterpress print shop (“The Bunker”) to produce these beautiful books.

Kalamalka Press also runs a Writer-in-Residence program in partnership with the Caetani Cultural Centre in Vernon. Writers across Canada are invited to apply, and one writer is selected each Fall to receive four weeks of accommodation and studio space at the Caetani Cultural Centre, as well as a $1000 honorarium. During their stay, writers-in-residence give readings and workshops for the local community, and make special visits to our classes to share their work and offer guidance to our students.

The Red Dot Players

Neverwhere-poster

The Red Dot Players, a theatre club for Okanagan College students and employees, is based on our Kelowna campus. Its mission is to produce plays that entertain, challenge, and educate audiences; to provide Okanagan College students and employees with an opportunity for creative self-expression; and to contribute to the arts in the Okanagan Valley. Past productions include A.K.A. Fangirl, Sense and Sensibility, and Neverwhere. Each year, students, staff, and the local community are invited to get involved by acting, designing sets and costumes, and creating promotional materials. Students in the Writing and Publishing program have the opportunity to design the poster that is circulated on social media and posted all over Kelowna to promote the event.

Ryga: A Journal of Provocations

ryga 5

Ryga is a literary journal published out of Okanagan College and run by faculty and students in the Writing and Publishing program. Ryga receives hundreds of submissions from professional, award-winning writers all over the world, and publishes the work of only six outstanding writers each year. Past contributors include winners of national and international literary awards, including the Journey Prize and the Griffin Poetry Prize. Since 2013, Ryga’s issues have been published for free online. Students in the Writing and Publishing program have the opportunity to evaluate submissions and work with faculty to select and edit material for publication.