Welcome to the Caetani Cultural Centre
The 120+ year old Caetani Cultural Centre is a 6,000 sq. ft. designated heritage house, situated on 1.5 acres of land on lower East Hill. The facility is operated by The Caetani Cultural Centre Society as a registered not for profit charitable organization. The house and grounds are owned by the City of Vernon, and operated by the Caetani Cultural Centre Society.
The society hosts special events such as the lively Summer Music Series, Summer Arts Festival & Art Trail, heritage tours, and the not-to-be-missed “fun”raiser A Splash of Red, usually held the third Thursday in August.
The house is the former home of renowned artist, writer, mentor and teacher Sveva Caetani. Sveva was locally known as ‘the Countess’ due to her aristocratic background and she was a visionary figure in the community with a deep belief in culture, knowledge and artistic endeavours.
The mysterious and heartbreaking story behind the history of the house and its inhabitants provides a gateway to understanding our recent past, opening a window to a much different world and shedding light on the many artworks and writings created by our benefactor Sveva Caetani. Following the death of her father in 1934 she was kept a virtual prisoner in her own home for 25 years by her invalid mother. Her story is one of overcoming adversity and rising above her circumstances. Sveva left her 1.5 acres of gardens and historic home to the community of Greater Vernon in 1994 with the express wish that it serve as a community cultural facility for artistic and critical exploration.
Sveva’s vision for her home has become reality and is now being carried out through creative and thought-provoking programming. The Caetani Centre (C3) provides a venue for visual artists from around Canada and the world to explore a diverse range of arts practices, theories and experiences through our Residency programs for visual artists, writers, curators, and creative individuals.
C3 provides quality arts facilities that allow artists and writers to experiment, develop new ideas and interact with fellow artists and the community through talks, workshops and exhibitions. Programming includes partnerships with additional community organizations to encourage artists to approach creativity, exploration and research in different ways and present the community both locally and globally with new ways of seeing, experiencing and interpreting arts and the environment around us.
The Caetani Cultural Centre (C3) is located two blocks from beautiful downtown Vernon, British Columbia, and is within walking distance or public transportation to shopping, as well as most public facilities and amenities. C3 provides scheduled events throughout the year for the public to access the gardens, engage with member artists and enjoy the facilities.
The House – built in 1895 by Samuel Sommerville, the house is a designated heritage site, and described as Late Victorian Vernacular Revival style. (Designated 86.03.10 (Bylaw #3370, HRA Bylaw#4813 – HRA-2003-018).
The former home of Sveva Ersilia Caetani – artist, writer, teacher and mentor – the home was divided into four self-contained apartments by Sveva in the 1960’s that have remained as residency suites targeted to artists involved in or contributing to the local arts community. The house and grounds were bequeathed to the City of Vernon in 1994 by Sveva Caetani for use as a commmunity cultural centre. In 2008 a separate society was formed to manage this community cultural centre.
The C3 office is accessed from the front door on the main floor.
Gardens – with the assistance of the City of Vernon and the Regional District of the North Okanagan and many hardworking volunteers, the 1.5 acres of gardens at C3 are beautifully maintained and provide a peaceful and inspiring setting for artists to create and share their work with the community.
The Caetani Cultural Centre is 30 minutes from Kelowna International Airport. Approximately 5 hours from Vancouver by car, 6 hours from Calgary. Vernon has a small airport with limited access. Bike trails and bus service are available to larger centres.
The Greater Vernon community is located between three lakes, Kalamalka Lake, Okanagan Lake and Swan Lake, and 25 minutes from world class cross country and downhill skiing, mountain biking, and award winning wineries.