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The Blue Oyster Arts Trust (BOAT) was founded in Dunedin in 1999 as the governing body of the Blue Oyster Art Project Space that provides a high quality, dynamic program of experimental and innovative contemporary art practice. BOAT is a non-profit and non-commercial organisation that is made up of practicing artists, curators and other creative professionals. The art project space allows a diverse range of artists to work experimentally, free from commercial restraints and irrespective of the stage of their career.  It aims to broaden the interest and understanding of contemporary arts by providing a forum for discussion and debate regarding contemporary art issues. The BOAT aims to:
- Support and facilitate contemporary art practice, especially that of experimental, innovative arts practice of all artists regardless of career stage.
- Be a place for experimental and innovative projects
- Represent both national and international contemporary arts
- Have a program with a non-profit and non-commercial focus
- Broaden interest and understanding of the contemporary arts
- Be a forum for the contemporary arts and culture community
- Be a prominent and active participant in the Dunedin arts community
- Promote critical discussion of contemporary culture
- Be a resource of and for contemporary arts and culture