June 01, 2016 - 10:30 AM
ALLEY PROJECT AN ATTEMPT AT 'PLACE-MAKING' BY THE CITY
KELOWNA - Call it a dress rehearsal for next summer’s big show.
This week crews will clean up the alley across from The Sails after city council approved the next step in the Laneway Project, the unofficial name of the city's attempt at 'place-making' in an alley off Bernard Avenue.
After closing the lane to traffic, the alley will be pressure washed to prepare it for painting, real estate services manager John Saufferer told council.
The alley has already been strung with coloured lights to compliment the street art soon to be painted on the asphalt.
A volunteer crew will complete the installation this weekend, Staufferer said, installing potted plants and seating borrowed from the Downtown Kelowna Association.
A soft opening is scheduled for June 16 in conjunction with Small Shop at Night, a retail promotion by the Downtown Kelowna Association.
All this is temporary though, with plans for a permanent installation still in the works for next summer. Those plans will be at least partially based on observations of how the space is used this summer.
“We wanted to keep the momentum going and also see how the space programs itself,” Staufferer said. “I was out there stringing lights and people were walking by, asking what was going on. People seem to have an immediate connection to it."
Getting to this point, however, required consultation with local business owners, the arts community and the Kelowna RCMP about how the space may get used in the evening.
Should the temporary space succeed as expected, Staufferer said staff will return to council later this year with a proposal and budget for a permanent laneway installation.
Jim Belgin works stringing light on the building adjacent to the Laneway Project
(JOHN MCDONALD /InfoTel Multimedia)
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