City takes over operation of historic Kamloops church built in 1887 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops News

City takes over operation of historic Kamloops church built in 1887

The City of Kamloops will take over management of the historic St. Andrews on the Square on Jan. 1, 2022.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/City of Kamloops

As costs mounted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kamloops Heritage Society is handing over management of St. Andrew's on the Square to the city.

The City of Kamloops will take over operation of St. Andrews on the Square on Jan. 1, 2022, which is not expected to affect previously arranged bookings through the heritage society, according to a city news release.

“We are truly thankful for the dedication of the Kamloops Heritage Society and the care that they provided to St. Andrew’s,” Barb Berger, the city’s recreation, social development and cultural manager, said in the release. “The building is a treasured resource, and we intend to keep it that way. We are sensitive to its history and we will continue to work to preserve its story.”

The heritage society had an option to extend their lease until the end of 2023, but in a letter to city council dated Nov. 5, 2021, its president said rent had become too costly amid the COVID-19 pandemic and related public health measures.

"While the (heritage society) was able to rent out St. Andrews or host events on a very limited basis during the past 19 months, our income was drastically lower than past years," society president Sheila Park said in the letter.

The society had, however, received a $12,000 grant from the city, which helped them continue operations briefly, amid health restrictions.

The historic church, built in 1887, is a popular site for weddings, funerals and yoga, for example, and the heritage society was "instrumental" in leading its restoration in 1995, the city said.

The City of Kamloops will begin accepting new bookings in mid-February.

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