Closure of Sagebrush Theatre will have impacts beyond Kamloops - InfoNews

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Closure of Sagebrush Theatre will have impacts beyond Kamloops

'Rumours the Ultimate Fleetwood Mac Show' is an act from Los Angeles scheduled to play at the Sagebrush Theatre in April. Newfoundland-based tour manager, Peter Elliott, found them a venue at the Coast Hotel after the venue was closed for emergency repairs in February.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/VaughnCo Entertainment
March 11, 2019 - 5:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - Kamloops artists aren't the only ones calling for a new theatre in the city.

Show promoters from Kamloops to Newfoundland had to scramble to find a venue after the Sagebrush Theatre suddenly closed in February. Art McDonald with School District 73 estimates the theatre will be reopened in September.

"We're still working on design options for the fix," McDonald says over the phone. "We just have to give our structural engineers time to go through it and look at some options."

But for the time being shows are moving in to anywhere they fit. One Newfoundland-based company says that without Kamloops in their mix of tours it would be detrimental to their business.

Peter Elliot works out of Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador, booking rock tribute shows across Canada. His latest production, 'Rumours the Ultimate Fleetwood Mac Show' from Los Angeles, lost almost 200 seats when it had to move into the Coast Hotel for an April show.

He says they were just about to cancel when they found the new venue, and stressed that keeping Kamloops as a part of their tour was a priority.

"By missing Kamloops we'd have to do less shows," Elliot says. "And that affects your 'bottom line' or your income.... It’s expensive travelling. You have to fly everybody up, put everybody in hotels. So we try to keep our distance as close between theatres as possible."

Ideally that's not more than a four or five hours' drive in between. Elliot says losing a venue in Kamloops means it may affect tour dates in another city like Prince George.

"If I didn’t do Kamloops I’d go Chilliwack, Vernon, Kelowna, and down towards Cranbrook," he says. "I couldn’t find any other available cities in the last tour I planned so I had to go to Lethbridge and Moose Jaw but I would like to book tours in southern British Columbia."

In order to do that he has to book shows well in advance. 

Given that the theatre is expected to reopen in September, Elliot says that's "great news." Otherwise he would have to reschedule his next show in Kamloops to February 2020.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shelby Thevenot or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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