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Complementary enterprise pitched for Vernon visitor centre

Vernon Visitor Information Centre on 39 Avenue.
October 29, 2014 - 7:30 PM

VERNON - A local politician wants to bring Vernon’s arts and culture to a main pit stop on any tourist’s jaunt through town.

Expressions of interest are being accepted for a vacant section of the new visitor centre on 39 Avenue, and City of Vernon councillor Mary-Jo O’Keefe sees it as an opportunity.

“I would like to see it celebrate some of the things Vernon has that are unique and really special to this region," she says. "So when people came to town they would know what a fantastic destination this is.”

She envisions the space as an artist’s co-op, where tourists could watch artist’s at work and purchase local handicrafts. 

“I think we could be a bit more creative in our approach to this,” she says.

Coun. Brian Quiring agreed it was a nice idea, but worried the concept was too exclusive.

“Maybe in order to promote the downtown, maybe we want to open it up and not be exclusive to a certain industry,” Quiring said.

Council directed staff to create a call for expressions of interest and bring the results back to the Tourism Advisory Committee for considerations.

Council also heard the controversial new location is doing well, up 2,155 guests between June 10- Sept. 30, compared to the same time last year.

O’Keefe says moving the visitor centre was part of a long-term vision involving other projects like Ribbons of Green.

“It's hard when we have to do things piece meal... but I think in the long term when everything comes forward, people will see how visionary it was,” O'Keefe says.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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