Kamloops performing arts centre moving forward - InfoNews

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Kamloops performing arts centre moving forward

A photo of a handout depicting a rendering of a new performing arts centre in downtown Kamloops distributed at the Jan. 8, 2019 city council meeting.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/CHP Architects
June 10, 2019 - 6:00 PM

KAMLOOPS - The community of Kamloops is in the process of organizing a not-for-profit society that will lead a campaign to help advance the creation of the proposed performing arts centre.

The idea for the performing arts centre was presented Jan. 8, 2019, by Ron Fawcett, leader of the Kelson group. He and his wife donated $10 million to the project by purchasing the Telus Annex building on St. Paul Street and undertaking the planning.

The performing arts centre has been discussed before in 2015 but was voted “no” by approximately 53% of Kamloops residents who voted on the idea. Now, the project has dropped from a $90 million price tag to $70 million.

The city is supporting the formation of a not-for-profit society which will organize fundraising initiatives and attempt to gain community support. The not-for-profit will work with the Community Services Committee to identify which steps should be taken to move forward with the planning of the performing arts centre.

Fawcett, Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, Kamloops Arts Council, and the Western Canadian Theatre are hopeful the project will come to fruition.

Fawcett has spent the last 18 months funding the work of architects, engineers, and theatre designers.

The performing arts centre would cover a combined 103,000 square feet. The centre would host three theatres which could all run performances simultaneously.

The largest theatre would seat 1,200 visitors and feature a pit for the orchestra, a catwalk, fly walk, and much more. It would host the larger performances such as works put on by the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, travelling shows, larger theatre productions, and school productions.

Another theatre would seat 450 and feature a mixture of performances. A third theatre could seat between 75 to 100 people for smaller, more intimate shows.

The performing arts centre would also include a cafe and outdoor seating area as well as 36,000 square foot parking lot to accommodate 70 cars.

In addition to the construction of the main building, the project would also include the Telus Annex building which was bought and donated by the Fawcetts. The pair purchased the building in hopes of kickstarting the project, and will cover the costs to get the building up and running.

For more past articles on the performing arts centre, click here.


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