Kamloops to vote in performing arts centre referendum this spring | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops to vote in performing arts centre referendum this spring

November 19, 2019 - 4:14 PM

Kamloops city council has decided on the question for the performing arts referendum and the date the vote will be held.

On April 4, 2020, Kamloops will be asked: “Are you in favour of the City of Kamloops borrowing up to $45 million to construct a Kamloops Centre for the Arts?”

There are more details to be worked out before referendum day, such as polling locations and advanced polling days.

Councillor Arjun Singh brought up the idea of allowing city staff to decide on advance polling days and the polling locations, although he faced some pushback from other councillors.

“This needs to be more of a council driven decision,” Councillor Mike O’Reilly said. “I prefer to have a little bit more control over that as a council going forward. It’s a council direction, it’s not a staff direction and I think that’s important for us as we voted in favour of this as a council to go to referendum.”

It was decided that staff will come back to the council with proposed polling locations and other details, although it is more about honouring past practices than following a necessary protocol. There will likely be nine to ten polling locations throughout the city, which will be determined based on their accessibility, availability and rental costs.

The Kamloops Centre for the Arts Society will work in partnership with the City of Kamloops on a multi-phase communication plan, which aims to inform residents of the details on the proposed performing arts centre and will also work with them to find out the main concerns, questions and inquiries from voters.

The first phase of the plan will focus on planning, research, analysis and collaboration. The second phase will start in the new year and focus on sharing information with the community and partners, which will take place up until the referendum date. Then, the society and the city will focus on the actual voting process, and afterwards, depending on the outcome of the vote, continue community consultation and move forward with the planning for the facility.

The referendum is expected to cost the city $35,000, a figure based on the cost of the previous referendum in 2015, while the communications plan is expected to cost $20,000.

The City plans to use the Let's Talk Kamloops website for community discussion

For more information on the Kamloops Centre for the Arts Society and the proposed performing arts centre go here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler 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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