Mayor turns attention to performing arts centre
The mayor of Kamloops wants to have a discussion.
As many of the projects for the Tournament Capital program start coming off the city’s books in the coming years, Peter Milobar wants to turn his attention to the next big project — a performing arts centre.
The mayor spent a good portion of his state of the city address at the Kamloops Chamber Commerce AGM on Wednesday, March 16, talking about the potential project.
“That’s probably realistically the next one,” Milobar said, adding it’s time to start the discussion because such a project could still be five years away from completion.
“I don’t think anyone should try and underestimate the value the arts bring to the community.”
He cautioned the mostly business crowd to not be afraid of the planning process, noting the project isn’t going to be showing up on a tax bill any time soon.
A new performing arts centre was identified as a need in the city’s cultural strategic plan, completed seven years ago.
Milobar’s vision for the centre is an 1,100-seat theatre, not meant to compete with Sagebrush Theatre, but augment the venerable facility.
He said the arts community is huge economic driver in the city, noting a new centre could help attract professionals, like doctors, to Kamloops.
Milobar, who will run for a second term as mayor, was quick to point out the centre is in the very early stages of planning, noting a site hasn’t even been identified.
He said there are possible locations on the North Shore and downtown.
It’s a project that makes sense to chamber president Peter Aylen.
“The performing arts overall does make money for the community,” he said, adding he likes the approach by the mayor to not start a major project until the previous ones are paid.
During his 20-minute address, the mayor also touched on the importance of an affordable housing plan, specifically a recent move to make six city-owned properties available to housing providers through a long-term lease at a cost of $1.
The plan will be heading to public hearing at the end of March.