Pandemic has proposed Kamloops Centre for the Arts on backburner

Mayor Ken Christian said the society pushing for the project is not interested at this time in pursuing the plan, noting restrictions on large gatherings do not make the project one of immediate need.

One major city project was swept up in the pandemic — the proposed Kamloops Centre for the Arts. A referendum was planned for April, but was cancelled amid the pandemic declaration.

Mayor Ken Christian said the society pushing for the project is not interested at this time in pursuing the plan, noting restrictions on large gatherings do not make the project one of immediate need.

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He said the arts centre project could still be part of a back-to-work initiative, in partnership with senior levels of government.

Does the mayor think the performing-arts centre will ever be built?

“I certainly hope it will,” Christian said.

Better dialogue with Interior Health

As for communication with Interior Health, which the city had some concerns about at the onset of the pandemic, Christian said he has since met with Interior Health’s president and CEO, Susan Brown, noting communication has improved.

He said the two sides have “ironed out some of the channels of communication” to get responses to questions people have about business compliance with health regulations.

“All of that has been worked out and seems to be going well,” Christian said.

“Royal Inland Hospital seems to be returning to the number of elected surgeries they had previously. I worry about the long-term care industry, in particular, the issue of staff working in multiple facilities, in particular the issue of having multiple residents in one room. Those kinds of things are going to make a real structural difference to that entire sector.”

Christian, noting that sector is partially operated and funded by Interior Health, said the industry will undergo significant long-term changes.

“And, in many cases, for the better because of the devastating loss [COVID-19 deaths] that we’ve seen in long-term care facilities in British Columbia.”

No lighting up the sky on July 1

Canada Day fireworks won’t proceed amid the pandemic.

While the annual Canada Day festival in Riverside Park has been cancelled and an online celebration planned, it will not include fireworks.

Christian said the decision to ace the popular night-time show was that of the Kamloops Multicultural Association, which organizes each year’s Canada Day festivities.

© Kamloops This Week

 


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