The Kamloops Centre for the Arts Society spent $22,000 on its advertising campaign for a referendum that was ultimately cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Elections BC has released disclosure statements that show the society spent just shy of $22,000 on advertising, including about $6,500 online, $5,700 on signs, $4,800 on video production, $1,600 on brochures/pamphlets and flyers, $1,600 on radio, $1,300 on print and $500 on television.
A referendum to build a performing-arts centre with three theatre spaces at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Seymour Street downtown was slated for April 4, before it was cancelled amid the pandemic.
The only other organization or person to declare advertising was the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association, which was determined to be a total value of less than $500.
The No PAC Facebook page started buying ads on Feb. 16, with further campaigns launched on Feb. 24 and March 3.
Ads were abruptly stopped right before the official campaign period for the PAC began, meaning no financial disclosure was required by the group. Had the Facebook ads continued, the group would have been required to register with Elections BC and include sponsorship information on its ads.
The first ad promised the page would "[expose] the mistruths and hidden facts around the proposed PAC," claiming proponents had the "bottomless pockets of City Hall on their side."
The page is run by one or more anonymous people who have refused to speak with any of the city’s media for stories.
There has been no new date set for the referendum that is seeking voter approval for the City of Kamloops to borrow up to $45 millon to build the facility.