Kamloops Centre for the Arts Society, the group behind a resurrected effort to build a performing-arts centre downtown, will be at city hall on Tuesday, Oct. 22, to provide an update to city council.

In a media advisory, the group states it will present “significant progress.”

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The group of local volunteers last appeared before council in June, when it identified a series of priorities and next steps, including developing a new business case for a facility and enlisting community support through the launch of a membership drive.

Since then, the society has been selling $2 memberships at various community events, such as Western Canada Theatre’s current Dracula: The Bloody Truth production. The society has so far sold about 2,000 memberships.

The society is expected to present its business case to council on Tuesday, in addition to the launch of a new KCA Society website.

In January, Kelson Group founder Ron Fawcett — who, with wife Rae, lives in Kamloops and made his money through building rentals in Western Canada — appeared before council and pitched a $70-million, 103,000-square-foot centre at the same location as an arts centre proposal that was rejected by voters three years ago.

The new proposal includes three theatres, with 1,200, 450 and 75 seats, respectively, at the corner of Seymour Street and Fourth Avenue, the city-owned parking lot that was previously home to the Kamloops Daily News.

Other plans include a cafe and outdoor cafe area, rehearsal halls, meeting spaces and 20,000 square feet of office space in the Telus annex building on St. Paul Street, which was purchased by the Fawcetts.

Absent is a controversial parkade, which was included in the last arts centre proposal, a $91-milllion idea that was defeated in a 2015 referendum. The new proposal includes just 70 underground parking spaces

The $70-million proposal includes $8 to $10 million donated by the Fawcett family for the Telus annex building. 

The $70-million budget breakdown is as follows: $47.7 million for the main building, which would be located on the former Kamloops Daily News property at Seymour Street and Fourth Avenue, $6 million for design fees, $5.3 million for escalation contingency, $5.2 million for the theatre and general equipment, $3.2 million for fixtures, furniture and equipment, $2.1 million for construction oversight and $575,000 for grounds enhancement.

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