Proponents of Kamloops arts centre release business case - Kamloops This Week - Canadanewsmedia
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Proponents of Kamloops arts centre release business case – Kamloops This Week



Building a $70-million performing arts centre in downtown Kamloops may not cost taxpayers an extra dime, according to a new business case commissioned by the Kamloops Centre for the Arts Society.

In a 50-page report released to city council on Tuesday, the business case — independently conducted by KPMG — outlines ways to pay for the facility and how the facility should operate.

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The business case was the main sticking point for a group that opposed the arts centre during the failed 2015 referendum, when the proposal was expected to increase property taxes for more than two decades.

Depending on fundraising and provincial and federal government subsidies, the business case notes the city would be on the hook for between $30 to $45 million in capital costs and states that: “If the city’s borrowing does not exceed $45 million, there is no anticipated impact to municipal tax rates as a result of the project.”

That due to the Tournament Capital Centre being nearly paid off.

Additional costs to the city for the arts centre bid at Seymour Street and Fourth Avenue include $3 million in site servicing for underground utility movements and earthwork to meet structural requirements and $703,000 in operating costs in the first year, decreasing to $383,000 by the fifth year.

The report notes that annual operating contributions from the city are expected to decrease over time, with “initial contributions lower than those provided to other municipal recreation facilities.”

Comparatively, the city’s operational contributions last year to the Tournament Capital Centre was $1.3 million and to the Sandman Centre was $752,000.

City CAO David Trawin said site servicing would be council decision, but he believes there is money in reserves that could cover the costs, noting that is, ultimately, a council decision.

“The operating costs above revenues would probably come from taxation,” he said/. “It might be worth noting that after five years, the subsidy would be about what the tax subsidy is for Westsyde Pool. “

Trawin expects council to ask staff to prepare a report addressing how the $45-million can be funded.

“I think it can be funded without a tax increase if we use the debt that is coming off for TCC and other projects,” he said.

The business case also makes recommendations on how the facility should operate.

The city should retain ownership, but establish a city-owned subsidiary to independently operate and maintain the facility, with surpluses reinvested into the facility. Western Canada Theatre and Kamloops Symphony Orchestra would be primary users. Also recommended is an external board, including user groups, businesses and community leaders provides oversight.

“As the sole owner of the Centre, the city will retain financial risks associated with the facility and therefore maintain appropriate oversight of operations,” the business case states.

“City retained responsibility and authority is anticipated to include approval of material policy changes, approval of annual budget, receipt of reporting related to risk management and approval of long-term liabilities.”

The proposed $70-million facility would include two theatres and a blackbox theatre. Costs include $50 million for direct construction costs and $20 million for construction and other fees.

Construction costs include: $47.7 million for the main building including 70 stalls of underground parking, equipment at $1.7 million and grounds enhancements at $600,000. Architectural and consultant fees are pegged at $5.9 million, with construction oversight at $2.5 million, theatre equipment at $3.4 million and furniture, fixtures and equipment at $3.2 million. Five-million dollars is also included as contingency funds.

The business case notes a performing arts centre was identified as the highest priority investment in the Kamloops Recreation Master Plan.

It would fill a need in the city amidst aging and inadequate infrastructure, revitalize downtown and support nearly 4,000 youth in arts programming and education, while fostering a vibrant arts and culture scene and ultimately improving the quality of life for Kamloops residents as the city’s population continues to rise at a stable pace.

Outlining challenges and limitations of current facilities, the business case appears to demonstrate a Goldilocks situation in Kamloops — Sandman Centre is too big and better suited for sports, Pavilion Theatre is too small with limited functionality as a blackbox theatre and Sagebrush Theatre appears to be just right, at 706 seats— but it’s booked most of the year (300 days in 2018-2019,) with limited opportunity for groups to expand runs or book new shows.

The school district and Western Canada Theatre are given booking priority, based on a joint-use agreement with the city, limiting opportunity for use by others. The report notes Sagebrush is aging and has experienced failures, such as the recent eight-month closure due to structural issues in its roof. The closure left arts groups scrambling to fit in smaller venues.

The proposed downtown location for the arts centre — on the former Kamloops Daily News property, which was purchased by the city in 2014 for $4.8 million and which is now a parking lot — was chosen for its availability, size, city ownership and potential for economic revitalization.

The operating-revenue costs are expected to break even, assuming 150 days of use of the large theatre and 275 days of use of the medium theatre and 275 days of use of the blackbox space, notes that the ongoing building related operating costs at $2.6 million annually in the first year and $3 million in the fifth year would operate at break-even, with rental rates reflective of operation costs.

A facility fee would add an average of $3 for each ticket sold in the first year and four per cent of all box office sales would go to the centre. Naming rights would be sold as part of fundraising and 14 full-time staff members would be hired, plus another dozen to support box office, parking and ushers.

Construction of the performing-arts centre is expected to generate a one-time economic impact of $70.7 million to 565 full-time jobs and government revenues estimated at $9.2 million during planning, design and construction. Once it is up and running, the project is estimated to have an annual economic impact of $2.9 million, 31 full-time jobs and generate $330,000 in government revenues.

The proposed project timeline is to have project approvals in place by spring 2020, with design work to follow and construction beginning in the summer of 2021. The arts centre would be completed by spring of 2023 for a fall 2023 opening.

“Timing is subject to decision making and funding availability,” the report notes. “Efforts could be made to accelerate timelines where possible.”

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Arts tip sheet: The Double Axe Murders; Kismet, things have changed; Translations –




The Double Axe Murders

November 14 to 23 at Gateway Theatre

Prepare for chills and thrills in Rusticate Theatre’s eerily suspenseful 19th-century story of the search for two missing trappers in Newfoundland.

Kismet, things have changed

November 13 to 16 at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts

Anita Rochon, Emelia Symington Fedy, Hazel Venzon, and Daryl King revisit the “theatrical documentary” they debuted to critical praise a decade ago. In their 20s, they travelled across Canada and interviewed 100 people, aged 1 to 100, about their beliefs; now, amid their own life changes, they track down some of the surviving interviewees.


November 19 to 24 at Performance Works

As part of Boca del Lupo’s Micro Performance Series, All Bodies Dance ventures into new territory in a collaboration with VocalEye (a live descriptive arts service for the blind) and consultants from the blind community. The work presents dance for small audiences of both the blind and the sighted through the sound of movement, the feeling of air moving, and descriptive language.

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Fibre arts festival offers creative outlet to dye for – The London Free Press




Beth Whitney talks about the “magic” of dyeing.

While some might agree it’s magic when they see the colours she creates, it’s really art.

Whitney hand-dyes wool fleece and colour-blends and spins the fibre into yarn that she uses for rug hooking and knitting. She’ll be demonstrating the skill at the eighth annual Fibre Art Festival and Sale at Covent Garden Market Friday through Sunday.

The festival brings together members of the London District Weavers and Spinners, the group Simply Hooked and the Strathroy Pioneer Treadlers to demonstrate their craft talents and sell their creations.

There will be demonstrations and displays of weaving, felting, spinning, rug hooking, lace making, sashiko (Japanese stitching) and basketry.


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This year’s theme is Updating Traditions of the Past — “applying modern textile techniques to fibre skills from the past and showcasing their relevance in today’s world.”

Enter people like Whitney and pal Kate Gutteridge.

Before their unique works are created, the material — either sheep’s fleece or spun wool, fabric or silk — must be given colour. Whitney and Gutteridge have worked at it for years.

Textile artists Beth Whitney (left) and Kate Gutteridge with wool and silk that Kate dyed in London. (Derek Ruttan/The London Free Press)

Whitney has been involved in fibre arts most of her life. An aunt taught her to knit when she was eight, a craft she continued to hone through her adolescence and carried on after graduating from the University of Toronto with an English degree, working as a librarian and retiring six years ago.

It was when she came to London from Toronto to work at the London Public Library more than 30 years ago that she joined the local weavers and spinners group and began to explore all facets of the craft, including dyeing.

“We do it (dyeing) mostly to get colours you can’t buy in stores, blends and combinations that are unique,” explained Whitney.

For example, she might use dyes of orange and yellow, tie knots in yarn, dip it in one colour’s dye pot, untie the knots and dip it in the other colour pot “and now you’ve got a combination of two colours on one string of yarn.” It can be knit into a “unique and modern-looking” piece of clothing or item,” said Whitney.

Or, she explained, you can dye batches of fleece in different colours, then spin it and now you have multi-coloured yarn.

“These are very traditional arts and crafts,” said Whitney. “In the old days, if you needed a sweater for winter, you had to make it yourself. It was a very practical craft. Now, it’s much more satisfying as a creative outlet in this busy world of ours.”

Whitney agrees it’s easier just to go to a store and buy a sweater, but if you do it yourself, you’re not going to see anyone else wearing the same garment.

“Today, yes, we can go out and buy it,” she said. “But we like to take the time and do something creative and modern and then you’re not spending your time looking at a screen or doing the laundry.

“You can create things that are very unique, very different and very well made. I think there’s a deep-rooted need for us all to be creative. It’s very satisfying.”

If you go

What: Eighth annual Fibre Art Festival and Sale, by London District Weavers and Spinners, Simply Hooked and Strathroy Pioneer Treadlers

When: Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m. -3 p.m.

Where: Covent Garden Market mezzanine, 130 King St.

Admission: Free

More information: Visit

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Heritage Woods grad in Arts Club premiere – The Tri-City News




A Heritage Woods secondary school grad who made her Bard on the Beach debut this summer is back in Vancouver this winter for a premiere with the Arts Club Theatre Company.

Ghazal Azarbad, who starred as Viola in Shakespeare in Love and was in the ensemble for Taming of the Shrew, is cast as Salena — a “chipper border guard” — in It’s A Wonderful Christmas-ish Holiday Miracle.

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Directed by Chelsea Haberlin, the new Canadian comedy by Marcus Youssef opens next Thursday at the Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre; its run ends Dec. 22.

The production is an Arts Club Silver Commission project and is Youssef’s second, after 2013’s How Has My Love Affected You?

Christmas-ish also includes Glen Gordon, Jennifer Lines, Nicola Lipman, Matreya Scarrwener and Jovanni Sy.

For tickets, call 604-687-1644 or visit

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