Kamloops arts centre referendum defeated

Residents of the city voted down the proposal in a referendum held Nov. 7

Drawing shows the proposed layout of a performing arts centre in Kamloops. The proposal was recently defeated in a referendum.

Andrea Klassen – Kamloops This Week

With all 18 polls reporting, Kamloops has voted against a $90-million parkade and performing arts centre.

According to numbers from Kamloops City Hall, 53.7 per cent of residents voted against the project, while 46.3 per cent voted for.

The city had asked voters for permission to borrow up to $49 million for the complex, with a 1,200-seat main stage theatre, 350-seat black box and 350-stall underground parkade, to be built at the former Kamloops Daily News site on Seymour Street.

Voter turnout in the referendum was 32 per cent.

Coun. Pat Wallace called the results “extremely disappointing.

“I think people bought the idea this was all about taxes,” she said. “I think they forgot about their children, their grandchildren.”

Wallace said there is no plan for what to do next with the Kamloops Daily News property at this time.

Brendan Shaw, chair of the Yes Committee, said he thinks residents didn’t get enough facts about the project.

“I think there was a lot of misinformation out in the community,” he said.

Shaw believes there was a clear appetite for some sort of arts facility, pointing to the Not Yet campaign, which advocated building a centre after more consultation.

But, he’s not sure the conversation will pick up again any time soon.

Mayor Peter Milobar said the city will honour the results of the referendum.

He, too, expressed disappointment with the vote, but said he wasn’t entirely surprised due to hesitancy in the city around the cost of the project.

“It was a great opportunity to invest in ourselves and the community and it has been missed,” he said.

Milobar said it’s anyone’s guess what comes next for the Daily News site, which the city already owns, and said residents shouldn’t expect to see a large chunk of additional money in the city’s budget now that the project is off the table.


“I think people think this no-vote today was to spend money on other things, that’s not the case,” he said. “We’re not going to raise taxes the additional two per cent just for the heck of it.”



Just Posted

Former Times editor outlines his election platform

Keith McNeill officially in the running

Declaration of candidates is in

List of those running for mayor and council firmed up

Municipal spending outpaces population growth 4-fold in B.C.: report

Canadian Federation of Independent Business has released its annual operational spending report

Public remided to use caution in areas burned by wildfires

Post-wildfire areas have own set of hazards

VIDEO: Messages of hope, encouragement line bars of B.C. bridge

WARNING: This story contains references to suicide and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

Fresh-faced Flames fend off Canucks 4-1

Vancouver drops second straight NHL exhibition contest

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Scheer pushes Trudeau to re-start Energy East pipeline talks

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer questioned the Prime Minister over Trans Mountain project

Mistaken identity: Missing dog claimed in Moose Jaw belongs to another family

Brennen Duncan was reunited with a white Kuvasz that was found in Saskatchewan

Abandoned kitten safe and sound thanks to B.C. homeless man

‘Jay’ found little black-and-white kitten in a carrier next to a dumpster by a Chilliwack pet store

Police chief defends controversial marijuana seizure

Advocates said cannabis was part of an opioid-substitution program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Trans Mountain completes Burrard Inlet spill exercise

Training required, some work continues on pipeline expansion

Supporters of B.C. man accused of murdering Belgian tourist pack courtoom

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance in Chilliwack

Most Read