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Vernon Performing Arts Centre opens curtain following flood damage

A burst pipe in December caused water damage to the main stage, forcing shows to move elsewhere
A new stage has been reconstructed at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre, which will reopen for regular performances starting Saturday, March 11, 2023. The theatre’s main stage was damaged by a burst pipe and subsequent flooding in December 2022. (Submitted photo)

The curtain is about to rise at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre after months of scrambling caused by a flooded stage.

In December, the centre had to start rescheduling shows in different locations after a burst pipe caused water damage to the theatre’s main stage.

The centre has now announced that restoration efforts are nearing completion and the doors will open for regular performances again starting Saturday, March 11.

“The restoration has truly been a herculean effort,” said executive director Jim Harding. “Other theatres that have experienced similar damage have taken six months to a year to reopen. The speed with which we are back up and running is a testament to the hard work of our staff and contractors.”

The centre has been closed since early February for the removal and reconstruction of the stage floor. With the stage floor replaced, a final push is underway this week to touch up paint and reinstall theatrical equipment before the doors open Saturday for a popular Vernon comedy show, I Am Woman, Hear Me Laff!

“We couldn’t have picked a better show to reopen with,” said Harding.

March 11 marks the beginning of a jam-packed spring season of comedy, music, theatre and dance. The North Okanagan Children’s Festival returns March 18 and 19 with fun for the whole family. NOCCA presents the world-class Valencia Baryton Project, performing the works of Hadyn on March 20 while the OSO’s Orchestral Rock Odyssey will rock the stage on April 2. Ballet Jörgen’s sparkling Cinderella will delight classical ballet lovers on March 25. Visit for the full schedule and ticket information.

“We are so excited to welcome everyone back to the theatre,” said artistic director Erin Kennedy. “Putting on performances is truly a labour of love for us. We’re thrilled to be able to share the joy of live events again.”

“The VDPAC acknowledges the work of the entire staff, and our building maintenance and technical staff especially, for a truly stellar team effort to address all the unimaginable concerns that come with such a potentially catastrophic event,” said Harding. “I also wish to thank our service-providers, restoration services, insurers, suppliers, contractors and our partners at the RDNO for stepping-up so quickly to help us get to re-opening as soon as possible.”

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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