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‘Heartbreaking’: Close to $5k in estimated damage after vandals hit Keremeos Rodeo Hall

Community has rallied to help with cleanup efforts since the newly-built hall was vandalized
The Keremeos Rodeo Hall after it was vandalized early Friday morning, May 26. (Photo- Peter Kolisnyk)

The newly-built Keremeos Rodeo Hall has been hit with thousands of dollars worth of damage after vandals smashed the windows on May 26, destroyed the building’s concession area and covered its interior with spray paint.

Peter Kolisnyk, the manager of the village’s rodeo grounds, was driving around the area early Friday morning when he noticed the hall’s fencing had been completely destroyed.

Upon further investigation, he came across an unrecognizable announcer’s booth with smashed windows and kitchen area littered with broken plates.

He says the fire extinguisher in the main hallway was even discharged, covering the floor with white debris.

“It’s so heartbreaking because we’ve spent so much time volunteering, people have donated, the community’s come together to have this nice facility and then you come to this,” Kolisnyk said.

Work on the hall was completed in 2022. It’s been a busy place over the last three weeks, with weddings and the popular Keremeos Rodeo taking centre stage.

Kolisnyk estimates the damage to be worth upwards of $5,000.

“Why would anyone do this to something that is built by volunteers?” he asked. “We pulled together to make this happen…all the donations of lumber, concrete and everything for us to get it running.

“It’s like a kick in the teeth.”

He explained that the hall’s doors weren’t left unlocked the night before vandals broke in.

“They had to a lot of physical work to break through the doors and ram it hard to tear it down,” Kolisnyk added.

Keremeos RCMP is currently investigating the incident.

Within a matter of 24 hours, the community has already shown its commitment to cleaning up the rodeo hall.

At 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 27, around 25 local volunteers will be at the hall to start working.

“The community has just been tremendous,” Kolisnyk said.

The hall is scheduled to plan a number of upcoming events, like other weddings and bluegrass shows.

“We’re going to have to buckle down, clean it up, do the best we can and keep on going,” Kolisnyk added. “All of the events will still go through.”

Anyone wanting to help with initial cleanup efforts is asked to give Kolisnyk a call at 250-499-1588.

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