There will be plenty of opportunity for Greater Vernon voters to get information for the Greater Vernon Cultural Centre referendum vote in October.
The Regional District of North Okanagan launched a two-month informational campaign Tuesday morning.
“The campaign will be at more than 20 public events and there will be dozens of presentations regarding the proposed Greater Vernon Cultural Centre,” said Tannis Nelson, RDNO’s manager of community services.
Greater Vernon voters — City of Vernon, District of Coldstream, Electoral Areas B and C — will be asked on Oct. 20 if they wish to support the RDNO borrowing up to $25 million for the building of a new multi-purpose cultural centre in downtown Vernon.
The referendum will be held with the upcoming municipal elections on Saturday, Oct. 20, and will determine whether the community can move forward with grant applications and fundraising to generate the additional $15 million required to complete the $40 million project.
The site for the proposed three-storey centre is the Vernon Block, home to the former Coldstream Hotel, on 29th Street and 32nd Avenue, and would house the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives, Vernon Public Art Gallery, meeting rooms and office space.
Representatives from the museum and art gallery were on-hand for Tuesday’s launch.
The first information open house will be Saturday at the Village Green Centre, where RDNO staff and community volunteers will be available to answer questions and provide information to mall visitors and back-to-school shoppers.
Open houses will also be at the mall on Sept. 11 and Oct. 6, as well as at the Vernon Farmer’s Market Mondays and Thursdays throughout September and October, and at Vernon Vipers home games on Oct. 6 and Oct. 10.
“It is essential that people are given a variety of opportunities to learn about this project so that they are able to make an informed vote,” said Juliette Cunningham, chairperson of the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee. “This is an important project that has been brought forward as a result of public engagement and years of planning.
“People should have the ability to learn about that process and the project itself prior to Oct. 20.”
The regional district has developed a website for the project, www.gvculturalcentre.ca.
The proposed multi-purpose facility was identified as a community need through the Greater Vernon Cultural Plan, adopted in 2016, the first such plan for Greater Vernon.
Through a public engagement process for the creation of the plan, more than 15,000 people attended to share their thoughts on culture in Greater Vernon.