The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce seeks expedited planning processes for the Cultural Centre in a letter written to local governments June 18, 2020. (Contributed)

Vernon chamber puts spotlight on new cultural centre

A letter penned to local governments urges for expedited planning processes

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce is pushing for local governments to expedite the planning processes for a new cultural centre.

In a letter to the Regional District of North Okanagan, chamber president Krystin Kempton said the chamber worries the planning of the new multi-purpose facility is taking too long and there could be repercussions.

Our concern is that the process is taking some time and the public momentum before and after the referendum has been negatively impacted by this delay,” the June 18 letter said.

“That said, we believe now is the time to reinvigorate the initiative as the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic downturn will likely result in senior governments placing significant dollars into infrastructure and stimulus projects,” Kempton wrote. “Greater Vernon needs to have a plan that is shovel-ready for when funding applications are launched.”

A 2018 referendum regarding the cultural centre delivered a yes with 7,850 voting in favour and 5,367 against.

READ MORE: It’s a YES for the cultural centre

The referendum asked voters if they were in favour of the RDNO authorizing a loan of up to $25 million to construct the multi-purpose cultural facility and authorize the establishment of a cultural service to operate it.

Kempton said the Chamber appreciates the recent decision to negotiate with the City of Vernon regarding the location and land costs for a centre, but pointed to the former Coldstream Hotel property on 31st Avenue, which “was clearly identified during the referendum.”

“There is a concern that going in a new direction with sites now will further delay the project,” she wrote. “We also believe that a downtown location is necessary to maximize economic benefits, specifically through new residential and commercial development downtown and bolstering cultural tourism.”

The chamber said the RDNO is also reviewing square footage of the facility “as a way of reducing overall costs.”

“While easing the financial burden on taxpayers should always be a priority, we would hope that the long-term needs of a growing community will be considered,” Kempton wrote, noting additions in the future are costly.

A new cultural centre would have benefits that are far-reaching, the chamber said, such as downtown renewal, a thriving economy and vibrant arts scene.

“But to get there, we, as a community, need to remain focused and that requires and expedited process.”

READ MORE: Vernon Cultural Centre plans move forward

READ MORE: Vernon Salvation Army warns of scam


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Building to begin on Okanagan Rail Trail washroom

Project starts Monday, July 13, in Coldstream between Westkal Road and Kickwillie Loop

Campfires pop up at North Okanagan alternative summer camp

MacKenzie Camp near Mabel Lake in Enderby still trying fun things for summer despite COVID-19

Ex-Vernon Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Lake Country trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

Innovation Centre prepares to open doors to Vernon co-workers

Former restaurant re-imagined to host ideas from Vernon’s ‘hidden’ home-based workforce

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Security guard assaulted in Kamloops park thanks police, public for quick arrest

Glen Warner, 71, was attacked on July 2 by a man who was asked by Warner to not smoke

Portraits celebrating Syilx culture now on display at Kelowna International Airport

Sheldon Pierre Louis’ art will be on display at YLW from now until July 2021

After slow start, Summerland sees more tourism activity

Majority of visitors come from within British Columbia

EDITORIAL: Accommodating Okanagan fruit pickers

Campsite for agricultural workers to open in Summerland

Deer and moose die after being chased by dogs in South Okanagan

BC conservation officers are asking the public to control their pets

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Trail RCMP officer accused of criminal harassment, forcible entry

BCPS: The charges against Murchie date between 2017 and 2020

Most Read