Greater Vernon is closer to having a Cultural Centre after the RDNO Board of Directors approved the next steps in the project.
At their board meeting on May 22, staff were directed to move forward with the first step toward the development of the final business plan for the Cultural Centre, along with the creation of a coordinated fundraising strategy.
The first step in the business planning process will be completing a more detailed market assessment and analysis. This work will help identify new revenue opportunities and trends in operations of similar cultural facilities to ensure that the new Centre is designed and constructed with longevity, functionality, and efficiency at the forefront. The research will also help confirm visitor estimates, which will be used to build a reliable business plan.
“There is a lot of planning work that has to be done before shovels can hit the ground to make sure we create the best facility possible for our community,” said Akbal Mund, Chair of the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee. “The Board’s direction really demonstrates the RDNO’s commitment to moving this project forward quickly, and with thought and planning.”
Through a successful referendum in October 2018, the community supported the borrowing of up to $25 million to fund a portion of the proposed $40 million Cultural Centre.
The RDNO has applied for a grant through the Investing in Canada Fund for $23.57 million, which would help offset some of the required borrowing, if successful. A fundraising strategy to raise the targeted $4 million in capital and adequate endowment funds will be put together to identify a coordinated approach to fundraising that respects and complements existing fundraisers.
“A collaborative approach to fundraising will be key to the success of meeting the multiple funding objectives of the project,” said Tannis Nelson, Community Services Manager. “It will also help to ensure that the fundraising efforts of this project will take into consideration and be sensitive to the other ongoing fundraising needs of the community’s non-profit organizations.”
Steps are underway to establish a fund to manage and collect donations for the project. Multiple instances of grassroots fundraising for the Centre have already begun. Those who want to donate before this fund is established, the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives, the RDNO Main Office, and the Vernon Public Art Gallery are all prepared to take donations for the project and issue tax receipts.
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