Kamloops Center for the Arts Society hopes to showcase new projects this year | Radio NL

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An architectural rendering of the proposed Kamloops Center for the Arts downtown. (Photo via Kamloops Center for the Arts Society)

The Kamloops Center for the Arts Society hopes to present a new plan for the proposed facility later this year.

Acting President Brenda Aynsley says they are awaiting news from the new city council, which will be elected on October 15.

“We’re really starting from square one and we just have to be very sensitive to any issues that arise,” Aynsley told NL News. “We know there will be concerns, but we strongly believe that if people have the right information, they can make the most informed decision.”

His comments come as a referendum on the proposed Kamloops Center for the Arts will not be on the ballot in the municipal elections this fall.

“I know all sectors of our community have been impacted by the pandemic, but the arts have been hit pretty hard because they needed people in the seats,” she said. “It’s really only been in the last four to five months that we’ve seen our facilities packed with people, so it’s really just a matter of timing that he’s not on the ballot. This year.”

Aynsley adds that it’s too early to tell what this proposed facility might cost, noting that a lot has changed since the canceled April 2020 referendum. At that time, Kamloops residents were being asked to approve a loan of up to $45 million for the installation over a period of 25 years.

Last November, a report to city council said the Kamloops Center for the Arts is now expected to cost $90 million. That’s $20 million more than estimates presented in a 2019 business case due to increased construction costs.

“With the way things are going with the economy, it’s very difficult to make estimates on [costs]. We will have a lot of work to do to come up with the right plan, at the right time,” Aynsley said.

“We will have all the information people need to feel comfortable making an informed decision when the time comes, and hopefully it will be later this year when we can present something to the board.”

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