Kamloops Centre for the Arts Referendum


In spring 2020, electors will vote to decide if they are in favour of borrowing up to $45 million to construct the Kamloops Centre for the Arts (KCA).

On November 5, 2019, Kamloops City Council voted to support the development of the KCA in partnership with the KCA Society and directed staff to initiate a referendum to measure the electors' support for funding up to $45 million of the construction cost.

The business case, prepared by the KCA Society, outlines a new 120,000+ sq. ft. facility on the City-owned lot at the corner of 4th Avenue and Seymour Street, with


In spring 2020, electors will vote to decide if they are in favour of borrowing up to $45 million to construct the Kamloops Centre for the Arts (KCA).

On November 5, 2019, Kamloops City Council voted to support the development of the KCA in partnership with the KCA Society and directed staff to initiate a referendum to measure the electors' support for funding up to $45 million of the construction cost.

The business case, prepared by the KCA Society, outlines a new 120,000+ sq. ft. facility on the City-owned lot at the corner of 4th Avenue and Seymour Street, with an additional 20,000 sq. ft. of renovated existing space. The facility is anticipated to include the following spaces; however, detailed design and consultation would only move forward if the referendum is successful:

  • main stage theatre (~1,200 seats)
  • studio theatre (~450 seats)
  • black box flexible space
  • rehearsal, production, and education spaces
  • administrative spaces
  • resident tenant spaces
  • underground parking
  • meeting rooms
  • commercial space
  • support and storage areas
  • building systems

This project supports Council's strategic priorities and was supported unanimously by City Council.

Accurate information is integral to making an informed decision. If you have a question about the referendum or the proposed Kamloops Centre for the Arts, please ask it here. 

Please read through the other questions on this page, as well as the frequently asked questions, to see if your question has already been answered. If your question has already been asked, you will be responded to privately.

Read before posting: Please ensure your questions are clear, concise, and relevant. While you may ask multiple questions, only include one question per post to ensure clear answers. Submissions that do not meet these requests may not be answered or posted. Questions are to be respectful and abide by the moderation policy of the Let's Talk engagement website. 

Your question will be posted publicly once our team has an answer. We will strive to respond to your question within three business days.

Q&A

  • Would the Kamloops Centre for the Arts be the largest capital project that the City has undertaken?

    1 day ago

    It is difficult to determine the “largest project”, as many factors increase the complexity and/or cost of a project. The City has undertaken many large projects over the years. The renovations at the Tournament Capital Centre (TCC) to add the fieldhouse and renovate the pools, track, and building was $36 million in 2003-2006. This investment does not include the original cost of building the pool pre-1993. In 2015, the Kamloops Sewage Treatment Centre facility upgrades cost $39 million. Another significant project was the water treatment facility (Kamloops Centre for Water Quality), which cost $48.5 million and was built in 2004.

  • What were the estimated and actual costs of the Tournament Capital Centre construction?

    1 day ago

    The Tournament Capital Centre (TCC) was built in several phases. The original pool was built prior to the 1993 Canada Summer Games. The significant renovations to the pool, the addition of the fieldhouse, and the relocation of the track were completed in 2003-2006 for a cost of $36 million, which was within the budgeted amount. This TCC project was part of the complete Tournament Capital program, which also included additional ice on McArthur Island and the renovation and creation of various soccer/baseball fields across the city.

  • What other venues in Kamloops exist because of a 'yes' vote in a referendum?

    2 days ago

    A number of venues in Kamloops are enjoyed by residents for a variety of purposes as the result of 'yes' votes in referendums. These venues include Sandman Centre, McArthur Island Sport and Event Centre, Tournament Capital Centre (TCC), Tournament Capital Ranch, and Riverside Park.

  • Are residents of Sun Rivers and Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc land able to vote?

    about 1 month ago

    We acknowledge that residents in the Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD) and within the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc (TteS) membership may wish to exercise their right to vote in the City’s upcoming referendum. Members of TteS and residents who live within the TNRD boundaries are unfortunately not eligible to vote in the upcoming referendum, this includes areas such as Sun Rivers, Rivershore, Tobiano, and Sun Peaks. However, residents who reside in these areas may vote if they own real estate in Kamloops, registered in their name for at least thirty days prior to the day of voting. These requirements are dictated by the Local Government Act and Elections BC. As a municipality, the City is bound to follow the requirements when conducting an election or a referendum.

  • The business plan suggests there would be about 145 shows, annually, in the big theatre, at about 60% capacity (about 1,000 patrons) which would be about 1,000 people attending an event every second or third night. Is there any evidence to show that we’ve got 1,000 people attending shows in Kamloops this regularly? #financial

    Peter Kerek asked 6 days ago

    The projected 145 bookings per year in the large theatre includes civic and community bookings as well as "shows". One example of this is graduation & convocation ceremonies: The City currently hosts approximately 25 bookings per year in arenas or at the TCC to host 1,500-2,000 people each. Another example is the year-end dance productions presented by the local dance studios. Each of the nine studios produces a minimum of 2 productions each (due to the lack of availability of additional dates in the Sagebrush Theatre) to a full house. Additionally, the large theatre would allow larger local productions the opportunity to extend their runs, as well as improving our community's chance of securing tours that need longer availability of dates.

  • Where are the spaces for the large requirements for Western Canada Theatre's scene construction shop, wardrobe/costume building shop, and the properties shop?

    Trish asked 18 days ago

    The annex building located adjacent to the proposed site for the Kamloops Centre for the Arts has been purchased by Mr. Fawcett with the intention to renovate and donate it to the City for part of the Kamloops Centre for the Arts. This large space will provide educational, rehearsal, and construction spaces, as well as administrative space for both the Kamloops Symphony and Western Canada Theatre.

  • I read that "Kamloops often misses opportunities to host a touring group, conference, artist or event as there is not a venue suitable or available for the requested dates." Could the City please elaborate on what shows have been turned away because of our current lack of a suitable or available space?

    SOlsonSteele asked 17 days ago

    It is difficult to quantify the number opportunities Kamloops has missed due to a lack of appropriate venue space. What we do know is that Kamloops is uniquely positioned in the province to host productions that currently pass through Kamloops' highways as they are touring through Western Canada and the US Pacific Northwest. Concerts, theatre productions, comedy shows, and speakers series are examples of some of the touring events the Kamloops Centre for the Arts could accommodate.

  • I will be out of town April 4th. Is there a advance poll ?

    Dean Gladue asked 16 days ago

    There will be two advanced polling dates—Wednesday, March 25 and Wednesday, April 1. Full details, including voting locations, will be available in the coming weeks on this site as well as Kamloops.ca/Referendum.

  • What about other priorities such as potholes and road maintenance, third bridge crossing, degrading infrastructure, and homelessness?

    16 days ago

    Within city limits, there are many activities and assets that are not owned by, or the responsibility of, the municipal government. While the city cares about these activities and assets, they are not things the city can use tax dollars to address, as there are other governments responsible for them. For example, the Red Bridge and the Halston Bridge are the responsibility of the provincial government, the hospital is funded through the hospital board and the province (not the city). Currently, the city has strong community relationships to support the social needs within Kamloops. The overall funding of health and housing initiatives are the responsibility of the provincial government. The city is a partner and has contributed land to assist in the creating of more affordable housing and social programs.

  • Why has the arts centre been prioritized?

    16 days ago

    The development of the Kamloops Centre for the Arts is a significant opportunity to grow a market where demand currently exceeds the available supply of venues. Kamloops often misses opportunities to host a touring group, conference, artist, or event as there is not a venue suitable or available for the requested dates. Many of these opportunities choose to bypass Kamloops and move on to Vernon, Kelowna or Penticton. These events would draw customers to the many hotels and restaurants in the city and provide economic and employment opportunities for people living in Kamloops.

  • In the light of severe private sector job losses, a struggling economy, rising food prices, rising property taxes that only cover city employee wage increases and a PAC proposal that says taxpayers wont see an increase in taxes. Will you put it in writing that we wont get a tax increase to finish or operate or upgrade a new PAC?

    Atomant asked about 2 months ago

    Property tax requirements each year are based on the costs of providing services throughout the community, such as road maintenance, recreation facilities, parks, planning, and much more. As the community grows, there is additional demand for more services and amenities. The benefit of this is that as the community grows, there are more residents and businesses contributing to property taxes, and this growth offsets the tax increase requirements. The Kamloops Centre for the Arts will be a community amenity that will require some funding from the City through property taxes.

    When the Kamloops Centre for the Arts opens, the City, as its owner, will add the facility’s revenues and expenses to the City’s overall operating budget. It is anticipated that the City's contribution to the facility’s operation will be funded from property taxes, similar to the funding provided to operate other City facilities such as arenas, pools, the museum, etc. The goal is to reduce the City's contribution to the facility’s operation over time as the revenues from rentals and bookings increases. These costs will be included in the annual budget and will be one of many considerations that influence that change in the budget each year. 

    The projected year 1 operation subsidy for the Kamloops Centre for the Arts is $703,000 per year. For the average Kamloops home (in 2019), this would result in a potential impact of 0.6%, or $0.04 per day ($13.85 per year). The operating subsidy is projected to decrease to $383,000 per year by year 5. This equates to approximately $0.02 per day for the average Kamloops house (in 2019), or $6.30 per year.

  • Why does the City always borrow money for every large project?

    18 days ago

    When the City wants or needs to spend a large amount of money on a capital project or build a new facility, there are basically two funding options. This first option is to set aside money (reserves) over many years so that sufficient funds are available for the project. The second option is to borrow money.

    The City uses a combination of both of these approaches for the various capital projects that occur each year. The City tries to ensure that most planned maintenance and repair is paid for from reserves. For very large projects and significant initiatives, the City often looks to borrow money.

    There are pros and cons to both of these approaches. The most significant benefit of building up reserves is that there are no interest costs. The disadvantage of this approach is that it can take a long time to save up enough money for a project, during which time costs can escalate or the asset can deteriorate. Also, in this scenario, current property owners are paying to fund a future asset that they may or may not use in the future. The advantage of borrowing is that the project can be completed sooner and the costs are assumed to be lower than in the future. Although there are interest charges to be paid, the current property owners are the ones paying for and using the asset. In this sense, the cost and benefit are matched to the community.

    It is being proposed that the funding for the Kamloops Centre for the Arts project (up to $45 million) be borrowed, but as the project is finalized, there is always an option to use some of the City’s reserves to reduce the overall borrowing.

    While the overall borrowing numbers for the City are large (approx. $85.8 million at December 31, 2019, for all funds—Water ($11.35 million), Sewer ($20.2 million), Solid Waste ($11.4 million), and General ($42.7 million)—they are well below the allowable borrowing for a municipality. The Community Charter requires that the City’s debt servicing costs never exceed 25% of the revenues. The water and sewer debt is repaid from the water and sewer utility fees. The general debt is repaid from property taxes. The debt servicing for the general fund is approximately $6.0 million, which is approximately 5.21% of property taxes.

    To put this debt in perspective, consider the City like a household and the debt like a mortgage. The City has an income of approximately $115 million per year and a mortgage of $85.8 million. For a house, this would be like having a household income of $75,000 per year and a mortgage of only $56,000 with an annual payment for 14 years of $3,900 ($325/month).

  • Does the airport owe the City any money that could be repaid and used toward the Kamloops Centre for the Arts?

    18 days ago

    As of December 31, 2019, the airport debt was approximately $4.6 million; however, this debt is not payable to the City of Kamloops and is therefore not available for the City’s use. The airport debt sits on the City’s books as the entire airport operations is consolidated into the City’s annual financial statements since the airport is controlled by the City of Kamloops. 

  • What future borrowing is planned in the City’s Five-Year Financial Plan? If we borrow the $45 million for the KCA, can we afford other things?

    18 days ago

    Currently, there is approximately $4.5 million in borrowing planned in the Five-Year Financial Plan. This money is assigned to the general fund and related to work slated for the Canada Games Aquatic Centre. The water and sewer funds have many significant projects on the horizon (Tranquille Road Phases 2 and 3, water distribution equipment replacements, biosolids treatment, and the Lorne Street sewer project), which have established utility rates that will build up the reserves to cover the cost of these projects.

  • Why can’t the City secure grant funding from other levels of governments and set it aside until there are enough funds to build the KCA?

    18 days ago

    Provincial and federal government grants have very strict requirements for how and when the funds are spent. In most cases, it is a requirement that the community already be committed to the project and there is a date by which the funds must be spent (often only a few years out at most). In most cases, the City would not be eligible for grant funding if the plan was to sit on the funds for several years until the total cost of the project was accumulated.

  • Why doesn’t the City cancel its contract with Impark and use the new revenue to fund the KCA?

    18 days ago

    The City does not have a contract with Impark. All of the Impark lots in Kamloops are private lots, and the owners of those properties have contracted Impark to run the parking on their lots. The City-owned lots are all managed by the City. All of the revenue from City-owned parking lots currently goes into a specific parking reserve fund to be spent on future parking needs. These funds are used to update and maintain the parkades, the City-owned lots, and the parking equipment and to provide security for the lots.

  • 1. Part of the argument in favour of this project is that it will re-vitalize the downtown core. How with the PAC re-vitalize the downtown core? I am assuming that that most of the events in this facility will be after business hours. On event nights will the local businesses in the facility stay open later? I think part of the part of the problem in the downtown core is that the businesses are not open past 6:00. I went downtown on Boxing Day, which you would assume would be a busy day for retailers, but the only businesses that were open were restaurants, coffee shops. How is the downtown core going to be revitalized when the businesses aren’t open?

    pdc asked 23 days ago

    The Kamloops Centre for the Arts has a great deal of potential to contribute to downtown revitalization such as livability and options for a vibrant lifestyle to work and to recreate, which are key influences for people choosing to live in the Downtown. The project will turn a prime block of Downtown real estate, which the City originally purchased for redevelopment, into a productive use that will serve as an anchor for further adjacent development.

    An increased density of people will provide new business and employment opportunities in the Downtown. Existing businesses in the area will likely evaluate their own business models and hours of operations to reflect the potential demand for increased services.

  • What is the total cost invested to date on the proposed site by the City?

    25 days ago

    This question was extracted from JDubb's original submission from 'Community Conversation', December 2019.

    The City purchased the property for $4.8 million. To date, the City has spent $1.1 million on the proposed site, including the costs for building demolition, site security during demolition, removal and proper disposal of building materials, construction of the surface parking lot, and site landscaping.

  • I am for the Performing Arts Center but I know of several people who are not because they think it should have a huge underground parking lot included in the design. i know that this is not feasible but I think it should be brought to the public’s attention the reasons it would not be feasible. We should get the Center built and figure out the parking in other spots but let the public know why you can’t have an underground 4 storey parkade attached to the performing arts center. I.e. water table? Astronomic cost?

    DianneDreyer asked about 2 months ago

    The addition of more underground parking significantly increases the building costs and reduces the feasibility of the project. The vision for this project is to build a community asset that will contribute to the development of a strong and stable cultural community and create economic stimulation for Kamloops. 

     We understand that residents may be concerned about parking availability in the downtown core. The building will provide 70 underground stalls, and there are over 3,800 on street and lot parking stalls available within a five-minute walk of the site. As with other public buildings and events, attendees are encouraged to use the available parking stalls as well as consider alternate modes of transportation to attend activities hosted in the building. The City is developing a parking management plan to address current and future parking needs in the downtown core, which are influenced by many factors aside from this proposed facility.

  • as I understand it , a class D estimate can range from 20 to 30 % plus or minus on a 75 million dollar project . Who will fund the engineering cost required to reach a Class A estimate which would range from 5 to 10 % plus or minus and provide the actual cost of the entire project .

    Gary Dolinski asked about 1 month ago

    The initial detailed design costs are being paid by Mr. Fawcett as part of his donation. The remaining design costs are included in the cost estimates for the project.This will result in a Class A estimate. 

  • How will this project be funded?

    about 2 months ago

    The project will be funded by donations, grants, and City borrowing. The estimate for the project is approximately $70 million, of which, the City is proposing to borrow up to $45 million for its contribution.

  • Will the architect for this project be selected through an open and transparent process?

    about 2 months ago

    This question was extracted from Frank Dwyer's original submission from 'Ask a Question', November 2019.

    The Kamloops Centre for the Arts Society has indicated that it is working with Mr. Fawcett to provide the detailed design from the architect. This work is being completed as part of the donation from Mr. Fawcett and will ensure that the project can get started as soon as possible. The governance structure for the construction of the project has not yet been determined; however, if the City is managing the project’s procurement, we will abide by our ethics statement:
    • open and honest dealing with everyone involved in the purchasing process
    • fair and impartial award recommendations for all contracts and tenders
    • an irreproachable standard of personal integrity on the part of all those designated as purchasing agents for the City of Kamloops
    • co-operation with other public agencies in order to obtain the best possible value for every tax dollar
    • continuous development of purchasing skills and knowledge

  • Who is responsible for the operating costs of the Annex Building?

    about 1 month ago

    This question was extracted from Frank Dwyer's original submission from 'Ask a Question', December 2019.

    Once the facility is complete, the annex building will be considered part of the overall Kamloops Centre for the Arts. As such, the operating cost of the annex is included in the overall operating cost estimates in the business case. The expectation is that the rent paid by the tenants will cover the majority of the operating costs of the annex.

  • Why are the projected revenue estimates in this proposal so different that the revenue estimates in the 2015 proposal?

    about 1 month ago

    This question was extracted from Frank Dwyer's original submission from 'Ask a Question', November 2019.

    The most notable difference in the function program is the addition of the 450-seat theatre to the current Kamloops Centre for the Arts proposal, which is expected to be well used. The Kamloops Centre for the Arts design includes three different functional spaces and a spacious lobby designed to allow concurrent use with complete sound separation. In addition, synergies will be realized in components such as technical production support and stage production operations that are achieved by having three spaces.

  • How many concert hall projects has the nominated firm CHP Architects managed from design through to project completion?

    Frank Dwyer asked about 2 months ago

    CHP Architects has managed many projects of comparable size from design to project completion, but they do not specialize in one specific facility type. At this point, CHP Architects has been retained by Ron Fawcett to complete a Class D estimate based on the functional program identified by the community.

  • How does this facility fit with being the Tournament Capital of Canada?

    about 1 month ago

    The root of Kamloops’ Tournament Capital Program is hosting. Since the City invested in its facilities to become Canada's Tournament Capital, Kamloops has become synonymous with first-class events and is widely recognized for its exceptional hosting ability. As other cities improve their infrastructure, Kamloops needs to find new ways to differentiate itself in the market.

    In addition, the requirements for hosting tournaments and other sporting events has evolved beyond the field or arena. Many bid organizations require venues to host awards ceremonies, organizational or volunteer events, and media in addition to the sporting venues and are seeking host communities that can build the athlete experience beyond the sporting event. Kamloops does not currently have the ability to accommodate these needs and is therefore often unable to fulfill the complete bid requirements.

    Our hosting program often includes celebrating community through art, such as the February 21, 2020, Blazers Memorial Cup Anniversary Concert Celebration with Gord Bamford, where sport, art, and community overlap. The Kamloops Centre for the Arts would fill a gap in the community and would opportunities to host larger events and further expand the Tournament Capital Program.

  • Will the flexible space have a sprung floor for dance performance? Will any of the rehearsal spaces have barre, mirrors and suitable dance floors.

    Frank Dwyer asked about 2 months ago

    The proposed design was developed to meet a wide range of arts, community, and civic needs based on community consultation from the 2015 proposal, input from the proposed resident tenants, and expertise from professionals in multiple disciplines. If the referendum is successful, the Kamloops Centre for the Arts Society will continue conversations with specific user groups from a variety of disciplines (dance, music, choral, performance, etc.) to inform the detailed design; however, the general layout and design elements are set. The exact location, size of various rooms, storage, interior furnishings, and floor choices will need to be finalized.

  • Have other locations been considered for the Kamloops Centre for the Arts?

    about 1 month ago

    This question was extracted from Frank Dwyer's original submission from 'Ask a Question', November 2019.

    We recognize that some residents would like to see a venue of this nature in other areas of town; however, the location for the Kamloops Centre for the Arts is final. The downtown property is owned by the City and is ready for development. 

    In order to allow access for all residents and provide the greatest economic opportunity from this investment, a major community venue such as the Kamloops Centre for the Arts must be built in the downtown core. 

    When the City created the current surface parking lot, it was developed with the intention of future development. All of the materials used (fencing, trees, asphalt) were selected for their ability to be recycled or reused for other projects around the city when the site was redeveloped. This location will allow the City to maintain 70 parking spaces within the downtown core while creating incredible community capacity on the surface that would stimulate economic investment into the city. 

    With the addition of the Kamloops Centre for the Arts, Kamloops would have the Kamloops Symphony, Western Canada Theatre, the Kamloops Film Society, the Kamloops Art Gallery, and the Kamloops Museum & Archives all within three blocks of each other, which would create a cultural destination in our downtown core for both residents and tourists to enjoy. 

    The property that currently houses City Hall and BCLC is not currently available for development, nor is it large enough to build the proposed facility. The same is true of the government precinct lot. If the provincial government indicated that it would like to dispose of this property, the City’s planning department would work with the province to ensure any development opportunity meets the needs of the community.

  • Is the main theatre going to be expandable to 1,400 seats? Has flexible seating been considered?

    about 1 month ago

    This question was extracted from Frank Dwyer's original submission from 'Ask a Question', November 2019.

    As this is a Class D estimate, the detailed design has not been finalized; however, flexible seating has not been considered at this time. 

    In their research for this project, Mr. Fawcett, the design architects, and a local delegation visited many theatres to examine their functionality and operations. From that research, they presented the conceptual design for the Kamloops Centre for the Arts as the best option for this location in Kamloops, as it enables a variety of community uses within the one building. 

    The intention of the Kamloops Centre for the Arts is to maximize the usability of each space while serving a wide variety of community needs. The proposed design provides flexibility through a variety of spaces—a large theatre (approximately 1,200 seats), a small theatre (approximately 400 seats), and a black box theatre. By structuring the large theatre with 1,200 seats, it can accommodate concerts, lectures, performances, and a variety of community uses while still allowing space within the facility for the other two spaces.

  • What will be the asset renewal requirements of a facility like this and how much money should the City be putting into reserves each year to fund that renewal?

    about 1 month ago

    This question was extracted from JDubb's original submission from 'Community Conversation', December 2019.

    It is difficult to determine an exact number at this point, as each component of the building has its own useful life and replacement cost (e.g. a roof could have a 20–35 year life depending on the materials). As part of the design and construction, the City will work on creating an asset management plan for this building. The City is currently working on asset management plans for all of its facilities to ensure that appropriate reserves can be established and allocated to those facilities.

  • Who will own the annex building and who will be responsible for the property taxes of the annex building?

    about 1 month ago

    This question was extracted from Frank Dwyer's original submission from 'Ask a Question', December 2019.

    Once the facility is complete, the annex building and the Kamloops Centre for the Arts will be owned by the City. City buildings are generally exempt from property taxes, depending on the type of lease established with the tenants. The tenants in the building will be required to pay rent and be responsible for their share of the space’s operating costs. As not-for-profit entities, they may qualify for a permissive tax exemption if their rented space has applicable taxes, which would be determined once a lease was signed.

  • Will the annual operating costs of the annex be separately reported on the city financial statements along with the rental revenues obtained from tenants?

    Frank Dwyer asked about 2 months ago

    At this point, the governance for how the Kamloops Centre for the Arts will operate has not been finalized. If the operations are contracted to a third party, such as a not-for-profit society, then this entity would be responsible for creating stand-alone financial statements. This information may be consolidated into the City's financial statements, depending on the governance structure. If the facility is run by the City, its operations would simply be included as part of the overall operations. The breakdown of the City's share of the facility operations and budget would be available as part of the five-year financial plan.

  • Why is the City’s contribution to operating costs projected to decrease when the outlined contribution to other facilities has increased?

    about 1 month ago

    This question was extracted from Marion's original submission from 'Ask a Question', November 2019.

    The business case outlines an expected ongoing operating subsidy from the City of $383,000 per year once the Kamloops Centre for the Arts becomes operational. This is in line with operating subsidies for other City-owned venues.

    When a new facility like the Kamloops Centre for the Arts opens, it takes about five years to market the venue and city to concert, event, and production companies and promoters. In addition, when the City bids on hosting events through the Tournament Capital Program, that event is typically a minimum of 24–36 months in the future. As the venue becomes more well-known in the market, bid opportunities are realized, and business builds, the revenue will increase and the City's operating subsidy will decrease.

    The City does not include the capital cost of construction or debt servicing in its calculation of its facilities’ operating costs; however, it is included in the City's general budget.

  • What happens after the referendum?

    about 2 months ago

    If the community supports the Kamloops Centre for the Arts with a majority "yes vote" in the April 2020 referendum, the City and the KCA Society would begin work immediately to:

    • further develop the building's detailed design
    • prepare the site: work with 3rd party utility companies to prepare the site for the underground utility work required, complete archaeology work, and relocate the City's underground utilities
    • plan for the re-use/recycle of all possible material on the current site (asphalt, fence, planters, etc.)
    • establish a post-referendum governance structure for the project, with the City as the owner and the Society as a key partner including a strategy for construction
    • continue communications efforts to keep the community informed
    • work with other levels of government on grant funding opportunities
    • work with the society to execute a fundraising plan that will include government, corporations, and private citizens
    • finalize the debt financing with the Municipal Financing Authority

  • Why do we need a Centre for the Arts?

    about 2 months ago

    The need to invest in arts and community amenities is driven by four critical factors: Community and Council direction, downtown revitalization, condition and availability of existing facilities, demand for enhanced community attractions and community need.

    The project will add to the City’s plans for downtown revitalization. The Kamloops Centre for the Arts will turn a prime block of downtown real estate, which the City originally purchased for redevelopment, into a productive use that will serve as an anchor for further adjacent development. This project will provide local employment and business spin-offs and add to the Downtown’s livability.

    Condition and Availability of Existing Facilities – The current facilities are aged and inadequate to support community demand. Facility limitations are directly impacting the quality and availability of performances and community events. The Sagebrush Theatre and Pavilion Theatre are both booked to their maximum and have recently experienced serious structural issues and require capital repairs.

    Demand for Enhanced Community Attractions – The Kamloops Centre for the Arts would be a key asset for the community. It would expand audiences for successful arts organizations, such as the Kamloops Symphony and Western Canada Theatre; support more shows and entertainment, community events, and use by non-profit organizations; and provide opportunities for travelling shows that are currently bypassing Kamloops.

    A venue for the arts has been in the City’s planning documents for over 20 years, including the following:

    • 2019–2022 Council Strategic Plan
    • Draft 2019 Recreation Master Plan
    • Draft 2019 Downtown Plan
    • 2015–2018 Council Strategic Plan
    • 2012–2014 Council Strategic Plan
    • 2004 Cultural Strategic Plan

    Driven by community engagement and needs, the 2019–2022 Council Strategic Plan identifies Arts, Culture, and Heritage as an area of focus to support the strategic priority of Livability. 

    The plan states “The City of Kamloops maintains a vibrant, high quality of life for an inclusive, healthy, and diverse community. We cultivate a vibrant and diverse arts, culture, and heritage environment throughout the city.” 

    Council direction includes exploring options for community cultural facilities and supporting placemaking through infrastructure and venue development. 

  • Didn't we already have a referendum for a performing arts centre?

    about 2 months ago

    On November 7, 2015, the City held a referendum asking the electorate:"Are you in favour of the City of Kamloops borrowing up to $49 million to design and construct the parkade and performing arts centre complex?"

    31.97% of eligible voters cast a ballot in the referendum. Of those, 53.74% voted against borrowing the money for the centre and 46.26% voted in favour of the borrowing. The 2015 referendum did not measure the electorate support for an arts centre; it was specific to the borrowing. As the referendum did not pass, the City was unable to borrow the funds required to build the Arts Centre, and that proposal was not realized. 


    In January 2019, Mr. Fawcett appeared before Council to share a new vision for a Kamloops Centre for the Arts, which would be developed to serve a wide range of community needs. The funding structure in the new proposal for construction outlined an $8-$10 million personal donation from the Fawcetts, a minimum of $22 million to be raised from other levels of government and fundraising efforts, and up to $45 million from the City. On November 5, 2019, Council voted unanimously to support the development of the Kamloops Centre for the Arts in partnership with the Kamloops Centre for the Arts Society and directed staff to initiate a referendum to obtain electoral approval to borrow the required funds.


    The referendum on April 4, 2020 will ask the electorate: “Are you in favour of the City of Kamloops borrowing up to $45 million to construct a Kamloops Centre for the Arts?”.


    City Council believes this is the right time and the right proposal for this project. Compared to the timing of the 2015 proposal, the City is in a stronger financial position and is able to absorb the new debt into its existing financial plan without a direct impact on property tax rates. 

  • What opportunities does Kamloops miss due to a lack of a venue like this?

    about 2 months ago

    It is difficult to quantify the number opportunities Kamloops has missed due to a lack of appropriate venue space, however Kamloops is uniquely positioned in the province to host productions that are touring through Western Canada and the US Pacific Northwest. Concerts, theatre productions, comedy shows, and speakers series are examples of some of the touring events the Kamloops Centre for the Arts could accommodate.

    In the absence of an appropriate venue, sports facilities like the TCC or city arenas are often closed to the public in order to accommodate community engagements for large groups, such convocation ceremonies, that would be better suited for a facility like the Kamloops Centre for the Arts. For example, the TCC Fieldhouse is closed to the public for the equivalent of approximately 2.5—3 months per year to accommodate civic uses. These closures displace members, sport organizations, and other user groups from using those facilities for their intended purpose.

    In addition, Kamloops residents have long supported the City's Tournament Capital Program and the first-class events the City has been able to host due to our exceptional sporting facilities. As other cities improve their infrastructure, Kamloops needs to find new ways to differentiate itself in the market. The requirements for hosting tournaments and other sporting events has evolved beyond the field or arena. Many bid organizations require venues to host awards ceremonies, organizational or volunteer events, and media in addition to the sporting venues. In addition, bid organizations are seeking host communities that can build the athlete experience beyond the sporting event, with evening entertainment. Kamloops does not currently have the ability to accommodate these needs, and is therefore often unable to fulfill the complete bid requirements.

    The Kamloops Centre for the Arts would fill a gap in the community and provide opportunities to host larger events and further expand the Tournament Capital Program.

    The new Recreation Master Plan asked citizens to identify what they thought was the greatest recreation infrastructure need, and the number one priority was an arts centre. 

  • Many other user groups need space, why fund an arts centre for Western Canada Theatre and Kamloops Symphony Orchestra?

    about 2 months ago

    The Kamloops Centre for the Arts would not only serve the Western Canada Theatre Company (WCT) and the Kamloops Symphony (KSO), it would also be available for schools, local dance and choral performances, local and visiting performers, and graduations and provide an opportunity to create community within this new space. These events would draw customers to the many hotels and restaurants in the city and provide economic and employment opportunities for people living in Kamloops. The annex building—donated by Mr. Fawcett—would house the administrative offices for the WCT and KSO as well as offer significant rehearsal and meeting space to be used by many groups within the community. 

  • How are we supposed to vote for something without a proper business plan and minimum Class C estimate?

    about 2 months ago

    While the current design is a Class D estimate, the City's commitment to the construction will not exceed $45 million. In addition, the business case—commissioned by the Kamloops Centre for the Arts Society and prepared by KPMG—provides a good estimate of the operating costs for the facility. The referendum is seeking approval from the electorate to borrow up to $45 million to construct the project. The details of the design and the specifics of governance will be developed if the community approves the borrowing and the project moves forward. 

  • Is retail space incorporated into the base level of of the building to offset operating costs?

    about 2 months ago

    Yes, some retail and/or restaurant space is planned in the Class D design estimate of the Kamloops Centre for the Arts. The exact location and kind of retail opportunities have not yet been determined. 

  • Will the other performance facilities remain open?

    about 2 months ago

    The Sagebrush Theatre will continue to be well used as a performance facility as it becomes more available to community.

    As Western Canada Theatre would relocate its operations to the Kamloops Centre for the Arts, the Pavilion Theatre would become vacant. The City is aware that the Pavilion Theatre building requires significant repair; however, a decision has not been made about the facility’s future.

  • Will the project have some accepted certification for environmental leadership (e.g. LEED or similar)?

    about 2 months ago

    This question was extracted from Frank Dwyer's original submission from 'Ask a Question', November 2019.

    Sustainability is a strategic priority for City Council, and all new infrastructure is built with energy efficiency and environmental sustainability as its focus. As sustainability standards and guidelines are continually evolving, the exact details of the sustainability measures for this building have not been finalized. A key focus in the detailed design process for the Kamloops Centre for the Arts to be able to meet the Sustainable Kamloops Plan's objective of “Constructing all new municipal buildings to the equivalent of LEED gold standard.”

  • Why did Council choose to hold a referendum?

    about 2 months ago

    On November 5, 2019, Council unanimously voted to support the development of the Kamloops Centre for the Arts in partnership with the Kamloops Centre for the Arts Society and directed staff to initiate a referendum to obtain electoral approval to borrow funds up to $45 million for construction costs. There are three ways for a municipality to fund projects such as the Kamloops Centre for the Arts: 

    • save funds for a period of time and then fund the project from these internal resources and/or use short-term debt (less than five years)
    • borrow the funds over a longer period of time from the Municipal Finance Authority of BC
    • use a combination of both reserves/savings and long-term borrowing 


    Borrowing to fund the project allows it to move forward without delay and spreads the construction costs over a set period of time. Section 175(2) of the Community Charter states that any financial commitment greater than five years may only be incurred with the approval of the electors. 

    The City has two options to seek the approval of the electors—through assent voting (referendum) or through the alternative approval process (counter-petition).

    Council felt a referendum would be the most transparent way to engage the community and determine whether the community will support for the project as it weighs the overall number of "yes" and "no" votes, whereas a counter-petition only gauges the "no" votes. 

  • Can I vote if I’m out of town on the referendum date?

    about 2 months ago

    If you expect to be absent from the city on advance or general voting days, you are eligible for mail ballot voting. Voting by mail is only available to those who have a physical disability, illness, or injury that prevents them from voting at another voting opportunity or those who expect to be absent from the city on advance and general voting days. Applications for mail ballots will be available in the new year. 

  • Will the tenants of the Annex Building be contributing to rent?

    about 2 months ago

    This question was extracted from Frank Dwyer's original submission from 'Ask a Question', December 2019.

    It is expected that the tenants of the annex and the potential commercial tenants in the Centre for the Arts would pay rent for the space they occupy. 

  • Who will be responsible for the property insurance of the Annex Building?

    about 2 months ago

    This question was extracted from Frank Dwyer's original submission from 'Ask a Question', December 2019.

    As a City-owned facility, the City would insure the building as part of the property insurance it holds on all civic facilities. The tenants would be responsible for their own liability insurance as users of the building. 

  • Are potential users of the facility aware of the proposed rental rates?

    about 2 months ago

    This question was extracted from Alpha Bets' original submission from 'Ask a Question', December 2019.

    The rates used in the Kamloops Centre for the Arts Society business case are blended rates that were calculated by KPMG to reflect full commercial rates and lower community and not-for-profit rates. As community groups currently pay to use the existing facilities, it is understood that they will also pay to use this facility. Once the building is under construction and the detailed operating plan has been finalized, the rates will be established and communicated.

  • Is there any effort being made to save money in other areas to completely offset the potential increase in taxes resulting from this project (operational)?

    about 2 months ago

    This question was extracted from thmocha's original submission from 'Ask a Question', December 2019.

    The City is always looking for ways to save money and find efficiencies in its operations. For this project, there are no tax increase implications for the debt; however there could be a small increase related to operations. As the facility is built, the City will look for new revenue opportunities and cost savings to offset these new expenses. 

  • Why was the word “Performing” dropped from the project title since 2015?

    about 2 months ago

    This question was extracted from Jack Rainey's original submission from 'Ask a Question', November 2019.

    Since 2015, the community and civic demand for a facility of this kind has significantly increased beyond just the performing arts. While the Kamloops Centre for the Arts would support the cultural community to build its capacity, its use would reach beyond arts and culture. In addition, the City hopes to showcase other arts, such as paintings or sculptures, throughout the lobby and in other common spaces. As such, “Performing” was dropped from the project title to better reflect the inclusiveness of the new facility design. 

  • Will there by a dance rehearsal hall or more intimate dance performance venue in the final design? Will there be a venue for chamber music?

    about 2 months ago

    The Kamloops Centre for the Arts has been designed to meet a broad spectrum of community and performance needs. To maximize the flexibility of the facility, there are no discipline-specific spaces identified at this time. Instead, there are multiple spaces of different sizes and functionality, which will be more suited to a variety of activities and events. 

  • Is the design of the Kamloops Centre for the Arts open to input or reconsideration?

    about 2 months ago

    The proposed design was developed to meet a wide range of arts, community, and civic needs based on community consultation from the 2015 proposal, input from the proposed resident tenants, and expertise from professionals in multiple disciplines. If the referendum is successful, the KCA Society will continue conversations with specific user groups to inform the detailed design; however, the general layout and design elements are set. The exact location and size of various rooms and storage will need to be finalized. 

  • Why was KMPG LLP selected as the consultant to prepare the KCA business case?

    about 2 months ago

    This question was extracted from Frank Dwyer's original submission from 'Ask a Question', December 2019.

    The Kamloops Centre for the Arts Society issued a request for proposal for consultants to create the business case for the Kamloops Centre for the Arts. There were many submissions, and KPMG was chosen by the Society as the successful candidate due to its vast, demonstrated experience in preparing a broad range of business cases for cities across the country and its ability to consult specialists and experts where required.

  • Why does this project only include 70 parking spaces?

    about 2 months ago

    When determining parking requirements for public infrastructure, common practice is to consider all parking options available around the facility, including public and private options, both on and off the subject property. For example, Sandman Centre has 300 parking stalls within its property line, but sufficient parking is available within four blocks of the arena to accommodate its 5,000 seat capacity. With the addition of 70 parking spaces, the parking need for the Centre for the Arts at the proposed location can be met with current public and private options.

    The Downtown Transportation Choices Strategy indicates that the majority of Kamloops residents are willing to walk up to three blocks or more between parking and their destination. This is also in line with the City’s priorities of sustainability and healthy communities.

    The City is developing a Parking Management Plan to address the current and future parking needs in the Downtown, which are influenced by many factors aside from this proposed facility.

    The addition of more underground parking significantly increases the building costs and reduces the feasibility of the project. Event and daytime parking will be addressed in the Parking Management Plan.

  • Can the $45 million borrowing request be used elsewhere in the City?

    about 2 months ago

    The referendum states that the up to $45 million is to be used for a Centre for the Arts. If approved, the legislation requires the City to spend the money on this type of project. If the referendum fails, there is no borrowed money to spend. 

  • What is the total construction cost of the project?

    about 2 months ago

    The Class D estimate indicates the facility will cost approximately $70 million. A Class D estimate is the conceptual design of a facility, which is based on estimates and assumptions. This is a standard type of estimate for engineering projects and is intended for planning and budgeting purposes. It includes contingencies and attempts to estimate the various factors which are not yet complete. 

  • Why should taxpayers fund this? Shouldn’t the user groups pay for it?

    about 2 months ago

    Taxpayers in Kamloops support all of our City-owned venues, including arenas, pools, sports fields, the TCC, and parks. As a community, we embrace and support the diverse interests that make our city livable for all. While this venue will provide an opportunity for those interested in the arts, it is also well recognized in the business case that facility will be used for many community events that are not specifically connected to cultural user groups. The 2019–2022 Council Strategic Plan identifies livability as one of the four strategic priorities, stating that the City of Kamloops maintains a vibrant, high quality of life for an inclusive, healthy, and diverse community. 

  • What if the construction price rises dramatically after the referendum?

    about 2 months ago

    The referendum question will ask Kamloops citizens if they are in favour of the City of Kamloops borrowing up to $45 million for the project. If the City is not confident in bringing the project to completion within this amount, the project will not proceed unless other sources of funding are secured. This funding would need to come from other levels of government, grants, donors, or other City sources, such as reserves. The referendum will set the maximum amount the City can borrow for the project. Alternatively, if costs were to escalate, the scope of the project could be reconsidered to ensure it fit within the available funding.

  • What is the total projected cost of repaying this loan?

    about 2 months ago

    This question was extracted from Marion's original submission from 'Ask a Question', November 2019.

    The City will borrow a maximum of $45 million over a 25-year term through the Municipal Finance Authority (MFA https://mfa.bc.ca/), which facilitates all civic loans in BC. With its borrowing power, the MFA is able to secure better than comparative rates. 

    The rate in October 2019 was 2.82%.The annual principle and interest payments (total debt servicing) over the 25-year period is estimated to be $2.5 million per year, which will result in a total repayment amount of $62.581 million.
  • What will happen if the referendum fails?

    about 2 months ago

    The results of the referendum are binding. If a majority of the electorate votes "no", the City will be unable to borrow up to $45 million to support this project. As such, it is unlikely that the Kamloops Centre for the Arts Society would be successful in building the centre. Construction costs will only increase with time, and the loss of the projected donation would significantly change the City’s ability to develop a civic venue of this nature for $70 million. The loss of the capital development would impact the community, tourism, and the economy (the jobs to build and operate) as well as the Downtown’s potential revitalization and general contribution to the city’s livability.

  • What is the annex building?

    about 2 months ago

    The annex building is located at 330 St. Paul Street, adjacent to the proposed site for the Kamloops Centre for the Arts. This building has been purchased by Mr. Fawcett with the intention to renovate and donate it to the City for part of the Kamloops Centre for the Arts and to provide educational and administrative space for both the Kamloops Symphony and Western Canada Theatre.

  • What will the Kamloops Centre for the Arts look like?

    about 2 months ago

    The Kamloops Centre for the Arts Society has presented an artist's rendering of what the facility could look like. If the referendum is successful, the Society will continue further consultation and detailed design process with the retained architectural firm.

  • Will the Kamloops Centre for the Arts be affordable for community groups?

    about 2 months ago

    The Kamloops Centre for the Arts Society envisions an enduring community asset that will serve the whole community and contribute to the social and economic well-being of Kamloops overall. The business case outlines a rental structure that ensures affordability for community not-for-profit groups versus commercial touring acts that are booking the facility, specifically stating: “Non-profit and community-based organizations will have substantially lower rates than commercial users...with the overall objective to maximize use and availability for the community.”

  • What is the timeline to build the Kamloops Centre for the Arts?

    about 2 months ago

    If the referendum is successful, the goal is to have the construction completed within three to four years. Architectural design could take 12-18 months, with construction starting as quickly as possible after design approval. However this timeline is subject to a multitude of factors and is an estimate only. 

  • How much has been fundraised by the Kamloops Centre for the Arts Society?

    about 2 months ago

    The Kamloops Centre for the Arts Society has had a significant funding kick-start thanks to a personal commitment from Mr. and Mrs. Fawcett that is valued between $8 million and $10 million. This includes the cost of purchasing the adjacent annex building and incorporating it into the overall facility. If the referendum passes and the City secures funding, the Kamloops Centre for the Arts Society will establish a fundraising committee, which will seek funding from donors and all levels of government. The Kamloops Centre for the Arts Society has committed to fundraising at least $22 million.

  • Who funded the business case?

    about 2 months ago

    Knowing how important a business case is to any project of this magnitude, Mr. and Mrs. Fawcett made a personal donation to the Kamloops Centre for the Arts Society for the purpose of developing the business case.

  • How much will the City have to pay to operate this facility?

    about 2 months ago

    The business case prepared by KPMG projects that the operating contribution in year one would be $703,000 and would be reduced to $383,000 in year five. By comparison, in 2018, the City’s operating contribution to the following facilities included the following:

    • Sandman Centre $752,197
    • Tournament Capital Centre $1,269,166
    • Arenas $2,169,989

  • What will the Kamloops Centre for the Arts include?

    about 2 months ago

     It is anticipated that the 103,000 sq. ft. Centre for the Arts would include: 

    • main stage theatre (~1,200 seats)
    • theatre with fly tower, full catwalk, orchestra shell to enhance symphony productions, orchestral (is some text missing here?)
    • studio theatre (~450 seats)
    • black box flexible space
    • rehearsal, production, and education spaces
    • administrative spaces
    • resident tenant spaces
    • underground parking
    • meeting rooms
    • commercial space
    • support and storage areas
    • building systems