Kamloops Centre for the Arts

The Kamloops Centre for the Arts has been identified by the Build Kamloops Select Committee as the first priority for the visionary Build Kamloops program and will be an iconic structure that serves as a catalyst to grow, inspire, and unify our community.

The Kamloops Centre for the Arts will fill an important gap in the community that has been identified in strategic plans for almost two decades. This purpose-built facility will address the current and growing needs of Kamloops, hosting events ranging from graduations, to awards ceremonies, to performing arts events. The Centre for the Arts will elevate the overall cultural vibrancy of our city.

The KCA has been prioritized as the first Build Kamloops project due to its advanced stage of readiness, in both design and location. It will be constructed on City-owned land at 393 Seymour Street (the former Kamloops Daily News site) adjacent to Kelson Hall which is the new home of Western Canada Theatre and Kamloops Symphony administrative and practice space, and has been funded through detailed design to be "shovel-ready".

Once completed, the KCA will be the first new theatre in the city since the Sagebrush Theatre opened in 1978. We have gained over 40,000 residents since the construction of the much-loved, but severely over-subscribed, Sagebrush Threatre. A new theatre space will create capacity in our community, bringing equity to kids who choose to recreate through performing arts instead of sport and providing opportunities for touring concerts and events like comedy shows or speakers series that cannot find appropriate venue space in Kamloops.

The facility also supports the Tournament Capital program and hosting bids by providing non-competition space for awards ceremonies, cultural celebrations, and related events. Even with an event like the Memorial Cup, we had concerts, the hockey hall of fame, and a whole lot more to do beyond the hockey games.

The Kamloops Centre for the Arts has been in the preliminary planning and strategy stage for many years, which allowed the various internal and external teams to develop and refine a comprehensive scope. Much of this work has been done by Ron and Rae Fawcett, local philanthopists who took on the task of defining the project’s needs in conjunction with potential users and City staff. This conceptual work has established the framework needed to advance the project through detailed design.

Inspiration for the design was drawn from similar facilities in Canada and around the world. Specialists were consulted to develop a concept design that embraces what works and avoids pitfalls experienced by others. Theater layout, seating, and how the interior spaces are connected has been meticulously analyzed, resulting in a design that reflects what users need without waste. The concept design has taken the entire city block and the position of Kelson Hall into consideration. If completed as envisioned, the Kamloops Centre for the Arts will be a unified structure that seamlessly integrates with the rest of the block.

At the February 6, Regular Council Meeting, Council approved a recommendation from the Build Kamloops Council Select Committee to authorize $7 million in funding to complete the validation and detailed design phase of the Kamloops Centre for the Arts, resulting in a Class A estimate for the project.

Current Supply:
  • one dedicated theatre space (Sagebrush Theatre, 685 seats) shared with School District No. 73
  • one small theatre (Kelson Hall, 134 seats) and rehearsal facility
  • small theatre venue at Thompson Rivers University
  • one small, privately operated black box theatre (Pavilion Theatre, 165 seats)
Current Need:
  • Many community facilities, such as churches, are currently used for small performances.
  • In 2019, 3,862 children and youths were registered in arts and culture programs.
  • Major sporting tournaments and events are increasingly identifying cultural venue space as a hosting requirement.
  • The last (and only) dedicated theatre space, Sagebrush Theatre, was opened in 1978 when Kamloops’ population was approximately 59,000.
  • ~1,100 seat main stage theatre
  • ~450 seat small theatre
  • Rehearsal, production, and education spaces
  • Full accessibility in all areas
  • Underground parking
  • Community space
  • Environmentally-controlled storage area for Kamloops Art Gallery

Conceptual Video Rendering

Conceptual Renderings

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How do you envision using the Kamloops Centre for the Arts?

How do you envision using the Kamloops Centre for the Arts? What memories do you think will be made here? How will the Kamloops Centre for the Arts help build Kamloops as a community? (See an idea you like? Vote it up!) (max 140 characters).

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3 July, 2024

Arwen says:

A much needed place. I have travelled the world and it is the art that tell the story of the people.

3 July, 2024

Valerie Theroux says:

I look forward to being able to attend a variety of events with my children and grandchildren. This is a much needed Communiity Facility.

1 July, 2024

john says:

I would not waste space that could be seating on a huge entrance. The more capacity the bigger the act u can attract. Outside décor waste $.

30 June, 2024

RobinGayle says:

Enjoy all kinds of music with excellent acoustics, quality sound that you can not get in an arena! Comedians, time to lighten up Kamloops!!!

26 June, 2024

Sara says:

The underground parking lot should be made available to people who work &to those who have appointments downtown during the workday/workweek

21 June, 2024

Walter says:

good project with a big price tag - more than City Council enthusiasm and positive posts needed to proceed - referendum an absolute must

17 June, 2024

Kisch says:

Attending concerts and shows with my family and friends. One day, watching my kids walk across the stage at their graduation! <3

8 May, 2024

Kathleen McArthur says:

Build underground paid parking for seasonal ticket holders and sell empty reserved space for daytime/other customers.

21 April, 2024

Deb says:

Included active transportation access from all areas of the city as well as secure bike, scooter, and stroller parking.

17 April, 2024

Em says:

Love this. Include a bank of public EV chargers. There is currently no where to charge on the northshore, to meet demand at the current ev's

8 April, 2024

Patrick says:

I don't recall having a new referendum on the Centre for the Arts but the last one in 2015 was a big "NO THANKS" So time for another.

8 April, 2024

Chris says:

Why not add about 10-20 floors of building above the proposed Centre for residential housing?