A New Vision for a Performing Arts Centre in Kamloops

A New Vision for a Performing Arts Centre in Kamloops

 Community, Entertainment, Kamloops, Music, The Arts
 Wednesday January 9, 2019
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A New Vision for a Performing Arts Centre in Kamloops

January 8, 2019 – Kamloops, BC: A delegation led by Mr. Ron Fawcett of Kamloops presented a new vision for a Performing Arts Centre in downtown Kamloops to a full house at City Council today. Located on the former Kamloops Daily News site, at 393 Seymour St., the city’s investment for this new Performing Arts Centre is costed at around $70 million dollars which includes Ron & Rae Fawcett’s $8-$10 million personal donation of the Telus Annex building.

The plan, supported by the local arts community, featured a new design, architectural drawings, and an outlined budget. Mr. Fawcett asked City Council to consider including the planning and development of a new performing arts centre in the upcoming 2019 Strategic Plan.

The outcome of the 2015 performing arts centre proposal referendum was the beginning of a new and stronger proposal for Ron Fawcett. “A number of months ago, I contacted Western Canada Theatre, the Kamloops Symphony and the Kamloops Art Gallery to discuss how we could plan a Performing Arts Centre for Kamloops. We talked about their needs and wants and we developed some ideas for a performing arts centre that would better serve the community’s needs.”

Ron Fawcett listened to advocates from across the city and hired a design team including CHP Architects, DWD Theatre Design, and sound, lighting and structural engineers, to redesign a performing arts centre that meets the needs of our arts community. With the city’s population nearing 100,000, stakeholders believe that Kamloops is ready for, and deserves, a performing arts centre that will help attract new residents and visitors, spur innovation and grow our local economy.

“We are proud and honoured to support this visionary project,” says James MacDonald, Artistic Director of Western Canada Theatre.” We are immensely grateful to Ron Fawcett for his leadership, as well as for Ron and Rae’s generous commitment to helping our city’s arts community thrive. Our theatre company is growing, and we are excited about the potential for a world-class performing arts facility and community hub in our beautiful downtown.”

The extensive amount of work in developing a new plan hasn’t cost tax payers anything, as Fawcett has covered this as his gift to the community, a gift that includes the donation of the former TELUS Annex building which he and his wife, Rae, purchased earlier this year. Located adjacent to the proposed arts centre site on St. Paul Street, the TELUS Annex building will add 20,000 square feet to the Centre, allowing for this space to be the operations centre for Western Canada Theatre and the Kamloops Symphony.

“As a member of Kamloops’ flourishing arts community, we applaud Ron and Rae Fawcett for their dedication as the champions of the proposed Performing Arts Centre,” says Kathy Humphreys, Executive Director of the Kamloops Symphony. “Thanks to his personal investment, we now have an opportunity to work together to make this long-awaited facility a reality that will benefit everyone in the region for many years to come. We look forward to being part of this exciting process.”

Including the Annex, the proposed Centre will be over 103,000 square feet and would include:

  • 1200 seat theatre with fly tower, full catwalk, orchestral shell, orchestral pit and state-of-the-art lighting with an option to use the lower portion of the theatre to seat 800
  • 450 seat theatre with fly tower, catwalk, and state-of-the-art lightning
  • 75 to 100 seat black box theatre (which would serve as the new Pavillion theatre)
  • Ticket office
  • Café and outdoor café area
  • 70 underground parking spaces
  • Full operational areas for Western Canada Theatre including costume areas, set construction, etc
  • Full operational areas for the Kamloops Symphony and their Music School.
  • New Storage space for the Kamloops Art Gallery
  • Rehearsal halls
  • Meeting areas

“This project would be a major part of the planned downtown revitalization,” said Fawcett, “a catalyst for new development in the downtown core and a centre of excellence our community can be proud of. Most important, we believe every person in Kamloops can benefit from this Centre. It’s a place where community, commerce, and culture will come together, and we believe our proposal offers the right price, in the right location, and it’s the right time for a performing arts centre in Kamloops.”