An artist’s rendition of a performing arts centre shows what is possible for the former Nanaimo Hall site (File photo)

RDOS contributes funds to arts centre workshop

South Okanagan Performing Arts Centre Society wants input into proposed facility

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen will contribute $5,000 to a workshop to gather input on the need for a proposed performing arts centre.

At the RDOS meeting on July 18,

A delegation representing the South Okanagan Performing Arts Centre Society (SOPAC II) asked for the funding, which will cover one-third of the cost of the visioning workshop.

The City of Penticton will also contribute $5,000, with the remaining $5,000 to come from SOPAC II.

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“We want to hear from people on the ground,” said Cal Meiklejohn, one of the SOPAC II members.

Glenn Sinclair, another member of the performing arts society, said in the past 25 years, there have been nine studies on the need for a centre.

“What is it that the community wants?” he asked.

Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki said cooperation will be needed if the facility is to become a reality.

“Without the complete cooperation of the whole region, it ain’t going to happen,” he said.

Area F Dir. Riley Gettens said the workshop should be about considering what the community wants, not necessarily about constructing a building.

Penticton Coun. Jake Kimberley said the $5,000 request is a small amount for the regional district to contribute.

He said other communities, such as Ashland, Ore., have been successful by promoting performing arts.

“Just consider what a little amount of money is being asked for here,” he said.

The motion to approve the funding was carried with Area H Dir. Bob Coyne, Keremeos Mayor Manfred Bauer, Osoyoos Mayor Suzan McKortoff and Area C Dir. Rick Knodel opposed.

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