Okanagan Falls band shell project in full swing with funding boost

Grants will help to complete the long-awaited band shell in Okanagan Falls

An artist rendering of the Okanagan Falls band shell project.

An artist rendering of the Okanagan Falls band shell project.

Grants will help to complete the long-awaited band shell in Okanagan Falls

The Women’s Institute, who have been making improvements to the community of Okanagan Falls for the last 94 years, received a $10,000 grant from the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan /Similkameen to assist with completion of the band shell in Centennial Park. For four years, the band shell committee has been working to collect the funding needed for the project. Vancouver Foundation and Province of British Columbia have also assisted with funding.

This is the most recent accomplishment of the Women’s Institute. In the past, they have worked to provide a branch of the South Okanagan Library and supported the building of the community meeting room at the school complete with an industrial kitchen. The park, where the band shell is located, was once owned by the Women’s Institute and given to the town in 1967 as their Centennial Project. In the early 1980s, the Women’s Institute purchased the Bassett House and had it relocated to the Heritage Place thus creating the Heritage and Museum Society. Many of the current members are daughters of the founding members of the organization.

In 1997  a bequest  from Isabel Hester provided funding for the footings, foundation and floor for the band shell. That important work being completed, the band shell committee was formed in 2010 to provide the funding required to complete the project. The total cost of the project was estimated at $80,000.

The community of 2,500 people has been in full support, providing half the money needed to complete the building through various contests, benefits, service clubs and private donations.

Building began this month with the concrete ramp and electrical scheduled to be completed in the spring with a grand opening in the summer.

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