An artist’s rendition of a performing arts centre shows what is possible for the former Nanaimo Hall site. SOPAC II is reinvigorating its interest in seeing if there is a need for a performing arts centre in the Penticton to serve the South Okanagan. (File photo)

Penticton to contribute $5,000 for workshop about potential performing arts centre

The South Okanagan Performing Arts Centre Society (SOPAC II) will match the contribution

The City of Penticton is contributing $5,000 to the South Okanagan Performing Arts Centre Society’s initiative to host a workshop to determine the need and wants of interest groups in the area for establishing a performing arts centre in the city.

Council heard a presentation from the new board of directors for the society at the meeting on Tuesday, where they explained they feel “it is essential to determine a grassroots vision for the future of culture in South Okanagan and Similkameen region.”

In 2017, the city agreed to grant partial funding to the society to host a symposium related to establishing a centre downtown on a city-owned lot on Ellis Avenue, but this money was not distributed as the symposium was cancelled due to “lack of matching private funds and an insufficient time frame to organize the event.”

The society will be contributing $5,000 from its reserve funds to host this proposed workshop in Oct. 2019, and will be presenting before the board for the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen on July 18, requesting $5,000 as the RDOS contribution to the workshop.

The society hopes to involve representatives from not only the arts groups, but from related sectors of the economy and throughout the Southern Okanagan territory from Summerland to Osoyoos and including the Similkameen to Princeton in the workshops

“This is a much more modest and grassroots approach (than the symposium) for getting input from our community. We ran a mock workshop ourselves on May 30 with about eight to 10 volunteers so that all of us were prepared for the Oct. 25 to 27 weekend that we’re planning for,” said board member Cal Meiklejohn.

READ MORE: Poll: Do you think Penticton needs a performing arts centre?

The society included a proposed agenda and invite list for the workshop in their council presentation, which identified 38 groups in the South Okanagan and Similkameen that they felt should be represented at the workshop.

Coun. Campbell Watt stated that he was not in favour of granting the funding as it is not a public engagement session, while Coun. Katie Robinson argued she was in favour of the request so that the city would finally see some results from the society’s past plans for a performing arts centre in Penticton.

“The performing arts issue has been a subject in the community for quite some time since we’ve purchased that land on Ellis. And it’s been kicked around and discussed and debated about whether we need a performing arts centre, and whether we should put the money into it,” said Coun. Jake Kimberley. “I think this $5,000 will let people have a better understanding of what this project is all about. We’re not pursuing anything new and exciting here, other communities have done this and established their own performing arts centres and have done well with them. This is something that we need to find out from the arts and culture community, ‘Do we need this?’ The council that had purchased the property on Ellis felt that we did need to pursue this.”

Council voted 6-1 in favour of granting the society the requested $5,000, with Watt opposed.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Penticton man sentenced in non-fatal 2017 shooting

Elkena Michael Knauff sentenced to seven and a half months in jail

Recreation guide brings new programs to Penticton

Pick up a copy in the Penticton Western News this week

Okanagan Art Gallery presents Our Town exhibition

The Osoyoos gallery celebrates the town as seen through the eyes of local artists.

MP Richard Cannings to kick off campaign with NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

Shindig in the Garden takes place Aug. 29 at Linden Gardens in Kaleden

Two drowning incidents on Okanagan Lake serve as safety reminder

B.C. drowning fatalities down compared to August 2018

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Kamloops RCMP locate and arrest man who fled from police

The 22-year-old male was wanted in relation to a domestic violence investigation

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

COLUMN: Much to enjoy at Ryga Arts Festival

As I learn about George Ryga and his contributions, it is clear why this festival carries his name

Okanagan RCMP superintendent helps with arrest

Vernon Supt. Shawna Baher arrests man for theft; turns out to be suspect in assault and robbery

Kelowna man arrested after allegedly setting blaze near Fire Department

The man was allegedly seen lighting bushes on fire near the Kelowna Fire Department

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Most Read