My response to George Murai’s letter (Penticton Western News, Nov. 29. Grocery store needed before arts centre) favouring a downtown grocery store over a performing arts centre is: why does it have to be one or the other?
The former would undoubtedly be an asset in that area, but so would a performing arts centre. As the saying goes,’ [wo(man)] does not live by bread alone.’
I have sent the following idea to the South Okanagan Performing Arts Society as well. I recently read about it in the current Opera Canada magazine and it makes a lot of sense to me as something to be considered for Penticton. The Edmonton Opera Society, having in the past three to four years had to reinvent itself after a near-death experience, is now looking to build a facility for their performances, but one that is not at all exclusive.
Here are the quotes on what is being considered: “Kipnes (Irv Kipnes, opera society board chair) has proposed developing a performing arts, commercial and residential complex for downtown Edmonton. The Kipnes plan would include a versatile performance space with exceptional acoustics. He said there are theatre designs that allow reconfiguration to accommodate a banquet one day and an opera in a 1665-seat auditorium the next.”
I thought of the lot at Martin Street and Wade Avenue where a mixed-use development was proposed, which I recall included a grocery store, but which seems stalled. A long shot perhaps, but I wonder if the developer might be interested in something like the above?
Government and corporate money might be forthcoming for the arts part and while not as downtown as the lot on Ellis Street, it’s still very accessible. Dreaming in technicolour perhaps, but one has to start somewhere.