A concert hall and event centre is being proposed for Lakeshore Drive in Salmon Arm.
At its Nov. 12 meeting, Salmon Arm council provided a letter of support for a funding application to help create a performance venue in the site that Living Waters Church has been occupying.
Property owner Craig Newnes is applying for funding from Creative BC/Amplify BC, which provides funds to private enterprise.
Coun. Louise Wallace Richmond brought the request for a letter to council members, asking for their support “on behalf of a property owner who has a big idea about transforming that space.”
In a letter to the city, Newnes explained that the current tenant’s lease expired on Oct. 31. He said the project would be a renovation of the building, with mainly surface improvements – to the floor, paint, lighting, acoustic treatment and interior walls, with some cosmetic improvements to the exterior.
The concert hall as is would seat 225, with another 20 on the balcony. Shuswap Theatre seats 149.
Newnes’ letter stated there is a large stage in the corner which could be set up with chairs and tables or as an open floor. The main entrance would be used as a lobby, ticketing and concession area for the hall. It would also be an additional rental space for smaller events or meetings, complete with a small sound system and room for about 60 people. There is a full kitchen and green room, he wrote.
Newnes stated that additional phases of the project will include a recording studio as well as rentable office- or maker- space for arts-based organizations.
The idea is to create a space at 180 Lakeshore Dr. NW that is: • inviting, inspiring and beautiful; • incredible sound for live music; • flexible and multi-use; and • sustainable, eco- and socially conscious.
Coun. Sylvia Lindgren asked if the project fits in with the city’s cultural master plan.
Wallace Richmond said this is a private piece of property and the proponent’s intention is to create an additional space where performances can be held, along with a recording studio. She said that can be done without council’s involvement.
She added that it doesn’t negate any other efforts to provide a facility for performing arts.
Coun. Tim Lavery was also in favour of writing a letter of support, describing the proposal as “a very good and wonderful addition.”
Mayor Alan Harrison agreed, noting that “Mr. Newnes is trying to provide an asset for the community under private ownership.”
Council voted unanimously to provide a letter of support. Couns. Kevin Flynn, Debbie Cannon and Chad Eliason were absent.