A woman walks through the tunnel to Canoe Beach. (File photo)

Passageway to Shuswap’s Canoe Beach about to get brighter

Hotel tax funds to be used for a new wall, mosaic at entrance to tunnel

The future of the tunnel entrance to Canoe Beach looks bright and beautiful.

Lana Fitt, Salmon Arm Economic Development manager, presented a report to city council on May 27 about the hotel tax – also called the the MRDT or Municipal and Regional District Tax, its 2018 performance, and approvals needed for upcoming projects.

“The goal of this project is to beautify the Canoe Beach tunnel entrance, improve visitor impressions and make the entrance more obvious,” stated Fitt’s report on the Canoe Beach Beautification project.

“The project includes installing feature walls that funnel as a wider opening to the tunnel. The project also includes the addition of solar lighting at both entrances of the tunnel and the interior.”

She said the project will incorporate local artwork provided by the Shuswap District Arts Council, similar in design to the Ross Street Plaza.

Tracey Kutschker with the Arts Council explains there will be two concrete walls at an angle on either side of the tunnel, leading into it.

“The Arts Council will be doing a mosaic on the two sides of the cement wall that will be the entrance to Canoe Beach. It is a wave pattern, and will be an abstract of blues and greens representing the shores of Shuswap Lake.”

Kutschker says she is waiting to meet with the company who will be creating the walls, so they can figure out the shape and size. She says the wave won’t take up the whole wall; it will likely be about 12 to 20 inches wide and at about eye level.

Read more: 2017 – High water forces Canoe Beach Closure

Read more: 2018 – High water closes parks, boat launches

Read more: 2018 – City re-opens Canoe Beach

Read more: 2018 – Try a bold start to the New Year

Another project slated for Canoe Beach is the installation of electrical access to the Canoe Beach gazebo in order to enhance the hosting of events which include bands, DJs and speaker sound systems.

She reported city staff has assisted economic development in securing a quote to install a new breaker panel and receptacle within the gazebo, in conjunction with city electrical work already planned for the area this summer. All associated installation costs for providing power to the gazebo will be covered within the MRDT budget.

Her report suggests the city consider taking over management of the power within the existing event-booking process for city properties (for example, recouping the cost of power usage through event booking fees and overseeing access for booked events requiring power).

Mayor Alan Harrison said the two projects and others she listed sound fantastic and he appreciates the collaboration with city staff.

Read more: 2015 – City initiates planning process for Canoe Beach

Read more: 2016 – Have your say on Canoe Beach

Read more: 2017 – Paddle boards planned for Canoe Beach

Read more: Special board gets those with mobility challengers out on the water at Canoe Beach

The two per cent hotel tax is collected for municipalities, regional districts and not-for-profit business associations. According to Destination BC, the MRDT program raises revenue for local tourism marketing, programs and projects. Affordable housing was added as a permissible use of funds in the 2018 provincial budget.


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