Ghosts and goblins will have to look for other Halloween haunts this year.
There will be no Spooktacular at R.J. Haney Heritage Village & Museum.
The board of directors is planning a community celebration for Canada’s 150th birthday on Canada Day 2017.
“This is a legacy project and we need to complete it on time and within budget,” says board president Norma Harisch. “With this focus in mind, the board made the difficult decision to cancel the popular annual Spooktacular event for this year, but I am sure we will be back stronger than ever next year.”
Canada Day 2017 plans revolve around the grand opening of the Montebello Block – a new museum, archives and nine dioramas, all housed in a multipurpose building at the village.
The Montebello Project is the City of Salmon Arm’s designated cornerstone infrastructure project for 2017, notes a Sept. 25 press release.
Bill Laird, honorary chair of the Heritage Village’s Fund Development Committee, said that thanks to city support, the committee is moving full-steam ahead on a campaign to raise donations and pledges.
There has been more than $700,000 in local commitments to date for the $1.4 million dollar project.
The name Montebello Block is taken from a local historic landmark, the Montebello Hotel. Built in 1908, the upscale hotel had indoor plumbing, a bar and pool tables, and stood at the corner of Hudson and Alexander. It remained an iconic part of downtown Salmon Arm until it was consumed by fire in 1967, tragically claiming two lives, destroying several other businesses, and changing the community landscape forever.
Just as the original hotel was an architectural keystone in Salmon Arm’s downtown core, the Montebello Block is the architectural presence that will make R.J. Haney Heritage Village feel complete, as if it is densely populated like the core was more than 100 years ago.
The front façade will give the appearance of several smaller buildings, each representing key elements of a community that are currently missing from the village. Historic photographs of downtown Salmon Arm have served as inspiration for the façade’s designs. The exhibits will reflect authentic early day Salmon Arm businesses.
“The board believes that staff and volunteers will need to focus on the Montebello Block project during this fall and winter to ensure that construction can start no later than the spring of 2016,” reads the press release.
For more information about the Montebello Block, how to make a donation or pledge to the project, or to volunteer, contact the village at 250-832-5243.