Performing Arts Centre in the works for Merritt

By Jessica Lepp
October 9, 2015 - 4:10pm

Kamloops voters are preparing to go to a referendum next month to determine if the city should borrow close to 50 million dollars on a performing arts centre and parkade. In Merritt a local non profit is working to construct a three screen movie theatre and performing arts centre. The hope is to draw concerts, plays and dance performances into the city.

Over the years the community of Merritt has garnered the reputation Country Music Capital of Canada, welcoming thousands for it's raucous music festivals. Today the downtown core is eerily empty and in need of some revitalization. And that's exactly what the Director of the Nicola Valley Community Theatre Society is hoping to do with a new 14,000 square foot facility in the heart of the city. It will include three small theatres, seating 100 guests each and a performing arts centre that will seat up to 250.

As it stands, Merritt has few options for performances. The Lecture Theatre at Nicola Valley Institute of technology and the Merritt Civic Centre. The non profit will look to fundraise the 3.2 million dollars that would cover the cost of construction. An additional $900,000.00 is needed for the equipment inside the building and for seating. The group will also be applying for provincial and federal grants and is optimistic of opening the performing arts centre by 2020.

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