An ideal performing arts centre will cater to the wants and needs of the city’s arts community and be in the right place to accommodate guests from in and out of town.
That’s what the heads of Western Canada Theatre, the Kamloops Art Gallery and Kamloops Symphony Orchestra envision for the centre.
The public gets its chance to provide input today at the Tournament Capital Centre from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mayor Peter Milobar said the facilitated discussion is designed so people can attend for the entire session or come and go as needed.
“You never know what to expect for numbers, but we’re setting the room up for a good turnout,” Milobar said Friday. “It’s the first step in trying to quantify the scope of what the general public is looking for in a performing arts centre.”
Members of the arts community know what they want. Milobar joked at last month’s Mayor’s Gala for the Arts that they would like the Sydney Opera House, but that’s not what they’re going to get.
Those contacted by The Daily News on Friday agree that a performing arts centre must have a theatre or theatres suitable for plays and the symphony alike.
Western Canada Theatre artistic director Daryl Cloran desires a 300- to 400-seat theatre, saying that’s an ideal size for live performances.
“We want a space that’s more intimate,” he said.
The KSO needs a room capable of creating a big, symphonic sound. General manger Kathy Humphreys said backstage amenities and rehearsal space would also be nice.
“Do we want it to be beautiful?” she asked, alluding to what the space outside the theatre might look like.
Kamloops Art Gallery executive director Jann Bailey answered yes. She wants art on the walls, a store for merchandise, and a nice restaurant.
“For us, it’s really about ambience,” said Bailey.
Bailey and Humphreys would like the centre to be the cornerstone of the city’s cultural district and close to hotels and other amenities.