Heritage group ‘very uncomfortable’ with merger with arts

NEWS — An afternoon of proclamations today was mostly about good work being done by several organizations but it also provided an opportunity for a complaint by City council’s representative on the heritage commission.

During a presentation by the commission, Cavers, who sits on the commission as council’s delegate, pointed out that the commission is unhappy about the merger of it and the arts commission.

“They do a lot of hard work and they’re very uncomfortable with the idea of a merger with the arts group,” said Cavers. “I know that decision is yet to be made but I’m just raising that point now.”

None of the other councillors commented. Council recently received a report from staff recommending the merger. A report back to council on the structure of the newly merged group is expected soon.

It’s B.C. Heritage Week and commission chair Andrew Yarmie gave council a mini history lesson, noting that visitors and residents of Kamloops have included Boris Karloff, Robert Service, Mary Spencer and other famous people. A new plaquing program will identify where some of them lived and worked, though many of the original buildings are gone.

Yarmie reviewed plans for two new self-guided heritage tours that will begin this spring. Both tours will start and end at the Kamloops Museum, but a third tour is being developed for the North Shore.

Cowboy festival president Mark McMillan at council today.

Cowboy festival president Mark McMillan at council today.

Mark McMillan, president of the B.C. Cowboy Heritage Society, told council the annual Cowboy Heritage Festival keeps getting bigger and better.

“Entertainers from all over North America are phoning and emailing… we truly have the reputation of being the biggest and best cowboy festival in Canada,” he said.

This year’s festival will include 50 booths, plus workshops and seminars on such topics as cowboy poetry, guitar playing and how to buy a cowboy hat.

Council proclaimed March 9-14 B.C. Cowboy Heritage Week.

Meanwhile, the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce has a busy schedule of events during Chamber of Commerce Week. President Bob Dieno appeared before council to receive a proclamation.

Dieno said the chamber is ”a vital part of every business in our community,” adding that “being community-based means the chamber is entirely funded by our members.”

He said the chamber takes local business concerns and ideas to government, and assists businesses with networking, marketing and education.

The chamber has several events during the week, including a seminar on digital marketing, a speed networking social, and a luncheon on the provincial budget.

Steve Puhallo of the North Shore Business Improvement Association reviewed the organization’s activities of the past year, which included a relaunch of the organization, celebration of its 25th anniversary, and Overlander Days.

He said the North Shore has seen an increase in murals, signage, lighting and pathways, and a decrease in vandalism.

Coun. Tina Lange noted that the North Shore led the city in building starts last year.

“It’s been exciting to see the development of the new strategies on the North Shore,” said Coun. Mark Spina. More and more people are shopping there, she said.

Council approved the BIA’s 2014 budget and BIA levy of $144,254 was approved by council, with half paid now and half in June.

About Mel Rothenburger (9230 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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