EDITORIAL – Shutdown of Sagebrush Theatre raises the PAC issue again


An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

WESTERN CANADA THEATRE is trying to put the best possible face on the shutdown of Sagebrush Theatre for roof repairs, characterizing the massive reshuffling of productions to other venues as some sort of grand adventure.

I admire their stiff-upper-lip approach but, in reality, it’s no fun.

There’s no word on how long the Sagebrush will be closed — out of an abundance of caution — while a cracked roof truss is looked after, but it will be awhile. In the meantime, everything must be rescheduled and re-homed.

The Buddy Holly Story, expected to be a sellout, has hastily been moved to the Coast Kamloops Hotel and Conference Centre theatre. That theatre holds only 450 compared to the 700 at Sagebrush, so it’s no easy job.

In March, the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra has concerts scheduled, and there are several other events on the calendar as the weeks and months progress.

This brings up asset management, which civic governments are somewhat belatedly beginning to focus on. Public buildings should last for 100 or 200 years or more, not 40 or 50, but they do need to eventually be replaced.

With repairs and upgrades the Sagebrush can serve for quite awhile yet but it clearly isn’t sufficient for the expanding needs of the community.

As former councilor and now columnist Nancy Bepple wrote after the recent water-main breaks, keeping budget increases to unrealistically low levels can come back to bite. Eventually, new investment in infrastructure must be made, and we can pay now or pay more later.

This issue with the Sagebrush once again raises the question of a new performing arts centre. Public discussion has gone mute since it was presented to City council a few weeks ago.

Time to rev up some PAC talk again.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (8243 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.

4 Comments on EDITORIAL – Shutdown of Sagebrush Theatre raises the PAC issue again

  1. A new PAC is long overdue, regardless of the structural issues with Sagebrush.

  2. Where is the leadership on this important issue? The many who want it desperately need a champion, a number of them, from council, the mayor and including community leaders of all kinds. Recently a prominent city director staked a claim for a huge expansion in sporting facilities including, possibly, a dome for the outdoor sporting field at TRU. What is it about the Seymour PAC site that seems to thwart enthusiastic support? Maybe it’s time for different thinking, entirely new sites, split the facility or even build something innovative and flexible – perhaps in stages. It’s awful quiet on the cultural front. As the iconic anthem might be rephrased, “Who are the champions?”

  3. Curiosity has got the best of me with the cracked roof truss, Mel.
    Not being an engineer, it’s difficult to really put a cause to the fault but what also comes to mind would be ground shifting due to stability issues. Is the cracked roof truss what showed up because of a problem other than roof loading?
    What has changed around there? Any construction above the Sagebrush Theatre? Any heavy tamping or has there been anything to change the flow of ground water?
    Curiosity has got the best of me, Mel.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: