EDITORIAL – New PAC plan looks good but parking problem must be solved

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE 2.0 was unveiled anew Tuesday, this time with a business plan.

The Kamloops Centre for the Arts Society presented the plan to City council, which referred it to administration to report back on borrowing options.

Shorn of details, the plan goes like this:

A 120,000 sq. ft. centre including two theatres and a black box would be built on the old Kamloops Daily News site. A 20,000 sq. ft. building next door would be converted for administrative use.

It would cost $70 million, including a maximum of $45 million raised through taxation.


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

About Mel Rothenburger (7857 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 – New PAC plan looks good but parking problem must be solved

  1. Right on Mel. It seems the current proposal is made palatable by taking out the expense for underground parking. So, what happens when there is a PAC event on the same night as a Blazer hockey game? What’s left off the table is the inevitable tax increase for the, phase two, above-ground parkade. Also, the proponents make much of the notion that there will be no added cost to the tax payers as the Tournament Capital centerpiece will be paid off. Well, if that’s the case, how about a tax reduction (is this even thinkable) or consideration of other much needed civic needs – like climate change mitigation measures? I could support a PAC downtown if we had a fulsome public discussion of and some answers to these issues.

  2. Maybe look at it this way, Mel. If there are any bricks from KDN building buried under the present parking lot, we’ll get the chance to see them again.
    Put forward the plan to sell them as keepsakes. I’d buy one.
    The rest of them can be hauled away at taxpayers’ expense and buried somewhere else.

  3. Going underground for parking makes sense but it is an expensive option. But then, a large expense for something which would see heavy use only on special occasions does not make sense. Those ideas of having a much better public transit system, with clean, on-time buses and clean, welcoming bus stops…those ideas need revisiting…and then make parking a bit more expensive.

  4. I think the “$45 million raised through taxation” is a bit of a red herring and bound to initiate many comments against raising taxes. My understanding is it’s a borrow item and is covered by taxes as they currently are; merely carrying on the payments that were going to the TTC.
    As stated a few years ago, Kamloops is well withing the Provincial guidelines for borrowing by any city so it’s not an onerous debt and doesn’t require a tax increase. As mentioned, the $45000000 is also a maximum scenario and could be considerably less.

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