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HERITAGE – Society turns reins of St. Andrew’s on the Square back to City

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

The Kamloops Heritage Society is bowing out of its management contract with the City for operation of St. Andrew’s on the Square.

In a letter in today’s (Nov. 30, 2021) City council meeting agenda, society president Sheila Park says event revenues at the old church have dropped drastically during the pandemic. Therefore, she said, the society is declining an extension of its lease agreement to Dec. 31, 2023.

“When we applied for the extension in July it was with the hope that the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic would be waning. However with the additional surges and increasing, then decreasing regulations it has become evident that the recovery from the pandemic will take a number of years.”

She said the society intends to vacate St. Andrew’s by th end of this year.

The decision comes as a disappointment after many years of successful operations by the society, and following a controversy in which the City initially decided to take control of the facility away from the society but relented with an extension to the agreement.

Once again, the future of heritage structures is called into doubt. Can the City continue to run St. Andrew’s as a community facility? Can the heritage society rebound and form a new movement for the preservation of heritage in Kamloops?

Let’s hope the answer to both is yes.

— Mel Rothenburger.

About Mel Rothenburger (8666 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca 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 ArmchairMayor.ca 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.

2 Comments on HERITAGE – Society turns reins of St. Andrew’s on the Square back to City

  1. Mel Formanski // November 30, 2021 at 4:51 PM // Reply

    As building manager for almost 25 years, I want to thank all the people who supported the Kamloops Heritage Society and its commitment to St. Andrews On the Square and the Kamloops Heritage Society. It has been a dream job. I met people from all over the world, was part of happy times and sad times, discovered the plethora of incredible talent we have in Kamloops, and enjoyed taking part in many community activities including Artisan Square, Light up the Night, and Christmas craft sales. I have met hundreds of incredible people and made some lifelong friends. I am here for one more month so drop by and chat, in the mornings, enjoy my horrible coffee, and have some laughs. You have all made my life so much richer.
    The city has been incredible through this whole scenario. They understand the importance of our historical sites and I know will run it even better than we did and will look after this venerable old building with care and consideration and that is all I can ask for. Please continue to support heritage in Kamloops. It is a non-renewable resource and needs our support %100.
    I would also like to add my thankyous to Mel Rothenburger for his unwavering support of us over the years. You have been a good friend and valuable ally to all in the heritage field.
    Mel Formanski

  2. Edith McLeod // November 30, 2021 at 1:06 PM // Reply

    Thank you to the Kamloops Heritage Society for all of your efforts. You have done a wonderful job. Hoping you folks can step back from the St.Andrew’s on the Square project with warm hearts and praying the City of Kamloops is wise in their decisions regarding this lovely heritage building and all of it’s memories. Barry and Edith Armstrong McLeod.

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