The City will suspend new bookings at St. Andrew’s on the Square in the new year while it figures out how to manage the facility.
In a media release today, the City said it will honour bookings that were already made through the Kamloops Heritage Society but “new bookings will not be available until mid-February once the City has determined and confirmed the operating process.”
The Heritage Society decided in November to exit its long-standing management agreement for the historic building after the end of this year. The decision came two years after the City threatened to take over its operation but backed down in the face of widespread community objection.
However, the COVID pandemic made it financially difficult for the society to carry on.
St. Andrew’s was built in 1887. The KHS was instrumental in saving the church and leading its restoration in 1995 and has operated the building since then. The building has been a community staple and is a popular site for weddings, funerals, yoga, small cultural events, and more.
The City created Gaglardi Square adjacent to St. Andrew’s in 1999, which further enhanced the site and the facility’s use.
“The KHS regrets that due to the continuing restrictions from the pandemic, operating St. Andrew’s is not financially doable for us.” said KHS president Sheila Parks.
“We will continue to work with the City to ensure that events at St. Andrew’s continue to be a vital part of many Kamloops families’ histories and memories.”
“We are truly thankful for the dedication of the Kamloops Heritage Society and the care that they provided to St. Andrew’s,” said Barb Berger, the City’s Recreation, Social Development, and Cultural manager.
“The building is a treasured resource, and we intend to keep it that way. We are sensitive to its history and we will continue to work to preserve its story.”
The KHS said it intends to continue as a heritage advocate in Kamloops.