The Nicola Valley Community Theatre Society has taken another step towards construction of the proposed theatre.

Rich Hodson, one of the society directors, explains that there were encumbrances on the theatre property that were put in place by Manulife Real Estate and Save-On Foods that had to be dealt with before the project could go any further. 

“There are encumbrances on the property that are more or less in favour of Save-On Foods and Manulife. You can’t sell something food related, or be a distributor of food that would compete with Save-On Foods, you have to have so many parking spots, you have to leave an open line of sight for the Save-On Foods signs to be visible. Just common-sense kind of things,” said Hodson.

“As far as we know we’ve met our requirements for those encumbrances, but the City will review them all before they issue a development permit.”

Preliminary plans were presented to the lawyers for Save-On Foods, who have given their verbal approval, in principle. Hodson believes lawyers for Manulife are currently reviewing the plans and does not expect any difficulties in receiving their approval as well.

Hodson notes that the Theatre Society is waiting to hear if they will be awarded a grant from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program before they approach the City for a development permit. The Program helps share costs between Federal, Provincial and Local governments and has earmarked $3.917 billion over ten years for BC.

The Theatre Society applied for a $2.4-million grant in January of 2019 and hopes to find out this month if they will be able to add that funding to the $1.2 million that has already been raised.

Hodson believes the theatre will be a great asset to the community, once in operation.

“The benefit is that it would give an outlet for young people and provide jobs for young people. And instead of people travelling to Kamloops on winter roads they’ll be able to stay at home. The biggest of these theatres will have a stage for local performances, for music and arts. For the schools to use, dance recitals, music recitals, things like that. It’s going to be a smaller scale performing arts centre.”