The process of finding a way to fund a new facility to replace the Kelowna Community Theater is underway – Kelowna News

Replacing Kelowna’s old community theater won’t come cheap.

Estimates for a new performing arts center with a capacity of 1,200 people could reach $ 75 million.

This figure could be more dependent on when funds can be obtained to build it.

Partnership chief Sandra Kochan said improvements to the building, which turns 60 next year, will ensure its success while plans are made for a new performing arts center.

“It is a certainty that KCT must eventually retire, and that a retirement plan is necessary,” Kochan said.

Where the money to build a new performing arts center will come from, and what to do during the transition, was part of a long report from consultants on Monday.

The Funding Feasibility Report prepared by Colliers suggests that the city may need to be creative in finding a way to fund a project of this magnitude.

“Looking back on the goals of this year’s work, we know that the city’s standard financing formula for borrowing, grants and taxation is available, but it has constraints and will need to be supplemented by others. sources, ”Kochan said.

“The constraints will also affect the timing of this initiative in the capital plan.

“We’ve heard that philanthropy and sponsorship opportunities have the potential to alleviate tax and loan demand. Analysis shows that a major campaign with the right planning and leadership could deliver results. positive. “

However, Colliers officials, who presented their findings to the board, warned that federal government grants could be difficult to come by.

Grants for cultural infrastructure are limited, said Carly Frey, representative of Colliers.

“The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund is available where capital funding is available on a matching basis,” she said.

“They are available up to 50 percent, but experience has indicated that a typical grant is around 37 percent, but funding for a project of this size is unlikely.”

Frey also said the operating model the city ultimately chooses will be a key driver, especially in terms of philanthropy.

“Interviewees said that philanthropic and community donations were more easily collected for a non-government-run facility.

“Borrowing will be a critical component, and the project may have to be postponed until there is sufficient borrowing capacity. “

The city will need to borrow funds to build a new recreation center to replace the aging Parkinson’s recreation center in the very near future.

There were also discussions on how to fill the void as a replacement for the community theater being built.

One suggestion included smaller capital projects to increase the supply of alternative sites during the transition and into the future.

The planning process will continue over the coming year.

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