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Vote Yes For Culture

OCT. 17, 2018 - The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce is uniting behind the vision for enhanced cultural opportunities.
On Saturday, Oct. 20, voters of Vernon, Coldstream and Electoral Areas B and C will be asked to borrow up to $25 million for a cultural centre, including community space, a museum and public art gallery, with another $15 million to come from senior government grants and fundraising.
“We often think of roads, water and sidewalks when it comes to infrastructure, but cultural and recreational amenities are also critical infrastructure that shapes the kind of community we live in,” said Diana Wilson Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce President.
“Currently, the art gallery and the museum have inadequate space for programs and exhibits, and many one-of-a-kind artifacts are kept in storage and never see the light of day. We need to recognize that a cultural centre will not only celebrate our history and creativity as a community, but it will be an investment in future generations and the economy.”
Many people, when investigating communities to relocate to, consider what amenities are available, as do investors as they want their workforce to access cultural and recreational activities on their spare time. Visitors to the region will also add cultural amenities to their itinerary, particularly if the cultural centre attracts national and provincial travelling exhibits. A Canadian Heritage study shows that in 2016, the economic impact of cultural spending (festivals, live performances, visual arts, etc.) was $65 million in the North Okanagan and $7.8 billion in B.C.
“Beyond all of this, a cultural centre will encourage local residents to visit the downtown core, which will not only add vibrancy but address ongoing concerns about safety,” said Wilson. “The site for the cultural centre is zoned for mixed-use residential, so along with the public amenities, we could see more people living downtown and perhaps there are opportunities for high-tech industry to also be involved, further bolstering the economy.”
When surveyed, 81 per cent of GVCC members who responded indicated they were in favour of the cultural centre.
The Greater Vernon Chamber represents more than 550 businesses in the North Okanagan and is an active member of both the BC Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Chamber. The BC Chamber is the largest and most broadly-based business organization in the province. Representing more than 125 Chambers of Commerce and 36,000 businesses of every size, sector and region of the province, the BC Chamber of Commerce is “The Voice of Business in B.C.”
Diana Wilson, President Dione Chambers, General Manager
Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce
t: 250.558.3268 T : 250.545.0771