A reminder that, as reported by KTW On November 29, the City of Kamloops will take over management of St. Andrews on the Square effective January 1, 2022.
The Old Church, built in 1887, is the oldest public building in Kamloops and is rented by various groups for a variety of uses including weddings, funerals, craft fairs, and small musical and theatrical performances.
Since 1995, it has been managed on behalf of the city by the Kamloops Heritage Society, which helped save the church and lead its restoration 26 years ago.
In 1999, the city created Gaglardi Square adjacent to the building, which features a statue of former provincial highways minister and Kamloops mayor Phil Gaglardi, a fountain, walking trails, and benches.
In a Nov. 5 letter to the city, Kamloops Heritage Society President Sheila Park said the move was due to declining room rentals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the letter, the company said it had refused an extension of its lease until December 31, 2023 because it cannot support the employment, operation and maintenance of the heritage building, located at downtown at Seymour Street and Second Avenue.
The current agreement between the city and the company expires on December 31, 2021.
“I am sorry to inform you that the KHS Board of Directors made the very difficult decision to deny the extension,” Park said in the letter.
“When we asked for the extension in July, it was in hopes that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic would abate. However, with the additional pushes and increasing, then decreasing regulations, it has become evident that recovery from the pandemic will take several years. “
The company had previously fought to continue operating the heritage church after the city proposed a change in the building’s management structure.
The company was told in 2019 that the city would take over maintenance of operations from March 2020, but that plan was put on hold amid negotiations between the city and the company.
The city has said it is committed to honoring all bookings that have been made through the company, but the new added bookings will not be available until mid-February, once operational processes have been completed. been determined.
Once the facility is ready for booking, information will be available online at kamloops.ca.
“We are truly grateful for the dedication of the Kamloops Heritage Society and the care they have provided to St. Andrews,” said Barb Berger, responsible for recreation, social development and culture for the city. “The building is a precious resource and we intend to keep it that way. We are sensitive to its history and we will continue to work to preserve its history. “
The Kamloops Heritage Society will continue its advocacy and educational role on heritage issues in the city. For more information about the company, send an email [email protected].