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City of Merritt receptive to Nicola Valley Community Theatre Society's plan to construct a performing arts centre at the Civic Centre.

No official motion was made at last night's regular meeting, but the idea of splitting the proposed downtown theatre complex into two projects was well received.

In expressing his support for the plan, Councillor Mike Goetz cautioned it would need support from the community to go ahead.

"Whatever happens, it basically revolves around the fact that the city needs to have open houses, we need feedback, and then we can go from there. I think its the first step in a very long journey, but I think it will be fairly positive."

Councillor Linda Brown went a step further, wanting to see seating at the performing arts centre increased from the 275-currently included in the plan.

"It thinks the number at 275 is way too small. I have had two theatres reporting to me. One of them, the R.E.M theatre in Terrace had a thousand seats, and it was never big enough for the big events."

Under the new plan, a three-bay theatre complex would be built downtown and operated by the Nicola Valley Community Theatre Society, while the performing arts centre added on to the Civic Centre would become a city initiative, increasing the ability to apply for government funding.


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