Vernon taxpayers could help raise the curtain on a major theatrical event.
Theatre B.C.’s Mainstage 2017 will be held in Vernon from June 30 to July 8, and organizers have asked the city for a $5,000 grant to help with planning.
“It’s a good year for arts and culture and it’s a good thing for us to support,” said Mayor Akbal Mund when asked about the request.
Council is expected to make a decision on the grant Jan. 23.
Upwards of 500 people could visit Vernon as part of Maintstage and performances will be held daily by theatre groups from across the province.
“It’s one of the longest running theatre traditions in Canada,” said Adele Kuyek, Mainstage chairperson.
Facilities have been rented at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre, Powerhouse Theatre and the Vernon Curling Club, and 100 hotel rooms have been booked.
Along with the performances, there will be a number of workshops.
“Community theatre is alive and well in the province as we know in the Okanagan,” said Kuyek.
Repeat offenders targeted
Anyone regularly breaking the rules in Vernon could pay the price.
Council has approved increased fines for repeat offenders, but there is a concern that the city could find itself in the midst of neighbourhood disputes.
“If we go hard and fast, there could be a lot of angry people,” said Coun. Scott Anderson.
However, city staff insist they will use discretion when determining if someone is repeatedly breaking a bylaw.
“Some officer discretion is allowed, with appeals to the manager to make a common sense decision,” said Clint Kanester , protective services manager, in a report.
Jurisdictions ink agreements
The City of Vernon is renewing partnerships with some of its neighbours.
Council has endorsed the terms of an agreement that will provide fire protection services to Okanagan Indian Reserve lands on Lakeshore Road from 2017 to 2021.
Council has also agreed to the sub-regional parks agreement between the city, the Regional District of North Okanagan and Coldstream.