The theatre in the new Fort St. James community hall

New hall now open

Fort St. James's new community hall doesn't officially open until October, but is already being used by different groups.

The District of Fort St. James is eager to have people use the new Community Hall, even though its official opening isn’t until October 3. However, the Hall has already played host to several events, including weddings, the summer recreation program, and a Music on the Meadow mini-event earlier this year.

The idea of re-establishing a Community Hall in Fort St. James after some 30 years without one has been around since 2008, when the Hoy family donated $500,000 towards a Hall. “It took a while to get the project off the ground,” says Economic Development Officer Emily Colombo, but that initial donation “lit a fire under Council”. Grants were applied for, and a committee was formed to talk about what the community wanted in a Hall. “They wanted something unique, that wouldn’t duplicate what was  already available in town,” says Colombo.

It was initially hoped that enough funds would be raised to construct a new building, but without federal funding that was not possible. Instead the District purchased property and an existing building on Stuart Drive East, and renovations began in the spring of 2014. Most of the work was completed by early May, but there is still some finishing work to be done, including new appliances for the kitchen/concession area.

In addition to a large hall space which can accommodate up to 250 people, the Hall contains two smaller meeting spaces, as well as the kitchen/concession, a multipurpose racquet court which can be used for squash, racquetball, or handball, and a theatre that can be used for live performances or as a movie theatre. The District is currently looking for funding so that it can purchase a digital movie projector and host film nights there. The racquetball court would also be a suitable area for dance or yoga classes, says Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Crook, who notes that one of the upstairs meeting spaces will be fitted out with a special carpet so that seniors can use it for carpet bowling.

An official opening celebration is planned for October 3, with a family-friendly event in the afternoon and a licensed event in the evening featuring music, door prizes, and light refreshments. The theme will be a recognition of volunteers, says Crook, noting that representatives from various community groups will be invited. Asked if there are plans to name the new facility, Crook says it’s under consideration. “The Hoy family have the first choice of a name,” he says. “If they decide not to, we can go from there.”

Barbara Roden

 

Just Posted

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

BC BUDGET: Payroll tax replaces medical premiums

Health spending to increase $1.5 billion for drugs, primary care teams

B.C. freestyle skier wins gold

Cassie Sharpe of Comox shines in the halfpipe

VIDEO: What you need to know today at the B.C. Games

All 19 events are underway across Kamloops, where five to 10 cm of snow is expected to fall

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Maritimes want their own CFL team

Their biggest hurdle is getting a stadium commitment in place

Sask. school shooter to be sentenced as adult

The man was just shy of his 18th birthday when he killed four people and injured seven others

Internet questions PM’s fashion choices in India

The Trudeaus’ eight-day visit has been dogged by various controversies since it began Feb. 17

Adopted potbelly pig killed and eaten on Vancouver Island

Animal had been adopted out from the SPCA in Duncan; staff are devastated by news

WATCH: Walking from Argentina to Alaska one step at a time

Holly “Cargo” Harrison is in Williams Lake, resting a pulled hamstring before he continues on his 15,000-mile walk to Alaska.

BCHL Today: Merritt Centennials keep moving while Salmon Arm Silverbacks slide

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Former Canuck Roberto Luongo addresses Florida shooting victims

Parkland, Fla., resident, delivers speech before Florida Panthers’ first home game since tragedy

Most Read