For the next 6 link headings, use the JAWS curser when over each link and this will provide access to a list of links under each one. To access the individual links use the right mouse button on the number pad

City Hall » News

Stuart Wood Saving Lives

Former Stuart Wood Elementary School is serving an important temporary purpose this winter: saving the lives of our most vulnerable population.

»

As the weather gets colder, the needs of our homeless population increase. For several years, an emergency cold weather shelter has been operated out of Emerald Centre or New Life Community to meet those needs. However, neither space is adequately setup or equipped to support the additional capacity and logistics of a temporary emergency winter shelter.

While a long term plan for Stuart Wood is underway to create an educational community space, the City of Kamloops received support from the Province of British Columbia and Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc (TteS) to use the gymnasium and west portion of the building as a temporary winter emergency shelter. The City also acknowledges the importance of permanent housing options for folks and is actively working to create more units of housing for the community's homeless.

"With Stuart Wood sitting empty, this is an opportunity for the City to provide an accessible space for temporary emergency use," says Jen Casorso, the City's Social and Community Development Supervisor. "It's an accommodating location to support folks on the street who are in crisis and need warmth so they don't succumb to the elements."

The temporary emergency winter shelter will open on November 1, 2017, funded by BC Housing and operated by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). The shelter will be open from 8:00 pm-7:00 am and is expected to be open seven days a week until March 31, 2018.

"It's important for the shelter to be open consistently," says Christa Mullaly, Executive Director at CMHA Kamloops. "This is a hard-to-reach population and they need to know where they can find shelter on any given day."

This new temporary emergency winter shelter is in addition to the existing shelter services in the community, which regularly have to turn people away due to capacity issues. Last winter, the Out of the Cold program at St. Paul's Cathedral reached capacity every Wednesday and Sunday it was open, and Emerald Centre faces similar capacity issues.

"Unfortunately throughout the spring, summer, and fall, we regularly have to turn people away because we just don't have the space," says Mullaly. "It's simply unacceptable to us to turn people away in the freezing cold. This space means we won't have to turn anyone away this winter, and we're grateful for that."

Shelter spaces provide an immediate response, but are not the long-term goal for the community. Permanent housing solutions with supports are a priority to assist our homeless in obtaining and maintaining their housing. Over the winter, CMHA will work with community partners like ASK Wellness to support moving folks from the shelter into stable housing; from streets to homes. The City also anticipates more permanent housing developments to be created and announced over the next year.

"We are working with the provincial government and community partners to increase the available inventory of housing because we know everyone deserves a home," says Casorso.

Since the announcement was made, questions have been raised by some neighbouring residents about the safety of the school grounds and park space, particularly with respect to improperly discarded needles. The CMHA is aware of concerns and has taken steps in their operational plan to mitigate them, including a sweep of the grounds when the shelter closes each morning.

"Community safety is a priority for the City," says Casorso. "Everyone deserves the right to feel safe, including our homeless."

While planning for the future of this treasured heritage site is still underway, its legacy of serving the Kamloops community will continue this winter.

Learn More

There are two upcoming community events for residents interested in learning more about housing and homelessness in our community:

  • Monday, October 30, 2017, 4:00-6:00 pm – The Canadian Mental Health Association, Kamloops Branch, invites you to attend their Open House at Stuart Wood School, 245 St. Paul Street. Winter Shelter staff will be present to answer any questions from community members related to their operation of the Winter Shelter for the winter of 2017-2018.
  • Friday, November 3, 2017, 1:00-3:00 pm – The United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo is hosting a "Seeing is Believing" tour titled "The Path to Home". Attendees visit several locations to learn about the path from homelessness to finding a home. Limited capacity available – please RSVP to

Become a Part of the Solution

Community builds community. The solution to homelessness does not lie with one individual or organization; it takes a collective effort to see real change. If you are fortunate enough to have unwanted items or free time this winter, here are some ways you can help make things a little better for those less fortunate:

  • The CMHA is in need of long folding tables; approximately 40 chairs; and gently used, clean pillows, fitted twin sheets, twin comforters, and bath towels. Donations can be labeled "WINTER Shelter" and dropped off at the CMHA Emerald Centre Shelter at 271 Victoria Street West.
  • ASK Wellness is seeking donations of gently used or new dish clothes, tea towels, small microwaves, small cooking pots and frying pans, and coffee pots. To donate, please contact Jo Bristol at 250-571-0294.
  • St. Paul's Cathedral is looking for donations of warm clothing and blankets. To donate or volunteer with the Out of the Cold program, contact Bud Forbes, Out of the Cold Coordinator, at 250-573-3430 or

About Kamloops Shelter Services

  • Emerald Centre is the primary main year-round shelter for the city's homeless population. Offering 42 beds, this shelter is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Through the winter, the shelter will be filled to capacity prior to Stuart Wood's 8:00 pm intake.
  • "Out of the Cold" is an annual winter shelter program that operates two days a week at St. Paul's Cathedral. It will commence regular operations on November 1, 2017, and be open Wednesdays and Sundays from 7:00 pm to 7:30 am until March 29, 2018.
  • Stuart Wood will become a temporary emergency winter shelter to handle the overflow from Emerald Centre and Out of the Cold. It will operate seven days a week from November 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018.
  • ASK Wellness operates 20 motel units as cold-weather shelter spaces.
  • YMCA Women's Shelter provides safe refuge and support for women and children, 24/7 phone support, referrals to community resources, and more, all free of charge. Call 250-374-6162 or text 250-682-7931.
  • Youth Shelter is operated by Interior Community Services and is a four-bed shelter for youth aged 13-18 years old in need of safe, temporary housing. It is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to assist youth in meeting their basic needs, including food, shower, laundry, harm reduction, Naloxone, and crisis intervention. It operates on a first-come, first-served basis, although self-referrals, family referrals, and community partner referrals are also accepted. For more information or to access call 778-470-0991 or toll-free at 1-855-629-SAFE (7233). The Youth Shelter can also be reached via text to 250-319-0264 or email

Solar Gain

Solar installation at Juniper West Park

Due to the cost of providing hydro service at Juniper West Park, a solar solution was installed to power the irrigation system.

»

Known in the RV world as the "Weekender", the system from Carmanah Technologies converts 12-volt battery power to 120 volts to supply the irrigation controller, and a battery is used for storage. The battery will be removed during the winter and reinstalled in the spring.

A standard pole and base were used with a custom-ordered aluminum mounting plate to hold the panel at the correct angle on the pole. The total cost was less than $17,000, including labour, and the solar solution not incur hydro charges. As the original estimate to provide hydro service was $30,000, using a solar solution has resulted in a savings of approximately $13,000.

What an Incredible Weekend

McArthur Island Park

To Deputy Mayor Singh & Mr. Byron McCorkell

Western Canada Baseball Championship Success

On behalf of Sean Wandler, KMBA board and myself, we thank you for all the support from the City of Kamloops. Your parks staff this past weekend were probably one of the highlights with our out of town guests. The entire weekend we heard comments on how amazing the fields were and the pride shown by your city staff prepping the fields and over seeing the maintenance through out the park. I heard a few people say they were taking photos back to their city to 'up their game' on their baseball fields. :)

»

The support from other departments were instrumental with the outcome of hosting a first class event - IT Dept with lending old devices so we could play music at each field, Bylaws support with a few unwanted folks, Ryan Turner in the sign shop, the McArthur Island Parks staff and Sean Smith & Shawn Cook.

As an association the lasting impact of giving our athletes the opportunity to partake and be exposed to this Westerns event was a lifetime experience. The exposure for all athletes across the Western provinces was immeasurable. I firmly believe Kamloops is officially on the map for the best place in Canada (and some of the US) to host baseball tournaments!!! The Western Baseball Canada reps definitely believe this as well.

I'd like to share a few comments/emails/tweets that have come our way.

  • "Props to everyone involved for putting on a top notch event" - Tweet
  • "Diamonds represent nicest facility ever seen – Major League Perfect" – Tweet
  • "What a facility!" – Tweet
  • "Best facility in Western Canada and community spirit like no where else" - Tweet
  • "First class event, hard work was noted and appreciated from all the volunteers" – Saskatoon A's coach
  • "Outstanding job, very successful Westerns, facilities amazing, well organized, City of Kamloops was clearly behind you" – Campbell River team manager
  • "Volunteers at scorekeeping table we great right through the entire weekend." – Parent from Manitoba 15u AA
  • "My daughter said this was the best time of her life. They have traveled to many tournaments in the states and none came close to this" – Parent from 14u Girls Team Alberta
  • "Amazing job hosting"
  • "I told my boys that this was their biggest reward in winning Provincials--to come play baseball in Kamloops" - 13u AA Sask coach
  • "This is better than any National event we have ever attended!"

Please accept my heartfelt thank you for your support in hosting a highly successful prestigious event with the utmost class! I am so proud & very grateful to have worked with all your city staff on this event.

Stacey Matkowski
Director at Large KMBA

Unlimited, Inclusive and Accessible Adventures


Tourism Kamloops recently posted a great article about accessible and inclusive recreation options in Kamloops. They feature our Grasslands Loop Trail, an accessible walking/wheeling/biking/strolling option in the Sahali neighbourhood. The loop was made accessible through the Rick Hansen Foundation's Barrier Buster grant. They also highlight our #Access4All event, which took place from June 12-16 and provide a list of other accessible and inclusive recreation options.

»

One's sense of adventure might be boundless, but if mobility is limited, the outside world might feel rife with frustrating and discouraging obstacles. Recently, the City of Kamloops and Accessibility Kamloops collaborated with the YMCA/YWCA, the Kamloops Arts Council, the John Howard Society, the White Cane Society, Brocklehurst Middle School and the Children's Therapy and Family Resource Centre to host accessible and inclusive events and programming opportunities that spanned citywide. The collective efforts of Access 4 All Week draw attention to the barriers those with limited physical abilities face on a day to day basis, especially when trying to participate in activities or access amenities.

The week concludes with the official re-opening of the newly accessible Grasslands Loop in Peterson Creek. Set for Friday, June 16 from 11:00 am-1:00 pm.

The loop, based at the entrance near Whiteshield Crescent in Sahali, was made possible by a grant from the Rick Hansen Foundation. The celebration features speakers and special guests, including an ambassador from the Rick Hansen Foundation, as well as adaptive equipment rides, a community-led Canada 150 art project, and refreshments (which you'll need after laps around the trail!)

Accessible Trails

In the spirit of Access 4 All Week, which runs from June 12-16, Tourism Kamloops compiled a list of accessible hotspots for locals and holidaymakers wanting to explore Kamloops and surrounding regions on their own terms and at their own pace.

Jessica Vliegenthart, board member of the Kamloops Adaptive Sports Association—an organization that provides accessible options to sports such as tennis, basketball, cycling, yoga, and curling—shared some of her favorite places and experiences.

* Kamloops Adapted Sports & Sun Peaks Adaptive Sports (Two Chapters). "An outstanding organization, they make winter sporting an accessible experience for the whole family."

* Wildlife Park. "Ramps leading to every exhibit and you can even get on the train."

* Tournament Capital Centre. "Lifts are available to help you get into the pool"

* Riverside Park. "Any city park will have accessibility to suit all needs."

* Rivers Trail. "The most easily accessible entryway of the 40-kilometre pathway is where the paved trail meets Royal Avenue. Lots of parking and close to McArthur Island Park, which is a nice walking/ wheeling loop.

Rivers Trail

* Kamloops Art Gallery. "Not only is the space accessible, they have a wheelchair available at Admissions desk for use in the galleries".

* Adams River Salmon Run. "There is an accessible trail through forest areas in Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park; it's over 300 metres long and runs from the parking lot to a viewing platform near the river's edge".

* Isobel Lake. "Offers a three-kilometer wheelchair accessible trail surrounding the lake"

* Western Canada Theatre. Both the Pavilion and Sagebrush Theatre are wheelchair friendly. Connect with the Kamloops Live! Box Office to book.

* Kamloops Wine Trail. "Winery and tasting rooms are wheelchair friendly."

* Sandman Centre. Accessible Seating: "Very accessible and accommodating space, the arena has 32 wheelchair and attendant spots available."

Accessible Seating Blazers

* Kamloops Heritage Railway. "With advance bookings, KHR can use Rocky Mountaineer's lifts during the summer season."

For more information about Kamloops Adapted Sport Association, refer to their website.

For more information, Contact Accessible Kamloops.

Phone (250) 828-3582 or email

Reprinted with permission courtesy of Tourism Kamloops, written by Alicia Ashcroft

Community Spotlight: Social Planning Grants

Social Plan

The City of Kamloops' Social Planning Council (SPC) has funded community-led initiatives for over two decades. Through these grants, the SPC has supported the development, growth, and expansion of a wide-range of community-based initiatives and projects. We've funded accessibility initiatives, music programs, community food programs, recreation programs, tech innovation, and housing initiatives, just to name a few. Each year, community organizations apply for funding under four categories: seed grants, special projects, special capital expenditures, and operational grants. The SPC reviews the applications and makes recommendations to City Council, which gives final approval. In 2016, we supported 14 organizations, which received a total of $65,218 in grants. The following paragraphs highlight four of these projects.

»

Building community through teaching and tech

Laser Cutter

2016 was a big year for Kamloops Makerspace. Using a Social Planning Grant, Makerspace purchased a laser cutter. When we spoke to Vaughn Warren, coordinator of the Makerspace Design Lab, he said that "the Social Planning Grant changed everything. It has given people access to a technology that would have otherwise been impossible for people to use. "The laser cutter has been so popular that Makerspace has successfully grown its membership. Organizations have been able to use the laser cutter to create prototypes and experiments, scale models, and construct other creative pieces. In addition, the laser cutter is serviced and maintained by a growing base of trained Makerspace members. A free Laser 101 course is offered to members every month, and it empowers them with the basic training required to operate the cutter.

The laser cutter has also led to growing partnerships with Twin Rivers Education Centre School, the Christian Online School, Four Directions Storefront School, Skeetchestn School, Girl Guides, adult learning, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District Library, Hot Night in the City, the Community Arts Council, and many more.

Throughout the year, Makerspace hosted laser-cutting workshops and open houses where local organizations and members of the arts community were invited to learn how use the machine. The 120-watt laser has also been the focus of many of Makerspace's open house Hack Nights. To date, Makerspace has hosted 85 consecutive, free Wednesday open houses to ensure everyone in the community can access its resources, participate in tours, and receive project support.

Supporting young musicians' pursuits


With funding from a Social Planning Grant, the Kamloops Interior Summer School of Music (KISSM) launched the Whole Note music program in 2016. This community-based initiative is the first of its kind in Kamloops and will support young musicians (grades 7 to 10) who are interested in pursuing music but cannot afford lessons. The Whole Note program provides participants with 10 private music lessons, a full scholarship to the three week KISSM program, facilitated community music engagement, a professional photo, and a professional biography.The program's founder, Kim Mangan, explained her inspiration for creating the program through her personal connection to music. At age 13, Kim received an Arts and Legacy Grant from the City. The grant gave her the confidence to pursue music – she was a clarinet player at the time – and "shaped her commitment to advocating for music education for youth." Her passion for affordable lessons led her to found Whole Note, and she emphasized the important role the Social Planning Grant has played in the program. In addition to supporting its development, the funding allowed Mangan to create a website and visual identity for the program, both of which have been essential for leveraging additional support for the project. She emphasized that the program "wouldn't have gone forward without the planning and communicating that took place because of the grant."

Improving accessibility to enhance the gallery experience


The Arnica Artist Run Centre Society improved accessibility to its art exhibitions for people with visual and hearing impairment through the use of interactive tablet technology. For example, written materials were translated into audio files, which makes more information accessible to the visually impaired. With this new technology, visitors are able to magnify images of the artworks on exhibition, look up information related to the artists and their work, and take descriptive audio tours of the exhibits. An articulated arm allows wheelchair users to adjust the tablet as needed.The project has enriched and expanded the art gallery experience for a diversity of visitors. Terryl Atkins, President of the Board for Arnica, affirmed that "this technology will greatly enable access and enjoyment of art for those who may feel left out of cultural activities through sensory impairments."

Providing crisis and victim services for survivors of assault and violence
The Kamloops Sexual Assault Counselling Centre (KSACC) initiated its Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) with the support of the Social Planning Grant and other community partners. The team, in partnership with Interior Health, the RCMP, and other community partners, will help ensure survivors of sexual assault have immediate community support services while accessing Royal Inland Hospital.

Members of SART will support survivors throughout the entire time they are at the hospital and will strive to help survivors stay connected to services once they leave the hospital. Therefore, the project is helping to ensure survivors of sexual assault can access community expert support services immediately following a crisis. Agency Coordinator Charlene Eden said the start-up of SART would not have been possible without the Social Planning Grant. She further explained that, with support from the funding, the team is helping to fill a service gap by providing an essential service to the community. The very existence of the program means that there will be greater wraparound of services for survivors, which can facilitate a quicker start for the healing process. By working toward providing after-hours crisis response and ensuring community awareness, KSACC and its partners are working towards mitigating the lasting impacts of sexual violence and decreasing sexual violence as a whole.

While we have only highlighted a few of the successes from 2016, there were other inspiring projects going on throughout the community. View the full list of funded projects from 2016. Going into 2017, the Social Planning Grants will distribute $70,416 to 12 organizations. 2017's Social Planning Grants will support:

  • Boys and Girls Club of Kamloops
  • Interior Community Services
  • Kamloops and District Elizabeth Fry Society
  • Kamloops Community YMCA-YWCA
  • Kamloops Family Resources Society
  • Kamloops Interior Summer School of Music
  • Kamloops Makerspace
  • Kamloops Sexual Assault Counselling Centre
  • Kamloops Society for Alcohol and Drug Services (Phoenix Centre)
  • PacificSport Interior BC
  • Thompson Shuswap Master Gardeners
  • Volunteer Kamloops
Stay tuned as we feature the work these organizations are doing to make our community stronger.

Join us on Family Day!

Family Day

On Family Day, the City of Kamloops will transform the Tournament Capital Centre (TCC) into a festival for families with children of all ages! The 5th Annual Family Day Festival will take place on Monday, February 13 (a statutory holiday in BC), from 10 am – 2 pm, and the event is free. We will also host a free swim at the TCC from 1 pm – 4 pm.

»

Community organizations and businesses will bring a wide range of family-focused festivities into one place. Festival goers will have an opportunity to join a princess tea party, get creative with arts and crafts, have their faces painted, experience live performances, learn about all things science, practice karate, and try new sports. With close to 50 booths and activities, there will be something for everyone.

Family Day

In addition to music, games, sports, and crafts, there will be opportunities to win great prizes. Families can pick up "experience passports" at the door and all completed passports will be entered in a draw to win an Annual Family Pass to the Wildlife Park.

In addition, the City of Kamloops booth will have a draw to win a six month full facility pass to the TCC and there will be a chance to win more prizes: Wildlife Park passes, family memberships to the Kamloops Art Gallery, skate passes, swim passes, and City of Kamloops swag. If that wasn't enough, in celebration of Canada's 150th birthday, the 150th person to walk through the door at the TCC will win some great Canada 150 merchandise!

The Kamloops Food Bank will be accepting donations for non-perishable food items at the door.

We invite you to celebrate your Family with us! See you at the TCC (910 McGill Road) on Monday February 13th.

8th Annual Heap the Honda Children's Book Drive

8th Annual Book Drive

The 8th annual Heap the Honda Children's Book Drive, sponsored by Kamloops Honda in partnership with Literacy in Kamloops, takes place January 7 - 28, 2017. The goals of this project are to increase book ownership in all homes and encourage a love of reading.

»

Over the past seven years, more than 75,000 children's books have been donated. Throughout the year, Volunteer Coordinator Faith Bailey and her husband, Al organize teams of volunteers to sort, clean, and label books. Volunteers distribute the books to Bright Red Bookshelves at 22 school and community locations. More than 500 volunteer hours are committed to this project each year.

LinK invites the community to launch the Heap the Honda Children's Book Drive at Kamloops Honda on Saturday, January 7 at 10.00 am. New or gently used children's books can be dropped off at Kamloops Honda from January 7 to 28. Other drop-off locations include the North Kamloops and Kamloops branches of the Thompson Nicola Regional District Library System, the Henry Grube Education Centre, and any Bright Red Bookshelf location.

The Heap the Honda Children's Book Drive is just one of the many literacy initiatives taking place in Kamloops in January in support of National Family Literacy Day, which is celebrated each year on January 27. When families play and read together, they learn and have fun together.

For more information, visit

Bright Red Bookshelf Community Locations:
ASK Wellness, BIG Little Science Centre, Boys and Girls Club of Kamloops, Children Who Witness Abuse Program, Downtown Kamloops YMCA-YWCA, Interior Community Services, Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society, Kamloops Child Development Centre, Kamloops Food Bank, Kamloops Immigrant Services, Kamloops YMCA-YWCA Child Care Resource and Referral, Salvation Army Family Centre, Secwépemc Child and Family Services Agency, and Tournament Capital Centre

Bright Red Bookshelf School Locations:
AE Perry Elementary, Arthur Hatton Elementary, Beattie Elementary, Bert Edwards School of Science and Technology, Kay Bingham Elementary, Marion Schilling Elementary, and Parkcrest Elementary

Tour the Town

MyKamloops - Tours

The City of Kamloops has created map-based web applications to showcase our community. These applications link photos, map locations, and background information to create an interactive, digital resource that will help residents and visitors learn more about Kamloops on their computers or mobile phones.

»

These maps and photos provide something for everyone. They are a great digital resource for visitors and residents looking for new experiences and offer the public access to a record of our cultural assets. The City invites you to take a public art tour, learn about our heritage sites, visit our memorial benches, or take a virtual stroll through our parks. See the sights here:

» Heritage: | Through this app's creation, the Kamloops Heritage Commission and the Kamloops Museum & Archives are proud to share information about local heritage properties with residents and visitors.

» Public Art: | The public art map shows photos and the locations of stand alone public art installations and building murals. When available, the artists' names and dates of commission are included.

» Parks: | Kamloops is a popular destination for hiking and biking. Online maps and photos are a great digital resource for park visitors.

» Memorials: | Through the City's Memorial Bench Program, people can pay tribute to their loved ones by purchasing memorial benches in parks or along trails and walkways. Photos of these benches, the plaques attached to them, and the viewscape they provide are now accessible to all.

What Does Food Mean to You?

This video highlights one of the City's most successful community partnerships. The Kamloops Food Policy Council (KFPC) has been building community capacity for twenty years and has worked closely with the City, Interior Health, and citizens to promote food security. Not only has the KFPC incubated urban agriculture and food security projects in Kamloops, they were a key community partner in the creation of the City's Food and Urban Agriculture Plan (FUAP). They continue to support the implementation of the FUAP through various community food action programs such as Community Gardens, Community Kitchens, and the Gleaning Abundance Program (GAP). The City is proud to belong to this collaborative network.

Stories from Westsyde Pool and Fitness Centre

2017 Budget Meetings

Anyone who has walked by Westsyde Pool lately may have noticed things are looking a little bit different. On Friday, October 14, the pool's roof was lifted off, meaning that demolition is almost complete and reconstruction is underway.
»

2017 Budget Meetings

2017 Budget Meetings

Each year, the City of Kamloops hosts public meetings regarding the City's budget to give citizens an overview and hear their comments and suggestions. By sharing your priorities and participating in the City's budget process, you can help create a strong future for Kamloops.

»

The City wants to hear your ideas to plan for the future. Residents are invited to a round table discussion with City staff and Councillors on Tuesday, November 15, 2016, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm, in the Parkside Lounge in Sandman Centre to provide feedback and ideas to be considered in the supplemental budget and the Five-year Financial Plan.

The planning process is iterative, and may take multiple years to implement. The City wants to hear your ideas now so that staff can investigate to determine if they can feasibly be incorporated into the Five-year Financial Plan. The supplemental budget list will be built from this meeting.

Input will be compiled and presented to Council, which will then prioritize the ideas. The top priorities will be costed out and presented back to Council to see if they can potentially be added to the budget in the next few years.

Background information is available at

So let's talk. Your participation will influence the process. Mayor, Council, and City managers will develop a broader understanding of community interests, concerns, and ideas. These factors are considered and weighed before final deliberation of the budget and the Five‑year Financial Plan.