Along with our friends at Western Canada Theatre, we are moving into a beautiful, newly renovated facility later this season, thanks to a multi-million-dollar donation from local philanthropists, Ron and Rae Fawcett. The 20,000 square foot building in downtown Kamloops, previously the TELUS Annex located at 330 St. Paul Street, is undergoing a major renovation to create an ideal space for our respective offices and schools, plus spaces for performances and rehearsals. In addition to serving our expanding needs, this building will become an arts hub for the City of Kamloops, eventually welcoming a variety of community arts organizations, individuals, and students.

The Kamloops Symphony is truly grateful for Ron and Rae Fawcett’s incredible support, and what they have done to shape the arts in Kamloops. These new facilities for our offices and school will allow us to grow our educational activities through the Kamloops Symphony Music School. The new spaces will also support our general programming, through the larger rehearsal spaces in the building.

rae fawcett, kamloops symphony executive director daniel mills, western canada theatre artistic director james macdonald, ron fawcett

“It is no secret that Rae and I are supporters of the arts here in Kamloops,” noted Ron Fawcett. “We also realize that the work we have been doing on this building isn’t a secret either with so many people collaborating and the construction soon to wrap up. We are excited to be able to donate as a gift the fully renovated building to the City of Kamloops later this fall when the citizens of Kamloops will become the 100% owners of this building. We then understand it will be leased to, and operated by, the Kamloops Symphony and Western Canada Theatre.”

The new centre will be called Kelson Hall, and among its features are a 1,700 square foot rehearsal hall for the Orchestra and another 1,700 square feet of space for nine teaching classrooms for the Kamloops Symphony Music School. It will also feature a 2,000 square foot, 134-seat theatre/rehearsal hall for WCT, and a 1,500 square foot studio for their Stage One Theatre School. The building has been designed to be fully accessible.

“Located adjacent to the current site downtown where the Kamloops Centre for the Arts could be built, Kelson Hall has been designed to support the proposed Centre by including a number of amenities and much-needed spaces for Kamloops’ arts groups,” said Fawcett. “It is a completely stand-alone facility which will greatly enhance our cultural experiences. Of course, we would like to see the Kamloops Centre for the Arts move forward, but in the interim, Rae and I saw how Kelson Hall could fulfill our commitment to support our arts community in an important and meaningful way, so we jumped at the opportunity.”

Kelson Hall joins a long list of fantastic arts, culture, and heritage facilities downtown creating a diverse cultural district. These include the Paramount Theatre, which is home to the Kamloops Film Society, the Kamloops Art Gallery, St. Andrew’s on the Square, Stuart Wood School, and the Kamloops Museum & Archives.

western canada theatre artistic director james macdonald, ron and rae fawcett, kamloops symphony executive director daniel mills, kelson group site supervisor patrick brown

Although more details are still to come, we expect to be moving parts of our operations starting in November 2022, and to have the Music School up in running in the new location in early 2023. The Kamloops Symphony looks forward to working with Western Canada Theatre and the City of Kamloops to determine the best way to operate the space. Once the official handover of Kelson Hall is made to the City of Kamloops, together with WCT and the Symphony, an open house for the media and community members will be hosted.