New committee to plan for Key City replacement

City of Cranbrook, Key City Theatre Society, School District 5 and two electoral area directors to form new committee.

The RDEK isn’t ready for an official presence on a newly-formed committee that is advocating for a replacement building for the Key City Theatre, however, two board members will serve as representatives from their electoral areas.

During the monthly meeting of the RDEK board of directors, a motion was put forward to appoint two directors to have an official RDEK presence on the committee, but it was eventually amended so that those two serve in their capacity as their electoral representatives.

This new committee will have representation from the City of Cranbrook, the Key City Theatre Society and the school district.

Mike Sosnowski, director for Area A, which includes much of the Elk Valley, had concerns that the two board appointees would be giving an impression that the RDEK was going to take an active role in funding a replacement building, even though the committee only in the midst of being formed.

Wayne Stetski, who sits on the RDEK board in addition to serving as mayor of Cranbrook, said the intent of having representation from the RDEK stemmed from the fact that one-third of people who come to Key City Theatre events live outside of the city.

“So the motion and the discussion today, which was quite interesting, was whether or not there should be two members appointed on behalf of the board to help develop this committee or whether it should be representatives from the two electoral areas directly around Cranbrook,” Stetski said.

“In the end, the board decided it would be the directors from around Cranbrook to participate in this new committee.”

After discussion, Area C Director Rob Gay and Area E director Jane Walters were given the assent from the board to join the committee as representatives of their electoral area.

“It’s a fine point, and once the committee forms up with all four partners in place, then there will be recommendations coming back to the board, potentially for recommendation by the Regional District for the replacement of the Key City Theatre, when the time comes, and that, of course, is dependent on the placing of the high school, so we’re not there yet, but it’s building that relationship and including the board because there are about one-third of participants that come to shows at the Key City Theatre are from outside of Cranbrook.”

According to Stetski, any plans to replace the Key City Theatre are tied to the replacement of Mount Baker Secondary School.

In terms of priority, the province is focusing on building schools in the fastest-growing areas, in terms of population, which is led by Surrey. The B.C. government is also working on earthquake upgrades and replacing old schools, of which Mount Baker is at the top of list in the Southeast Kootenay district.

“The partners and the interest is still very much there and we’re hopeful in the next few years that Mount Baker will be replaced,” added Stetski.