Sometime between Sunday afternoon, July 5, and Monday morning, July 6, persons unknown broke into the Centre 64 arts centre and stole a quantity of cash temporarily stored in a locked office. The stolen money included the revenues from the First Saturday celebration on July 4 and registration fees for the Creative Kids summer arts program as well as money from late ticket payments for Symphony on the Mountain and an amount of petty cash.
The break-in was discovered by the Centre 64 custodian on Monday morning when she arrived to carry out janitorial duties. Thieves had broken in through a metal fire exit door from Studio 64 to the car park and targeted the administration office in which the cash boxes were stored, leading Kimberley arts council vice-president Carol Fergus, who was one of the first on the scene, to believe that the thieves knew what they were doing. RCMP Corporal Chris Newel brought in forensic personnel to retrieve evidence at the scene and Kimberley RCMP is continuing to investigate.
The break-in and theft will reduce the funds available to Kimberley Arts Council for future community arts programs such as First Saturdays and Creative Kids but arts council president Mike Redfern stated that all arts council programs and events will continue as planned though probably on reduced budgets. “This is not the first time a break-in has occurred at Centre 64,” said Redfern. “At our next board meeting the board of directors will consider what measures we need to take to increase security so that we don’t risk such losses again.”