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Posted: September 26, 2017

Columbia Valley Centre officially opened

DOI Mayor Gerry Taft

After many years of contemplation, discussion, back-and-forth and up and down, valley residents Sept. 20 celebrated the opening of the Columbia Valley Centre.

District of Invermere, Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK), ?akisqnuk First Nation, Invermere Public Library and donor representatives, along with many community members, participated in an official ribbon cutting, tour of the new 17,000-square-foot facility and speeches from government dignitaries.

“The new multi-use centre is going to be an incredible and long term asset and community gathering place for Invermere and the Columbia Valley. The new space replaces aging structures and expands the size and quality of everything from community dinners, to arts and culture performances, to expanding our potential to host banquets and conventions. As a community hub and an economic driver, this facility will be a game changer for Invermere,” stated District of Invermere Mayor Gerry Taft.

The hall replaces the more than 70-year-old Lake Windermere Memorial Hall, with a spacious 7,000-square-foot main/banquet room with seating for about 500 people.

The main room includes retractable theatre seating, a central stage and a screen to accommodate live performances, movies and presentations. A sliding divider allows the room to be split for simultaneous events. The centre also includes a commercial kitchen, a large lobby/meeting space, a new library, and a spectacular roof top patio with breathtaking panoramic views of our mountain ranges.

There will be dozens of uses for the new centre, from weddings to conferences, from live theatre and music to sporting events, from children’s events to meetings, as well as the regular day to day groups, such as the library, that will hold their activities there, the Columbia Valley Centre website outlines.

Cutting the ribbon for the opening of the Columbia Valley Community Facility in Invermere: Mayor Gerry Taft, Kelvin Taft, Jake Sutherland, Wendy Booth, Electoral Area F Director, ?akisqnuk First Nation nasu–kin (chief) Lorne Shovar, Invermere Councillor Justin Atterbury, Invermere Councillor Greg Anderson, Invermere Councillor Paul Denchuk, Councillor Al Miller and Gerry Wilkie, Electoral Area G Director.

Along with a ribbon cutting for the centre, there was one for the new Invermere Public Library. Pictured front row: Paul Denchuk, Invermere Councillor and Greg Anderson, Invermere Councillor, Virginia Walker, Librarian,  Okilani Cowles (three-years-old) ribbon cutter, Cassium Cowles (seven-years-old),  Back row from left: Gerry Wilkie, Electoral Area G Director, Wendy Booth, Electoral Area F Director,  Al Miller, Invermere Councillor, Hedi Trescher representing donors Joe and Anges Camenzind, Helen Kipp, Chair of Library Board, Kindry Luyendyk, Corporate Office, District of Invermere. The Camenzinds left a sizeable bequest to the library when Mr. Camenzind passed away in 2013.  In his estate, he willed approximately $127,000 to the library.  This contribution was used to develop the new library, our new home.  His bequest was the foundation of our move.

Photos by Carol Gordon/e-KNOW

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