Over 1,000 households and 34 community groups were asked about the future of Campbell Field. Illustration: Regional District of Central Kootenay

Over 1,000 households and 34 community groups were asked about the future of Campbell Field. Illustration: Regional District of Central Kootenay

Residents want large concert venue built between Nelson and Castlegar

The Regional District of Central Kootenay is considering the future of Campbell Field

West Kootenay residents would rather go see a concert than play a sport, according to a new survey being used to develop an empty field located between Nelson and Castlegar.

Last month, the Regional District of Central Kootenay released the results of a survey asking what it should do with the 8.6-acre Campbell Field next to Mount Sentinel Secondary School at Playmor Junction.

The activities listed as possibilities include typical fare such as swimming, hockey and soccer. But the top choice, both as an outdoor or indoor activity, among those surveyed was for a large performance venue.

Of the 1,090 households, 34 community groups and 89 student responses received, 78 per cent said they would be willing to travel to Campbell Field for an outdoor performance. Seventy-six per cent also said they would do the same at an indoor venue.

Joe Chirico, general manager of community services for the RDCK, said the results were surprising.

The field was donated to the regional district by the South Slocan Sports Association in 2016, and it had been assumed to eventually be developed into a recreation complex similar to those in Nelson and Castlegar.

But what residents would rather do with the space, it turns out, is go see a show.

“I think people are pointing at why don’t we get a 2,000 (seat) performance here every once in a while,” said Chirico.

The survey puts a spotlight on a lack of dedicated venues capable of hosting big acts in front of thousands of spectators in the West Kootenay.

Shambhala Music Festival, the biggest music event in the region, is held at a dedicated space exclusive to the festival. The Charles Bailey Theatre in Trail has a seating capacity of just over 700, while the Capitol Theatre in Nelson is limited to 426.

Chirico said the overwhelming preference for events highlights a regional desire, but also doesn’t rule out Campbell Field being used for other activities as well.

Outdoor activities that received support among households included cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, a space for family gatherings, walking and jogging routes, cycling and mountain biking and bird watching or nature appreciation.

There was less interest in skating and field sports such as soccer.

For indoor activities, 59 per cent said they would want classes of various types, while 53 per cent favoured leisure swimming. Chirico said a swimming pool is unlikely to be considered because it would syphon users away from RDCK-run pools in Nelson and Castlegar.

Community groups surveyed meanwhile favoured indoor spaces for fitness and yoga as well as soccer, while outdoor sports such as soccer and football received the most support.

It also appears unlikely, based on the survey, that a rink for hockey will be part of the RDCK’s plans. Only 21 per cent of households said they would travel to the Junction for an indoor hockey rink, while just nine per cent of community groups supported the sport.

Chirico said the stats are in line with a common recreation trend away from team sports towards activities that can include individual or family participation.

He added that whatever ends up at Campbell Field, it won’t be used for just one activity. If a performance venue is built, for example, there will also need to be facilities for recreation as well. He said the field also needs to provide value to nearby Mount Sentinel Senior Secondary.

“It’s not going to be one thing,” said Chirico. “In the past we were able to do that. When there was no arena, we’re going to build an indoor arena with four walls and a roof and that’s as far as our imaginations go. That’s not where people’s imaginations are now.”

Chirico said the next step will be for the regional district and its consultants to build several different concepts for the space using the survey results, which will in turn be presented back to the public.

Click here to read the entire survey.

READ MORE:

New recreation tenure proposed near Nelson

Shambhala Music Festival postponed to 2022

@tyler_harper | tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Just Posted

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

South Slocan’s Ti Loran is among the recipients of this year’s Neil Muth Memorial Scholarship. Photo: Submitted
Neil Muth Memorial Scholarships awarded to 4 students

Students in Creston, South Slocan and Revelstoke are sharing the honour

A wildfire near Cottonwood Lake was put out by Nelson firefighters Sunday night. Photo: Submitted
Wildfire extinguished near Cottonwood Lake

Lightning-caused fire was near one of Nelson’s water sources

West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Central Mountain Air leaving Castlegar airport in July

The airline says market can’t handle two airlines

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Most Read