Public forum to plan multicultural centre

Kelowna Community Resources wants the public to have their say on a new community space, which will celebrate diversity.

The Gathering Place is expected to open within KCR's existing building on Dolphin Avenue in January 2014.

Katelin Mitchell, immigrant services manager with KCR, said there has long been a desire to bring this sort of centre to the community; however, funding was an issue.

"It's something that we've been hearing from both cultural groups in the community…also from the general public," said Mitchell.

"They're needing a place to meet…people are interested in being more involved in the community."

EmbraceBC has provided funding as part of a community dialogue project. Mitchell said the money will likely allow the community space to be open two nights per week.

"One evening would be a guest speaker, facilitated discussion (or) it could be an organic discussion over a potluck.

"The second evening would be open to people to use as a drop-in centre—so they could come, ask questions and get information."

Mitchell noted these are tentative ideas, as community feedback will go a long way in deciding the centre's uses.

The public will have a chance to share their ideas at a forum Monday, Dec. 9, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the School District 23 Educational Services Building, 1040 Hollywood Rd.

Comments given will help plan what the centre is used for.

"We're really excited about this project; I think it's a great opportunity for the community to come together and have a place to celebrate and talk about diversity."

Mitchell added KCR may look into additional funding opportunities to keep the centre open more often if the community space ends up being well-used.

Twitter: @PatersonWade


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