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

Robson Community School got a new playground this year. Photo: Submitted
Robson Community School says thanks for playgound

Submitted by Robson Community School PAC It takes a village to build… Continue reading

Daryl Jolly, his wife Kerry Pagdin, their sons Cole Jolly (left) and Graeme Jolly, and their dogs Gracie and Clover. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College arts chair diagnosed with lung cancer, family launches fund drive

Daryl Jolly co-founded the college’s digital arts program

TELUS is proposing to construct a 5G tower at Pople Park. Photo: Sheri Regnier
First 5G tower in Trail proposed for placement in popular park

TELUS has a consultation process open until June 28

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

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

The airline says market can’t handle two airlines

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

Lindsay, Isla and Ethan Fischer & Maddie, Everly, Ray and Jessica Pressacc of the Tadanac Residents Association along with Aron Burke (Kootenay Savings Community Liaison) Kootenay Savings file
Kootenay Savings Foundation continues community support

The Kootenay Savings Foundation has once again handed out their twice a… Continue reading

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-month-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

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

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop ‘appalling’ live horse export, slaughter

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Most Read