Idea of country market facility at Kettle River Museum pitched

A country market retail facility at the Kettle River Museum bunkhouse is the vision of Kamloops resident Carl Driedger.

Midway Mayor Randy Kappes (right) discusses proposal by Kamloops businessman Carl Driedger to develop the Museum bunkhouse and adjoining lot into a Country Market.

Midway Mayor Randy Kappes (right) discusses proposal by Kamloops businessman Carl Driedger to develop the Museum bunkhouse and adjoining lot into a Country Market.

A country market retail facility at the Kettle River Museum bunkhouse is the vision of Kamloops resident Carl Driedger.

Midway council heard the proposal from Driedger to create the market retail facility at the bunkhouse and adjacent land at its regular meeting Monday night. That proposal details that the bunkhouse be renovated, a tower or other feature be erected atop the bunkhouse or the museum artifacts building to attract tourists, and the old customs building moved from its present site at the airport to a position east of the bunkhouse.

Modifications to the bunkhouse would see passageways cut between the bunkrooms to open the space up. “The way it is right now, it’s really not retail friendly,” Driedger said.

He proposes setting up Sea-Can shipping containers with false-front facades on the lot that is owned by the RCMP. Driedger said that everything on the lots could be removed in a matter of days when the RCMP is ready to build a new detachment there.

His vision is to sell nutcrackers, baskets, weathervanes and windmills in a seasonal business – opening in May and running through until Christmas.

He said he hadn’t approached the museum board yet. “I don’t know who has the directive power so I thought I’ll bring it to mayor and council and they would probably know the best way to go with it.”

He asked council to give their opinion on four questions: “Am I an acceptable tenant; can we make that building work; could the customs building be moved; and, could a small petting farm be set up on the site?”

He added, “Country markets, whatever flavour they take, they build atmosphere and that’s what really this is all about. An atmosphere where people are happy to come to and bring their families to.”

Driedger said he has run a coffee museum in Saskatchewan and the Chicken Farm Country Store in Westwold, B.C.

Comments made by council members later in the meeting didn’t sound overly favourable toward Driedger’s proposal as they referred the matter to a later meeting so they could hear the views of the museum board and current tenant Greenpeaks Resource Management.

Also deferred was a three-year lease proposal for the bunkhouse from Greenpeaks.