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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Photo screen-shot from School District 51’s website
COVID-19 infection confirmed in Boundary School District

Those potentially exposed to the virus have been told to self-isolate, says acting Superintendent

Stock image.
Judge tells Grand Forks man accused of theft to guard his personal property

Edward ‘Joe’ Wright is accused of a break and entering at a flood-damaged property in North Ruckle

Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Greenwood man to stand trial for alleged stabbing

Grand Forks provincial court will set a trial date next month

Grand Forks Mounties look on as a tow truck prepares to haul an SUV involved in a Highway 3 crash near the intersection of Spraggett Road Friday, April 9. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
First responders attend Highway 3 crash in Grand Forks

No one appears to be hurt in the two-vehicle crash which highway stopped traffic in both directions

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

Thursday, Feb. 4: RDKB Chief Engineer Darryl Funk hoists a banner commemorating last year’s championship season by the Bantam House Bruins. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Bantam Bruins honoured at hair-raising banner ceremony at Grand Forks’ Jack Goddard Arena

Asst. coach Mike Tollis said he reluctantly gave in to the team’s victory wish that he cut his pony tale

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

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

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Most Read