Civic Arena Replacement / Kal Tire Place Expansion

Following a positive referendum to replace the Civic arena on November 28, 2015, the City of Vernon began the next steps in the design and construction of a twin facility at Kal Tire Place. The City is responsible for the project and operation of the facility through the Design, Build, Maintain and Operate Agreement with the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO).

The City was committed to provide the public and user groups ample opportunity to be involved in the design process through open houses, workshops and input sessions.  The design work was 12 months followed by 21 months of construction for a total of 33 – months to complete the project. The new Kal Tire Place North facility will open in the Fall of 2018.

VVI Construction Ltd. of Kelowna was the successful bidder on the project.  The project is on schedule and on budget.  Members of City of Vernon Council, Greater Vernon Advisory Committee, MQN Architects, VVI Construction and Kal Tire attended an official sod turning event on Monday, April 24, 2017.  As part of the sod turning event Kal Tire announced their commitment to extend and expand its sponsorship of Kal Tire Place and the new twin facility for an additional ten years until August 2027; the original four-year sponsorship agreement was set to expire May 2018.

The City of Vernon and Kal Tire unveiled the name of the new expansion at Kal Tire Place on May 4, 2018 .  The new facility will be called Kal Tire Place North. Jamie Shillingford, Kal Tire Marketing Merchandising Coordinator joined officials from the City of Vernon, the Regional District of North Okanagan, the District of Coldstream and MQN Architects to see the installation of the new signage.


Vernon Council, at their Regular meeting held on December 14, 2015, passed the following resolution: “THAT Council declassifies and removes from In Camera the fully executed ‘Design, Build, Operate and Maintain Agreement – Multi-Use Facility Expansion’ between the City of Vernon and the Regional District of North Okanagan dated August 10, 2015, CARRIED.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does the Civic Arena need replacing?

The Regional District of North Okanagan commissioned the Civic Arena Engineering Assessment Report in order to conduct a comprehensive review of the facility. The report concluded that at almost 80 years of age, many of the facility's operating systems are deteriorating and at risk of imminent failure, and the cost for the required renovations to keep the Civic Arena functional for five years would be $5.6 million. To keep it operational for 10 years with a 179’ x 79’ size sheet of ice would cost approximately $10.78 million. To upgrade the arena to include a regulation-size 200’ x 85’ sheet of ice would require $13.88 million. Annual operating costs for the Civic Arena in 2016 are budgeted for $196,706.


How busy are the arenas?

The Civic Arena, which requires replacement, is booked on Saturdays & Sundays from 8:00am – 10:00pm, and from 4:00pm – 10:00pm Monday to Friday from mid-September until the first week of April.  The Civic cannot be used in the spring and summer months because the floor is not safe for use.

The Priest Valley and Kal Tire Place Arenas are booked on Saturdays & Sundays from 7:00am – 10:30pm, and from 3:30pm – 10:30pm Monday to Friday.  In both arenas the non-prime time hours of 8:00am – 3:30pm Monday to Friday are 75% booked with hockey schools and programming.

The Priest Valley has ice in from the August long weekend until mid-May and Kal Tire Place has ice in from mid-August until late April, depending on the Vipers playoffs.  Both arenas are used in the spring and summer months for lacrosse and for events like Creative Chaos, the Interior Logging Convention and the Military Tattoo.

Why twin Kal Tire Place?
  • The site is owned by the Regional District of North Okanagan and is scheduled to be transferred to the City of Vernon
  • Current zoning allows for this usage
  • The existing ice plant can accommodate additional ice sheets
  • The new twinned facility will supply significant savings to operating costs ($150,000) compared to the cost of operating two standalone facilities
  • Expanding Kal Tire Place creates opportunities for rentals, tournaments and events (both on ice and dry floor) that are not possible with two standalone facilities
  • The construction of a new facility can be completed without creating any disruption to current ice and dry floor users

Why build to the North?

  • The lands to the west of the existing facility are part of the Kin Race Track lands and are currently unavailable
  • Twinning Kal Tire Place on the west side as opposed to the north side would require additional construction along the full length of the two buildings and would be more expensive to build
  • The land to the west of Kal Tire Place has never been exposed to significant loads; there is potential for significant geotechnical and structural issues and as such, this site has the most potential for costs to escalate
  • Construction to the west would mean the expanded facility is situated lower than the existing facility, exposing the new roof to increased snow load requirements, making it more expensive to construct
  • Building to the west would eliminate the existing entry and exit lane off of 43rd Avenue and require a new access to be re-established around the perimeter of the new facility or a new access developed off of Old Kamloops Road
  • The cost to build the west option was estimated to be $344,241 higher than the north option

What will happen to the Vernon Farmer's Market?

The Vernon Farmer’s Market has chosen to remain on-site at Kal Tire Place throughout the design and construction phases of the proposed project.

What is included in the proposed facility?

The new facility would have a regulation-size 200’ x 85’ sheet of ice, seating for 400 spectators, a lobby, change rooms, washrooms and mechanical rooms. In addition, the facility would also feature spaces requested by major user groups and the public, including a dryland training facility, multi-purpose room, additional office space and a new parking area adjacent to 43 Avenue.

How will the proposed $13,837,513 arena be paid for?

The RDNO will borrow $13,250,000.  After Municipal Finance Authority issuance costs are deducted, they will receive $13,025,128.  The City of Vernon will contribute an additional $812,385 from the Civic Arena Reserve Fund.

What will be the cost for the taxpayers?

Using an example of $350,000 as the assessed value of a home in Greater Vernon, and based only on $185,000 in improvements to the property, the cost per household to twin Kal Tire Place will be approximately $24 per year for the term of the loan, which is 20 years.

The debt service will be borne by all residential and business taxpayers in the City of Vernon, District of Coldstream and RDNO Electoral Areas B and C.  To calculate your estimated tax increase for this facility you should look on your tax assessment notice and determine the assessment on improvements only (not the land).

RESIDENTIAL – To determine how much it would cost you, take your BC Assessment notice and, using the improvement value only, divide that by 1,000. That number, multiplied by $0.13, is the estimated amount that you would pay per year.

BUSINESS OWNER –  For a business/commercial (Class 6) owner the increase will amount to $0.32 for every $1,000 of building assessment.

When will the original borrowing debt on the Kal Tire Place expire?

The major portion of the current debt will be repaid on December 1, 2020 with a final payment of $771,626.
Using the example of $350,000 as the assessed value of a home in Greater Vernon, and based on $185,000 improvements to the property, this means that approximately $21 per year will be removed from the home owners’ tax bill starting in 2021.

To calculate the estimated reduction in your tax notice, you should look on your tax assessment notice and determine the assessment on improvements only (not the land). For every $1,000 of assessed building value your taxes will go down by $0.115 starting in 2021.

Will grants be looked at as a way to recover costs?

Yes, there are several grant opportunities that will be looked at to offset or reduce construction costs.

Who will own the facility?

The new facility will be owned by the Regional District of North Okanagan and operated by the City of Vernon. At the end of the term of the loan, the City of Vernon will own the facility.

What will happen to the Civic Arena?

The Civic Arena will still be needed as an ice facility for at least three years. Currently the City of Vernon Official Community Plan identifies the Civic Arena property to become a park. Council’s Strategic Plan 2015-2018 identifies developing a park plan for the Civic Arena block and considering re-purposing the Arena building.

Where can I get more information?