Winery plans amphitheatre

Jackson Triggs amphitheatre at Niagara on the Lake.

Jackson Triggs amphitheatre at Niagara on the Lake.

MONTE CREEK — A local winery will become a regional entertainment centre if plans for expansion work out.

Owners of the Monte Creek Ranch winery want to build a 500-seat outdoor amphitheatre, events area, restaurant and more parking at the property on the former Bostock Ranch east of Kamloops.

The land was used for hay farming for many years but was purchased by the Sidhu family from the Lower Mainland in 2009, and the winery opened last year. The winery also grows berries and beef.

Now, they want to expand into the wedding and entertainment market. A proposal will go to the TNRD board on Thursday asking it to recommend acceptance to the Agricultural Land Commission. The plan would also need a site-specific zoning amendment.

If successful, the winery could hold weddings, parties and corporate events in an area adjacent to the winery building. An amphitheatre patterned after one built at the Jackson Triggs Winery at Niagara on the Lake would host up to six events annually, including music and live theatre. The bandshell would be oriented to the south and acoustically designed using existing topography.

The restaurant is part of a longterm plan and would be located near the winery. It would serve both as an eating place and a hall for indoor events.

Overflow parking would be located on an uncultivated part of the property.

A report from TNRD staff says the proposal envisions extending the winery’s season and providing a more complete on-site experience. If it’s approved, the owners would still have to review landscaping and structural designs with noise and light in mind before the TNRD board gives its final go-ahead.

“Planning services believes that agriculture, winery and proposed new ancillary uses are a supportable mix at this location and thus strongly recommends this application,” the report says.

It says the proposal is unique to the region but that similar projects have been done in other areas.

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