In recent years, Village Council and the Chamber of Commerce have been thinking about how Keremeos could be visually enhanced, paving the way for a fresh look at an economic development strategy. In 2016, the Village acquired grant funding through the Ministry of Forests Rural Dividend Fund to plan and implement some enhancement efforts to further improve the local economy and help boost community pride.
During the summer of 2016, the Village commissioned CTQ Consultants Ltd. to undertake a preliminary investigation and plan to get the ball rolling. The intent of the exercise is to promote beautification of the downtown in the hope that it will spur on economic revitalization in terms of tourism, small business success, local expenditure and investment in both public and private realms.
A preliminary Plan to Improve the Visual Appeal of Downtown Keremeos was completed in September 2016 highlighting a series of goals and projects that can help establish a framework for future improvements; these include:
While it’s understood the preliminary report forms a good framework to move forward, further planning and community involvement is required to pull together a comprehensive enhancement plan. The preliminary report led Council to approve Phase 1 Implementation of the Keremeos Downtown Visual Enhancement Project in May 2017 and an Open House was scheduled for the summer.
On July 12, 2017, CTQ Consultants Ltd. held an Open House to solicit input from Keremeos residents and business owners. The materials presented focused on a number of enhancement elements, including:
The presentation materials included display boards related to enhancement projects, the proposed Arts Walk and Information Plaques.
On October 11, 2017, CTQ Consultants Ltd. held a second Open House to present display boards related to refined enhancement options, including:
The Village completed infrastructural upgrades in 2018 to coincide with elements highlighted within the proposed Comprehensive Concept Plan, including intersection bulb outs, sidewalk let downs, new storm drains and catch basins, new boulevard tree wells and streetlight electric works in the downtown core.
The Village looks forward to implementing further enhancement elements in conjunction with community stakeholders in due course and whenever suitable funding opportunities can be identified. We encourage the exchange of innovative, forward thinking ideas and invite all stakeholders to contribute to these initiatives as we collectively work toward a more vibrant community.
If you’re a downtown core property owner who wishes to get involved with these initiatives, please email your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org along with a brief description of your idea and how it may contribute to the enhancement project.