Plan Approved leading to the Groundbreaking

This new building did not materialize without some contention. Early conception of the building and price tag brought along such names as “white elephant” and “Taj Mahal” according to Mayor Richard Fowler, who took on the name proudly.

The original plan for a civic and cultural building was rejected in a 1976 plebiscite. Eventually the new design was put to a plebiscite in the 1980 municipal election, with the city sending out information guides to explain to citizens what they would receive in return for a yearly levy. The building was approved by only 318 votes.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held in December 1981, attended by the Minister of Culture, the Honourable Mary LeMessurier (third from left).

Local dignitaries included (left to right), Mayor Richard Fowler, former mayors Richard Plain, John de Bruijn, Ray Gibbon, Bill Veness and Ronald Harvey. Standing in the background are MLA Myrna Fyfe and City Councillor Rod Throndson.