Need a venue? St. Andrews on the Square is open for bookings

St. Andrews open for biz

If you're thinking of still having your wedding this year — one with a very short guest list — St. Andrews on the Square might be an option.

The downtown venue on Seymour Street is currently booking micro-weddings (30 people and under).

"We just want people to know we're open for business and we run the same, with personal service, easy to get a hold of, that sort of thing," Melody Formanski, the building's caretaker, tells Castanet.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced many to cancel their event at St. Andrews on the Square, which is run by the Kamloops Heritage Society.

"We had close to probably 40 events cancel," Formanski says, noting the non-profit has had to refund a lot of money, since all bookings are paid in advance. "That’s a lot for a small business."

She adds staff have had to get creative in getting revenue during these unprecedented times. They've advertised the space as being an escape, one with peace and quiet. 

"We had a few people that took advantage of that and came down here, made a donation to the heritage society," Formanski says. "We had a couple of people do music recordings here, a couple people wanted to practice their violin. Every little bit goes towards the bills."

To help the bottom line, Formanski says the society has been very frugal with how it spends its dollars. She is also temporarily laid off and on EI.

Formanski notes all events will follow social distancing and provincial guidelines; extra cleaning protocols are also in place.

The building, meanwhile, is still run by the society, thanks to a new "transitional agreement" between the city and the society, Formanski tells Castanet. Last year, the city notified the society it wasn't going to renew its lease for St. Andrews on the Square. (You can read more about that here.)

However, a couple months ago, the two sides came to a deal.

"We have a really great agreement and we really appreciate them going to bat, David Trawin especially and his staff. They did a great job for us," Formanski says.

Part of the new deal includes the city taking over exterior maintenance costs, she says, adding the document is good until Dec. 31, 2021.

Recognized by Heritage BC

Formanski is a 2020 Heritage Award recipient. 

The Kamloops resident received the Honourable Mention in the Lifetime Achievement category, for her work with the society and the role she played in restoring the facility.

She's quick to point out that she doesn't do things for recognition.

"I enjoy working with people. People fascinate me. I enjoy helping people make their event the best it can be. I enjoy taking the stress off the people and getting things done for them."

To book with St. Andrews on the Square, call 250-377-4232 or email [email protected].

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