The District of Vanderhoof is proud to announce that we have begun construction of the Vanderhoof Cultural Centre. The abundant multi-use space within the new Cultural Centre will permit year-round operations and be where community members can gather for workshops, exhibits, public information, and community events. Additionally, the Vanderhoof Cultural Centre will be a space to display and exhibit valuable Vanderhoof artifacts alongside regalia and art provided by Saik’uz First Nation, giving visitors a unique educational and cultural experience.
The building was designed in collaboration with Saik’uz First Nation, incorporating a mixture of traditional and contemporary elements to reflect nature and honour local Indigenous architecture. Inspired by Indigenous pit houses – a place for storytelling, celebrations, and other cultural activities – this project reflects the value of investing in people, communities, recreation, and cultural infrastructure to promote health and well-being and build strong, dynamic relationships.
The District of Vanderhoof is extremely appreciative of the funding commitments received through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s (ICIP) Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure stream and Northern Development Initiative Trust’s (NDIT) Diversification Infrastructure Program. Through ICIP, the Federal Government is contributing $780,000, and the BC Government is contributing $520,000. Through the Diversification Infrastructure Program, NDIT is contributing $250,000 towards the visitor centre components of the project. Together, these funds will help us create more accessible and culturally significant experiences and build a more inclusive community. The District of Vanderhoof is looking forward to this unique partnership as it is imperative for the community as a whole to preserve and showcase its multi-faceted culture, and this amenity will facilitate the opportunity to do so.
Supporting local infrastructure helps create jobs, develop local economies, and make communities healthier, happier, and more resilient. Completion of the Vanderhoof Cultural Centre is for Spring 2022. The new Cultural Centre will be an inviting place that will grow and evolve the history of our communities through art, community events, and local gatherings.
Gerry Thiessen, Mayor of the District of Vanderhoof
“The Vanderhoof Cultural Centre will be a place that not only tells the character of the residents of the Nechako Valley but will also be a place that invites those who visit to understand the region. It has been so good to receive the support of the Federal and Provincial governments, NDIT, Saik’uz, Historical Society, staff, and Council. It is the beginning stage of creating a landmark within our community.”
Jasmine Thomas, Councillor of Saik’uz First Nation
“We are hopeful that the Vanderhoof Cultural Centre will facilitate a greater understanding not only between the communities of Saik’uz and Vanderhoof but for all visitors to the region. The act of collaborating on its initial design and of providing further opportunities for residents, newcomers, and visitors to learn about the territory on which the town is located is another step towards reconciliation. Some of the early architectural planning includes the use of wood features—this highlight not only how important the resources of the land are to the Saik’uz Whut’en culturally, but also how they can be used to build positive relationships. We look forward to the project’s completion and how Saik’uz will be included throughout the development and operations of the Vanderhoof Cultural Centre”
The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development
“I am pleased that construction is moving forward to bring the new Vanderhoof Cultural Centre one step closer to becoming a reality. Cultural centres are vital to building vibrant and inclusive rural communities. This new facility will help residents share experiences and nurture connections while also contributing to community development and education. Our government is pleased to support the Vanderhoof Cultural Centre, where more people will be able to discover and enjoy the immense contributions of the Saik’uz First Nation.”
Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs
“The new Vanderhoof Cultural Centre will be a place for people to celebrate the culture and history of the area, and I applaud the collaboration of the District and Saik’uz First Nation on this project that will add to the vibrancy of this community. Through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s Rural and Northern Communities stream of funding with our federal partners, our government is creating opportunities for smaller communities and rural areas to build the public infrastructure they need to connect people and bring communities together.”