First Nations Cultural Centre receives $1 million 

Strahl announces diversification contribution

Federal Agriculture Minister Chuck Strahl announced Monday a $1 million “investment” by Western Economic Diversification Canada in the Squamish-Lil’wat First Nations Cultural Centre being built in Whistler.

Strahl, MP for the Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon riding, which includes Pemberton, made the announcement in Squamish on behalf of Carol Skelton, Minister of National Revenue and Minister of Western Economic Diversification.

“This new centre brings significant economic opportunities to the Squamish and Lil’wat people by creating 40-50 jobs to build the centre’s facilities and 15 full-time and 30 part-time jobs to run the centre during the peak summer months,” Strahl said in a release.

This week’s $1 million announcement from Western Economic Diversification is in addition to $13.7 million in previously announced government and private sector funding. The Province of British Columbia has announced $6 million in contributions; the federal government promised $4.7 million; and Bell Canada has announced it will provide $3 million.

As well, the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations have previously announced they will contribute $2 million in funds.

Those contributions add up to $16.7 million. The estimated cost of the facility, as of last year, was $20 million. Updated figures were not available at press time.

The First Nations Cultural Centre will showcase the Squamish and Lil’wat cultures to the world and is intended to provide a forum for aboriginal cultures.

Work on the centre began in the spring of 2005, on Crown land at the corner of Blackcomb Way and Lorimer Road. At that time the anticipated opening date was sometime in 2007.


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