It was a bright sunny day on Thursday (June 30) when the District of Vanderhoof and its partners unveiled the Vanderhoof Cultural Centre.
“It’s so exciting,” Vanderhoof Mayor Gerry Thiessen said.
“It will be a focal point for our community that will really allow us to celebrate our history, our past. And as I said, it’s also going to be a place for reconciliation. This is a great day for Vanderhoof.”
The District of Vanderhoof received funding commitments through the federal and provincial government as well as corporate sponsors for the Centre. The total cost of the building hasn’t been provided by the District as of press time for the Express. Once that information is available, the Express will update the online version of the story.
Through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure stream, the federal government contributed $780,000 and the province contributed $520,000. Through Northern Development Initiative Trust’s Diversification Infrastructure Program a total of $250,000 was contributed towards the visitor centre components of the project.
Meanwhile, industry partners such as Canfor Plateau donated lumber for the construction of the centre, and Sinclar Group Forest Products donated $25,000.
The building in itself resembles a pit house used by Carrier people. Inside the building there is a one-of-a-kind carving made by Peter Rodseth, that covers the entirety of the wall at 39.4 feet long, 10.5 feet high and is made of 2 inch thick Red Alder. This carving took Rodseth 6 years to make and is very detailed.
There are other stations inside the Centre with artifacts received from Saik’uz First Nation.
MLA John Rustad said, “This is great to see. I remember having initial conversations with the Mayor with regards to a log building next to Bednesti. Saik’uz had a log building there, and he thought maybe we could move that in here and have that as the Cultural Centre. They spent a couple of years looking at that, but decided that a new building was needed. I am just thrilled for the community and for the relationship between Saik’uz First Nation and Vanderhoof. It’s a great way to showcase art, culture. It’s fabulous to see.”
“When you look at our history and our future — it is nice to have a facility that can be a part of that.”