The community is invited to come together to participate in a land blessing ceremony at the future home of the Community Centre on Tuesday, February 15 at 11:00 am. Special guests S7aplek and Spakwus Slolem (Bob Baker and the Squamish Eagle Song Dancers) and representatives from the federal, provincial and local governments will join the community in celebration of this momentous occasion.
This milestone in the Community Centre project comes before site work begins in the coming weeks, with construction anticipated to take approximately 18 months. Municipal Council gave the $18.7 million project the green light late last year, to finally build this long-awaited facility that will provide 19,000 square-feet of space for community, recreational and cultural activities. The project is funded in part by a nearly $8 million grant from the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure stream of the federal-provincial Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.
“The Community Centre will live on lands within the unceded territory of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nation,” said Mayor Gary Ander, “and we are grateful to be a part of a blessing on these lands where Bowen Islanders will gather for generations to come.”
"This land blessing ceremony officially and appropriately launches the construction of Bowen Island's new community centre.” said Patrick Weiler, Member of Parliament for West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “When complete, this recreational and cultural hub will be a game-changer for the community, providing much-needed facilities and services that will greatly enhance the quality of life of Islanders. This project will serve residents and visitors with a safe and comfortable space to learn, play, and be active. Working with our provincial and municipal partners, we are committed to investing in projects like this that support our local economy while creating more inclusive, resilient communities for everyone."
“This land is a beautiful space for the future Community Centre,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “The new building will serve as a gathering place for the Bowen Island community, bringing to life a long-awaited vision of togetherness, community building and physical and cultural activities . Together with the federal government, we are investing in community infrastructure that will serve residents for years to come.”
A land blessing will be followed by a guided walkabout of the future Community Centre grounds and building site. While all events will be outdoors in the open air, rain or shine, we ask that everyone maintain physical distancing wherever possible and wear a mask if within 2 metres of others.