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
“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
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.