Federal funds announced this week for the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre are going to help with the creation of six monumental sculptures to be added to the facility’s collection of art and artifacts.
West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country Member of Parliament John Weston was on hand to announce the $161,000 in funding on Tuesday (Aug. 7).
Weston drew attention towards the nature of the cultural centre and the fact the Squamish and Lil’wat nations worked together to establish it and keep it running through that same sense of unity it represents.
“It would be easy to talk about money the Government of Canada is investing in programs today but then you forget the deep commitment that has been made to work together,” he said. “When people find common ground marvellous things happen.”
The funding comes from the museum assistance program within the department of Canadian heritage. The centre’s executive director Casey Vanden Heuvel said the centre applied for the funds and with their approval they can continue to finalize plans for the six sculptures.
“It is a long standing goal to have our great hall filled with art and artefacts,” Vanden Heuvel said. “Typically you cannot open a cultural centre with all your treasures… this is the next key step in helping us further fill our facility with inspiring art and artefacts.”
The funding will also go towards an asset management software program and curatorial training for one of the centre’s staff members.
The next step, Vanden Heuvel added, is to select the artists that will carve the monumental sculptures.
“Artists involved in creating the sculptures for the great hall will have the opportunity to demonstrate the living culture of the Squamish and Lil’wat nations and inspire others to develop their art,” he said.
Weston pointed out the significance of adding to the centre’s collection for cultural tourism efforts.
He said cultural tourism is an economic driver and one the local municipality has rightly come to recognize as significant.
“The resort municipality has intelligently said this place is a world-class place but it is not only a world-class place for sports and recreation in fact we are world class for arts and culture and the world is coming to our doorstep,” Weston said.