Above is an illustration of the envisioned Splatsin community centre.

Splatsin community centre to benefit region’s economy

Splatsin community centre to benefit region’s economy

The Splatsin First Nation is looking to become a major force in the region.

A ceremony was held last week to launch construction of a $12 million community centre just outside of Enderby. It will include meeting and banquet facilities, as well as recreational amenities and space for educational training.

“It’s not just about our community but the community around us,” said Chief Wayne Christian. “We are trying to regenerate the economy.”

Long-term, the facility, with a total of 33,581-square-feet over three floors, could also evolve to include hotels to accommodate those using the centre.

Representatives from Armstrong, Enderby, Spallumcheen and Sicamous took part in the ground-breaking ceremony.

The building, which is fashioned after a traditional Shuswap pit house, will be able to hold 2,000 people on the main floor or 1,000 for a sit-down banquet. Meals can be prepared in the full-purpose kitchen.

“A business plan has been developed for it. We are looking at marketing the facility,” said Loretta Eustache, Splatsin band administrator.

Among the potential revenue-generating activities are weddings, reunions, concerts and conventions.

The hope is to also establish relationships with colleges and universities to provide training programs, such as the culinary arts, for native and non-native students.

In the basement will be an area for meat cutting.

“It will allow our members to process wild game which is important to our culture but it could also run programs for meat cutting,” said Eustache.

But beyond economic development, the centre will serve the needs of the growing Splatsin community, which has a population of 1,000 people and is expected to grow in the next few years,

“It will serve as a meeting place,” said Christian.

A key component will be fitness, with the upper floor having a running track. The concept of a community centre has been discussed since 1980 and it replaces the old hall, which was built in the 1950s.

It was pointed out Tuesday that many band elders have died dreaming of a facility that would bring the community together.

“This is what they were talking about when they were talking about looking after our children,” said Laureen Felix, a band member who sang during the ceremony. “This building will be up for a lot of years, even for my great-grandchildren.”

Christian already has plans for the first event once the centre opens in the spring of 2015.

“Many of our people have been taken away by residential schools and foster homes. This building symbolizes welcome home,” he said.

But while Christian pays tribute to the past, he insists the focus of the centre is the future.

“It’s for those not here yet, the unborn,” he said.

 

Just Posted

Snowfall warning issued for Highway 1 from Salmon Arm to Golden

Environment Canada says to expect 15-30 cm of snow by Thursday evening

Single-bridge option chosen to replace RW Bruhn Bridge

Five-lane span selected over plan with second bridge at Main Street

UPDATE: Highway 1 closed east of Revelstoke, set to reopen at 7:30 p.m.

Highway 1 is closed east of Revelstoke near the west entrance to… Continue reading

Salmon Arm plans to ban single-use plastic bags

First six months of proposed ban would focus on education, not enforcement

Video: Truck crashes into ditch west of Sicamous

Reports indicate traffic is still flowing through the area

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

Warning issued as forecast calls for 20-foot waves in Tofino

Dangerous waves, strong currents and upper-shoreline flooding expected for Tofino-Ucluelet area

An 800-pound pig named Theodore needs a forever home, B.C. society says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Submissions sought for UBC Okanagan’s annual fiction competition

University’s annual short-story contest enters its 21st year

Teenager Alphonso Davies wins Canadian Men’s Soccer Player for the Year Award

Derek Cornelius and Chilliwack native, Jordyn Huitema were named Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

B.C. teen MMA fighter shows heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

Sicamous Eagles blanked by Princeton Posse at home

KIJHL squad takes a tough loss as Christmas break draws near

UK Prime Minister Theresa May wins party no-confidence vote, but troubles remain

May won the vote of 317 Conservative legislators with a 200-117 tally

Most Read