Squamish Nation Youth Celebrate Graduation at Cheakamus Centre
On July 30th, youth from Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) celebrated the completion of an intensive 4-week training program to enhance traditional knowledge and develop instructional skills to provide interpretation to students and adults alike.
The Cheakamus Centre campus served as home base, with experiential lessons led by elders and other experts using the teaching longhouse, coastal rainforest, and Spakwus House classrooms. As part of the graduation ceremony, students demonstrated their newly acquired interpretive skills to a receptive audience of family, staff and Friends of Cheakamus members.
These dynamic young graduates will contribute their enthusiasm and knowledge in the delivery of both new and longstanding programs, such as the provincially recognized Skw'une-was overnight program for Grade 3 students, at the longhouse at Cheakamus Centre.The graduates’ learning journey continues with additional cultural teachings and the completion of high school diplomas and post-secondary degrees.
This pilot program is part of a larger campus renewal initiative currently underway at Cheakamus Centre that will see a revitalization of facilities and programming over the next several years. Funding for this program was provided to the Cheakamus Foundation for Environmental Learning by RBC Future Launch and the Vancouver Foundation.
Celebrating 25 Years in Paradise!
This year marked the 25th year for the Artists for Kids Paradise Valley Summer School of Visual Arts hosted here at Cheakamus Centre. The program combines the ideal location of Cheakamus Centre with top-notch artists for a five-day program for eight to 18-year-olds. Students are paired with a professional artist who presents on his or her work throughout the week. The students work with art specialist teachers to make art of their own in response to the presentations from the professional artists. There are also blocks of recreation time where the students go canoeing, hiking or sketch the gorgeous scenery that surrounds them.
The inaugural River Feast: Walk on the Wild Side
was a delicious success!
Fifty-five guests shared in a progressive-style
dining experience that culminated with a long table feast on the banks of the
Ch’iyák-mesh River. Guests enjoyed a seasonally inspired menu that was
thoughtfully prepared by Chef Wade and his culinary team. We were honoured that
Xwlacktun (Rick Harry) provided a traditional welcome. A special thank you
to our event sponsors: BlueShore Financial, Pacific Salmon Foundation and
RDC Fine Homes; and to our station sponsors: Backcountry Brewery, Fort Berens
Estate Winery, and Spirit Bear Coffee Company. It was a magical evening,
and we look forward to seeing everyone next year. More pictures can be
found on our
"Your location there at Cheakamus Centre is so beautiful and full of spirit. So special. I really loved the experience.”
~Marie-Anne Prevost, River Feast Guest, Whistler, BC.
Honored for Excellence: Cheakamus Centre wins Chamber Green Business Award
On Friday, April 27, 2018, Cheakamus Centre was one of the big winners at the Squamish Chamber of Commerce 2018 Business Excellence Awards! The Centre was presented with the Green Business Award at the annual gala event that recognizes the outstanding achievements of business people and organizations in the Squamish community.
The Green Business Award, sponsored by the Squamish Climate Action Network (Squamish CAN) is given to a local business or organization that has demonstrated a commitment to environmental sustainability. The evaluation committee assessed applicants’ achievements towards eliminating waste, conserving resources, promoting a healthy workplace environment and community engagement.
Click here to read the full media release.
Reconciliation House Post finds its home!
On April 2017, Cheakamus Centre was the proud recipient of the Squamish Arts Council 2017 Arts & Culture Enhancement Grant. This generous grant supported the creation of a Reconciliation House Post that will serve as a focal point for discussion at this important time of reconciliation in Canada. This carving will also honour families from the area who have dedicated their skills, knowledge, and expertise, teaching thousands of students about indigenous cultural practices and reinforcing the values of respect and harmony.
The project was led by Xwalacktun (Rick Harry), an internationally renowned Squamish Nation artist, whose works can be found in the region and throughout the world. His accomplishments have been acknowledged with a variety of awards and designations including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the prestigious Order of British Columbia. We are so excited to officially announce that the Reconciliation House Post is up! Xwalcktun and his incredible team worked tirelessly to create this masterpiece and over a year later, this amazing piece sits beautifully near our beloved longhouse.
A special thank you to RDC Fine Homes for all of your help getting the foundation built and installing this special post!
Cheakamus Foundation receives contribution in the amount $15,990 from Enabling Accessibility Fund
The Cheakamus Foundation for Environmental Learning is excited to announce a contribution in the amount of $15,990 from the Government of Canada towards the Opening Doors cabin enhancement initiative. Funding from the Enabling Accessibility in Workplaces and Communities program will provide for accessibility improvements to two of ten cabins needing upgrades at Cheakamus Centre.
Click here to read the full media release.
Cheakamus Centre Receives Greenhouse Classroom Funding
Cheakamus Centre is proud to announce contributions from the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, augmented by Listel Hospitality Group’s filtered water donation program, to provide for an accessible greenhouse and planting supplies. The new greenhouse will enhance the Centre’s well-established garden program, provide a new accessible outdoor learning space, and increase the amount of fresh produce that makes its way on to the school menus.
This healthy-living initiative helps provide students with the tools and knowledge needed to make choices that will have a positive effect on their heath and the environment. The greenhouse classroom will extend the growing season through the winter months, and provide more opportunities for students to be hands-on with harvesting, growing and planting.
The Growing Together project is a collaboration of Cheakamus Centre’s education and culinary teams, with the shared goal to deepen student and adult visitors’ understanding of where their food comes from, and to empower young learners to taste new foods.
“When children participate in garden activities, they are more motivated to try new fruits and vegetables in the dining hall”, says Wade Rowland, executive chef at Cheakamus Centre. “The greenhouse provides an invaluable teaching tool to change the way many children perceive food and encourage them to become excited about nutritious and healthy food choices.”
This project is part of a larger, multi-year campus renewal initiative that includes enhanced school and public programs, as well as new construction and renovations. The general publicw was invited to tour the greenhouse and view the cabin renovations at Cheakamus Centre’s 49th Annual Open House on Sunday, May 6, 2018.
Cheakamus Centre looking for $500,000 funding for student cabins
As part of the campus renewal initiative, the Cheakamus Foundation for Environmental Learning has been actively securing refurbishing funding, which includes sustainability and energy costs. Read the full story by The Squamish Chief
Cheakamus Centre Receives $25,000 From RBC Foundation
Cheakamus Centre is proud to announce a contribution in the amount of $25,000 from the RBC Future Launch program. This generous funding will help to create opportunities for indigenous youth to explore, build, and share indigenous cultural practices in an environmental education setting.
Click here to read the full media release.
Cheakamus Foundation receives contribution in the amount of $10,000 from the Vancouver Foundation.
This funding will provide for the start of a new program to strengthen understanding of indigenous knowledge's and identify ways to move forward together at this historic point in Canada’s development. We are so thankful for this generous contribution from Vancouver Foundation.
Click here to read the full media release.
Cheakamus Foundation receives MEC funding for student cabins
The Cheakamus Foundation for Environmental Learning is pleased to announce it has received support from Mountain Equipment Co-op towards the campus renewal project at Cheakamus Centre. This important contribution will improve the sustainability and reduce energy costs in one of ten cabins.
As a philanthropic leader, Mountain Equipment Co-op has repeatedly demonstrated the positive impact of socially responsible corporate action. We are so thankful for this generous contribution. Click here to read the full media release.
BCIT Students Bring Energy to Cabin Project
British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) Building Science Master students are getting a taste of what it's like to work on a well-loved Outdoor School landmark, as a result of a collaboration between Cheakamus Centre and BCIT’s School of Construction and the Environment.
For the next 8 weeks, Abbas Rangwala and John Cheng Law will explore options for energy efficiency upgrades to one of the original Pan-Abode sleeping cabins at Cheakamus Centre. This feasibility study will determine an energy baseline and identify design options to improve energy efficiency and indoor environment quality. The study will inform design decisions for the first of ten cabins slated for upgrades this spring. Click here to read the full media release.
EECOM Awards of Excellence Honourable Mention
Cheakamus Centre is delighted to announce that the North Vancouver School District received Honourable Mention in the 2017 Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication (EECOM) Awards of Excellence. This prestigious award program recognizes contributions of outstanding individuals and organizations engaged in environmental learning across Canada. North Vancouver School District was recognized in the category of Outstanding K-12 Class, School, or School District. It received honourable mention for its innovative environmental education programs at Cheakamus Centre and across the school district that foster a greater understanding of ecological principles and environmental ethics.
Established in 1969, Cheakamus Centre is owned by the North Vancouver School District and offers a wide variety of environmental, leadership and indigenous programs for children and youth. Learn More.
Reconciliation House Post Special Ceremony
Then on Friday, September 8th dozens of people gathered on the grounds of Cheakamus Centre to participate in a traditional blessing ceremony to celebrate the carving of a Reconciliation House Post, created by renowned Squamish Nation artist Xwlacktun (Rick Harry). Click here to read the full story.
Check out our YouTube Channel for some footage of this amazing event.
Cheakamus Centre Launches Reconciliation Carving Project
Squamish, April 27, 2017 — Cheakamus Centre is a proud recipient
of a Squamish Arts Council 2017 Arts & Culture
Enhancement Grant. This generous grant supports the creation of a
Reconciliation Pole that will serve as
a focal point for discussion at this important time of reconciliation in
Canada. This carving will also honour families
from the area who have dedicated their skills, knowledge, and expertise,
teaching thousands of students
about indigenous cultural practices and reinforcing the values of respect and
project is being led by
Xwalacktun (Rick Harry), an internationally renowned
Squamish Nation artist, whose works
can be found in the region and throughout the world. His accomplishments have
been acknowledged with a
variety of awards and designations including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond
Jubilee Medal and the
prestigious Order of British Columbia.
On June 22, 2017, the reconciliation carving project at Cheakamus Centre was featured in the Arts & Entertainment section of the Pique News magazine. The four-metre cedar reconciliation pole is the latest work of Squamish Nation artist Xwalacktun (Rick Harry). The pole was carved onsite at the longhouse, allowing visiting children and teachers to watch the team of three carvers at work, with Xwalacktun sharing the stories behind the pole. Click here to read the full story.