THE City of Surrey has received a $400,000 grant from the B.C. Government for the construction of an Indigenous Carving Centre at Elgin Heritage Park/Historic Stewart Farm.
The grant, through Heritage BC, will help to build a one-of-a-kind venue that fulfills objectives of the City’s vision for reconciliation, while supporting the protection of Indigenous cultural heritage in Surrey.
“This is an important project for Surrey and I want to thank the Province and Heritage BC for their support,” said Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. “The new Carving Centre will be a showcase venue to come learn and explore the art and history of Indigenous carving. I look forward to welcoming everyone when we officially open the doors of the Indigenous Carving Centre at Elgin Heritage Park next year.”
Project development has been guided by ongoing consultation with the Katzie, Kwantlen and Semiahmoo First Nations and best practices for carving venues. Ongoing dialogue will ensure project goals, interpretation opportunities, and programming models are grounded in Indigenous cultural knowledge. In addition to this project, the City of Surrey is also planning a second venue in North Surrey.
“Surrey is such a large City that two venues will help to ensure greater opportunities for the many talented Indigenous artists in Surrey,” said McCallum. “I am pleased that we will have two new dedicated spaces for the teaching and sharing of Indigenous cultural heritage in our City.”
The one-time funding was received as part of the BC Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP). The projects supported by CERIP will improve community economic resilience, develop tourism infrastructure, support unique heritage infrastructure, and support economic recovery in rural communities. Funding for the carving centre was received through the Unique Heritage Infrastructure component.
Project construction is set to begin this fall, with completion in mid-2022.