Groundbreaking ceremony marks beginning of construction for Quilchena Community Centre in Upper Nicola.

The Quilchena Community Centre was designed by West Vancouver-based architecture firm Lubor Trubka Associates (LTA) which specialises in wood design and construction, with much of their work across B.C. blending design elements from Indigenous and contemporary architecture.

The community centre will be located at 6990 Nicola River Road in Upper Nicola.

This building will focus and showcase our culture, our history, our place here, by incorporating our language, our art, our culture into this building,” said Upper Nicola Band Chief Daniel Manuel. “We focused on the importance of including our culture, our ways of being and knowing, so we’re hoping this building reflects that when we see it come up.”

The ceremony was oversaw with food, live music, speeches from community members, and bear dancers.

“I’m really happy with the turnout we had today and the support we’ve been shown by the community,” said Chief Manuel. “I think it just is a reflection of the excitement that the community feels around having this opportunity to see, really a world class facility come into our community, it’s the result of a lot of hard work from a lot of people, so I’m really happy.”

Chief Manuel is excited to see the opportunities that the new community centre will bring into Upper Nicola, particularly regarding the youth. 

“Number one, it’s going to bring us some economic stimulus here to the community and the region,” said Chief Manuel. “The value of the project is over $30 million and a lot of it dealing with off-reserve contractors but a large part of it comes into our community members and finding opportunities for jobs right here at home.”

“I’ve already talked to community members who are moving home to take up opportunities to work here and providing opportunities for our young people to enter into the trades,” said Chief Manuel. “To have this facility here, on our reserve and in the Nicola Valley, I think it’s a real success.” 

Construction is set to begin this week and a construction period of 24 months.