On the evening of November 2, 2010 in Gatineau Quebec, the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (SLCC) received the National Cultural Tourism Award. The award was one of 14 Tourism Excellence awards given out by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) and presented by the Toronto Star to recognize the best of Canada’s Tourism Industry.
This was the first year for the Cultural Tourism Award and the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre was listed as a finalist along with Cape Breton’s Celtic Colours International Festival and Charlottetown’s Confederation Centre of the Arts.
The SLCC was chosen as the recipient for their ongoing commitment to promote Aboriginal Culture through unique guest experiences and engaging programming within their exploratory museum and collection of galleries.
Lil’wat Nation’s Sik SiK (Josh Anderson) accepted the award on behalf of the SLCC. “I have been with the SLCC since we opened two and a half years ago and I am very proud of this achievement. It is an honour that our work in preserving and sharing our culture has been recognized with such a prestige award.” He goes on to say “It is important to both our Nations and the Whistler community to have a strong Aboriginal experience that we can share with visitors.”
The First Nations museum is located near the shared ancient village of Spo7ez. It is a natural fit that the SLCC’s Aboriginal Youth Ambassadors along with the Nation’s artists, descendants of those who lived in this region for thousands of years, are able to engage large numbers of people in a range of experiential activities that generate lasting memories and forge new opportunities for Canada’s cultural tourism industry.
The year 2010 will be remembered by the SLCC as the one that enabled the centre to launch into the global market. Representing two of the official Four Host First Nations for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, the SLCC was a critical partner in promoting tourism on the international stage and many of the staff were participants in the opening and closing ceremonies. In the past 12 months they have had over 30,000 visitors and the summer showed great results in tours groups and event rentals. Beyond the success of the daily operations, the SLCC was successful in receiving a grant from Canadian Heritage earlier this September; the SLCC is currently working on the second phase of the Sea to Sky Cultural Journey. The Cultural Journey is a partnership between the Squamish Nation, Lil’wat Nation and Province of B.C that has significantly increased aboriginal tourism and cultural awareness within the region.
Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre