Ground Blessing Ceremony
A ceremonial Ground Blessing took place on February 17, 2010 at the Outdoor School in preparation for the start of construction on the North Shore Credit Union Environmental Learning Centre. John Lewis, superintendent of schools for the North Vancouver School District, led the well-attended ceremony, under sunny Squamish skies. Our vision is to provide world-class instruction and a rich diversity of engaging programs to inspire success for every student and bring communities together to learn, share and grow,” said Lewis. “I think today is example of world-class; it’s diverse, and it’s an engaging opportunity for each of us to learn, share and grow.”
Chief Elana Andrews of the Squamish Nation provided the traditional ground blessing, followed by the Welh Tima Kexwusem “Culture Bringing People Together” Dance Group, who shared an engaging glimpse of the rich culture of the Coast Salish First Nations through song and dance.
Featured speakers included: Joan McIntyre, MLA West Vancouver–Sea to Sky; Doug Smith, Vice-President Corporate Affairs, North Shore Credit Union; Susan Skinner, Chair, North Vancouver Board of Education, and Larry Murray of the Outdoor School Advisory Committee.
"Today is a shining example of what remarkable things can be achieved when willing partners work together towards a common goal, “ said Susan Skinner. “I am deeply humbled and honoured to be here to participate in this blessing ceremony with representatives of the Squamish Nation, the North Shore Credit Union and our many other exceptional partners to honour and celebrate the beginnings of the new Environmental Learning Centre. This new centre will welcome the world and be a hub of discovery for learners of all ages, building on a 40-year legacy of connecting people, nature and community.”
A reception immediately followed, where those in attendance were treated to the culinary talents of Outdoor School Chef Jason Nadeau, viewed design plans for the new centre, and met the architectural team.
Recipient of a Holcim Awards Acknowlegement prize for sustainable construction, and declared one of BC's greenest three buildings by Business in Vancouver's Green Space magazine, the Environmental Learning Centre is expected to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification. The North Shore Credit Union Environmental Learning Centre is slated for completion in early 2011.