New cultural centre nearly ready to open
Work on Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre ahead of schedule, under budget
The $23-million Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre on the Whitehorse waterfront is almost complete, coming in under budget and a couple of months ahead of schedule.
Kwanlin Dun First Nation Coun. Alicia Vance said they have received lots of calls from people wanting to rent the facilities in the centre, but it’s not yet up and running.
"As you can see we're not fully furnished," said Vance. "We have to have the furnishings in place."
"Hopefully people will have the patience to be able to have the building complete and ready to go the way it needs to be."
Vance said the furniture should be in place by mid-January.
Gary Bailie, the cultural centre's project manager, said he's proud of the new facility and is excited about the opportunities it provides for Kwanlin Dun people.
"We’re not really rushing, we’re making sure it’s being done right. And we need to find the balance between operating it as a business and providing cultural content to our citizens as well."
The centre also features conference rooms, an elders’ lounge, a sacred space, a fully-equipped kitchen and space for museum exhibits.
Vance said Kwanlin Dun citizens would be the first to use the facility before it opens to the public.
"It’s been over 15 years that the cultural centre has been in talks, so it’s really exciting to see that here it is," she said.
"For them to come down and have that sense of ownership, it will bring a lot of pride and an ability for Kwanlin Dun to really show their culture and their traditional ways."
The City of Whitehorse's new public library is part of the cultural centre and staff and books are already moving in to the space. It's scheduled to open in mid-November.