A new cultural facility would be built in downtown Maple Ridge

Maple Ridge meeting with ministers on new cultural facility, museum

Project would also encourage post-secondary learning.

  • Sep. 27, 2016 9:00 a.m.

Maple Ridge council is meeting with B.C. Cabinet minister today and Thursday to ask for financial support towards a new civic and cultural facility.

Such a facility would create a location for youth to gather, encourage higher education opportunities and offer a new home for the Maple Ridge museum, while completing the “heart” of the city’s civic precinct.

The plans also includes upgrades to the Leisure Centre and expanded underground parking.

“Maple Ridge is one of the fastest growing communities in Metro Vancouver and we are projected to increase by 50 per cent in the next 15 to 20 years,” said Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read.

“The project that council is presenting to provincial ministers is their opportunity to invest in Maple Ridge with a lasting impact for every demographic of our community, meet significant service needs across all portfolios and create a catalyst for possible private partnerships that will, literally, complete the heart of Maple Ridge.”

Key components of the proposal include a youth wellness centre, post-secondary building and museum and archives.

The youth wellness centre would, according to the city, provide critical mental health supports for youth who need access to professional services to help them transition to adulthood and ensure that they have a path to wellness.

A post-secondary centre is essential in achieving the goal to increase transition rates for Maple Ridge students from secondary to post-secondary education, said the city.

“Maple Ridge has already approached Simon Fraser University about a possible partnership to create a satellite campus to help area youth and adults access post-secondary opportunities locally.”

As for a new museum: “Maple Ridge and the neighbouring Katzie and Kwantlen First Nations have an incredible story to tell, but the existing facility only allows for a fraction of the historical artifacts and stories to be told.”

A new modern museum and archive facility would allow for a collaboration between the city the native bands to tell the story of the region in “an engaging and modern environment that would strengthen the sense of community for all citizens and create a tourism destination.”

Maple Ridge also needs indoor space to host conferences, large community gatherings and celebrations.

“In addition to the enormous cultural benefits to the community, such a space creates strong synergies for a potential private partner such as a hotel and restaurant operator to take advantage of the grouping of these amenities.”

Maple Ridge is also seeking upgrades to existing facilities, requiring an expansion of the city’s underground parking, and creating opportunities to develop stronger links between the existing facilities by way of enhanced landscape designs and serve as the catalyst for upgrades to the existing Leisure Centre.

“A similar presentation has already been made to the federal government with the support of MP Dan Ruimy, Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows.

“I am impressed by the scope and vision of the proposal,” said Ruimy, who was meeting with the city along with provincial ministers – Social Development and Social Innovation Minister Michelle Stilwell,  Community Sport and Cultural Development Minister Peter Fassbender, and Children and Family Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux – and local MLAs.

“With strong financial commitments from the federal and provincial governments, we can look for private partnerships to build on the assets and energy in the heart of our city,” said Read.

• Information included in the presentations can be found on the city’s website @ mapleridge.ca/1564<http://mapleridge.ca/1564/Civic-and-Cultural-Facility>. The link also includes a video pitch that has been done by Mayor Read for all levels of government and potential private partners. You can view that video here https://youtu.be/QBE9sO56Pkc

For more information on the civic and cultural facility, contact Kelly Swift at 604-467-7337 or by email at kswift@mapleridge.ca.


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