Ottawa will pay $777,000 for energy upgrades in the under-construction Salishan Place by the River centre in Fort Langley.
The federal funding will go towards a geothermal heating system, ground-source heat pumps, and electrical heating system.
These and other green, sustainable enhancements to the project are expected to slash its energy consumption by 60 per cent and reduce greenhouse gases by 128 tonnes annually, compared to conventional systems.
The money was announced on Friday, Aug. 5 by Kwantlen First Nation Chief Marilyn Gabriel, Langley-Cloverdale MP John Aldag, and Township Mayor Jack Froese, along with Peter Tulumello, the director of arts, culture, and community initiatives for the Township.
“We need places like this,” Gabriel said of the new Salishan Place, which is being built as a partnership between the Township and the Kwantlen First Nation (KFN).
“We can’t do anything by ourselves, we need each other,” she said.
Aldag called the announcement “exciting” and noted that even the trees from the site that had to be removed to make the building are being put to use. Some will be carved into house poles by local Indigenous artists, while another will be turned into furniture for the building itself.
“This is going to be an amazing indoor and outdoor gathering place,” said Froese.
The project, when opened next year, will include a museum and replaces and expands on the Langley Centennial Museum, along with a new site for the Fort Langley Library, and a theatre space. It will have a much larger role for local First Nations and their history and culture than the original museum did, when it opened in the 1950s.
The project was already being built with geothermal heating, as the Township had hoped they would be able to get the funding from Ottawa.
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