Government of Canada Supports Creation of New Indigenous Museum and Cultural Complex in Fort Langley and Upgrades to Surrey Arts Centre
FORT LANGLEY, British Columbia, September 5, 2019
Investments in cultural infrastructure are essential for the health, social well-being and economic prosperity of our communities. With Government of Canada support, the Township of Langley will soon be home to a new cultural complex in the heart of Fort Langley.
Mr. John Aldag, Member of Parliament (Cloverdale–Langley City), announced today $3 million in federal support for a new cultural centre and museum complex near the Fort Langley National Historic Site. Mr. Aldag made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism.
With this funding, the Township of Langley will build the Fort Langley Museums Heritage Centre, a 36,000-square-foot cultural facility. The centre will house the Langley Centennial Museum and a new Indigenous museum developed with the Kwantlen First Nation. The complex will also house a community archives, a 166-seat theatre, a printmaking studio and four multi-purpose programing spaces.
Mr. Aldag also announced a federal investment of $400,000 in upgrades to the Surrey Arts Centre. With this funding, the Surrey Arts Centre will update its lighting with LED fixtures and upgrade the heating and cooling system in the facility. This modernization will result in greater energy efficiency and climate control in the theatres, which will benefit artists, staff and audiences.
These projects received support through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.
Budget 2017 announced an additional $300 million for the fund over a 10-year period, starting in 2018–19, to further support creative hubs and other cultural spaces. This additional investment is a part of the social infrastructure component of the Investing in Canada Plan.
“Our government is proud to support cultural infrastructure projects in British Columbia. We know these kinds of investments help build vibrant, connected communities and allow local creative economies to grow and thrive. We are pleased to support the Township of Langley and the City of Surrey on these projects.”
—The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism
“As curators and stewards of culture and history, museums play an essential role in promoting and showcasing our nation’s collective stories. Thanks to this investment, the Township of Langley and the Kwantlen First Nation will bring renewed vibrancy to this historic area in the spirit of reconciliation and partnership. I am equally thrilled to see support for the Surrey Arts Centre for much-needed upgrades to an important cultural hub in the community.”
—John Aldag, Member of Parliament (Cloverdale–Langley City)
“The Township of Langley is extremely thankful for the Government of Canada’s generous contribution to this significant community project. The addition of two new museums, a community archives, theatre, arts program spaces and improved outdoor areas will benefit the entire township and further enhance Fort Langley as a hub for history, culture, arts and recreation. We are pleased that our municipality will be working together with our Indigenous community and Canadian Heritage to bring this innovative project to life in the birthplace of British Columbia.”
—Jack Froese, Mayor of the Township of Langley
“The Kwantlen First Nation continues to work tirelessly to build and support a strong sense of community within our traditional unceded territory. We are so grateful for the support from Canadian Heritage and we look forward to our continued partnership with the Township of Langley and the Government of Canada on this important project. We are excited to share our rich culture and history with local, regional and international visitors, to celebrate and honour the rich local Indigenous presence in this area, and to continue to strengthen relationships with our neighbours and local governments. The Fort Langley Museums Heritage Centre provides so many positive cultural, educational and economic opportunities for us all and we are so pleased to be a part.”
—Chief Marilyn Gabriel, Kwantlen First Nation
“This funding partnership provides for needed, energy-efficient upgrades to Surrey’s artistic infrastructure, which will increase the comfort and enjoyment for our residents as they experience the creative offerings of the Surrey Arts Centre. I thank the federal government for their continued support of the arts in our city.”
—Doug McCallum, Mayor of Surrey
Fort Langley was established in 1827 when the Hudson’s Bay Company ordered the construction of a fort on the south bank of the Fraser River. The fort became a major port for early exports. In 1978, Fort Langley became a national historic site and is known as the birthplace of British Columbia.
The Fort Langley Museums Heritage Centre will replace the Langley Centennial Museum, built on its current site in 1958. The addition of a new Indigenous museum will expand the lens through which the history of the local community is viewed.
In 2016, as part of a commitment to Truth and Reconciliation, the Township of Langley and the Kwantlen First Nation commenced a dialogue that resulted the conceptualization and design of the new museums. The Township of Langley will operate both museums and the Kwantlen First Nation will act as advisors for the Indigenous museum. Each organization will play a role in the co-management of the spaces within the new complex.
The City of Surrey owns and manages the Surrey Arts Centre, which has operated as a roadhouse and professional performing arts venue since 1967. Located in Bear Creek Park, the facility was built in 1982 and includes the Main Stage, the Studio Theatre and the Surrey Art Gallery. It is also home to the Surrey International Children’s Festival.
The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund supports the improvement of physical conditions for arts, heritage, culture and creative innovation. The fund supports renovation and construction projects, the acquisition of specialized equipment and feasibility studies related to cultural spaces.
For more information (media only), please contact:
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and
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