Tseshaht re-opens Cultural Centre after much-needed renovation | Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper

Tseshaht re-opens Cultural Centre after much-needed renovation

Port Alberni, BC

On Friday afternoon of March 8th Tseshaht First Nation had a grand re-opening of their newly renovated cultural centre on Watty’s Road. Members came for tours of the building on the First Nation’s reserve by Port Alberni and were served a lunch of sandwiches and wraps with tea, coffee and juice.

Originally built in 1974 the cultural centre underwent a lengthy overhaul to repair almost all facets of the building.

“In the basement there was a lot of water damage on the drywall and also the wood framing behind it, so it all had to be completely replaced and reconstructed,” Roger Brossoit, Tseshaht’s capital projects manager, told Ha-Shilth-Sa.

The renovation was done in two stages and started on June 15, 2023 with replacing the perimeter drains.

“All new perimeter drains had to be done, that was a big chunk of change,” said Brossoit.

There was also asbestos in the building that had to be safely removed as well as an old oil tank and outdated electrical connections.

Seventy five per cent of the project funds came from a grant from Barkley Group for energy efficiency through BC Hydro. The new heat pump, heating system, electrical work, asbestos drywall removal, the new drywall and the ventilation was all completed through the Clean BC Indigenous Community Energy Coach Program and Heat Pump Incentive. The remaining 25 per cent of the project funds came directly from Tseshaht First Nation.

Tseshaht chose to renovate the building instead of tearing it down and starting fresh.

“The cultural centre is an iconic structure in our territory and structurally is still sound,” said Ken Watts, Tseshaht chief councillor. “It simply needed an update, facelift and it also fit within our draft Community Energy Plan as a building requiring energy efficiency upgrades. Our community needed to continue having a safe, reliable and comfortable space to gather, have dance practice and run various programs and services.”

The Cultural Centre was the first office location of Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper and the second location of the Tseshaht Band office, and the building has hosted an uncountable number of events for the community of the years. 

The House of Regalia will be moving into the Cultural Centre from the Seeds building located behind the NTC’s main office.

“I imagine this new space is much more inviting, comfortable and helps us move forward” Watts noted.

Watts and the team working on the project want to share a big thank you to everyone who made it possible.

Share this: