Students at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) now have improved access to hands-on career training in areas like culinary arts and environmental resource technology at an innovative building that has officially opened its doors.
“NVIT plays an important role by providing an education grounded in Indigenous culture, tradition and knowledge, and this new centre will help it open the doors of opportunity and build community,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “The Centre of Excellence in Sustainability is truly intergenerational, with spaces that bring together children, elders, community members, and students who will learn the skills they need to be part of a vibrant B.C. economy.”
Celebrating the official opening of the Centre of Excellence in Sustainability was Raj Chouhan, Burnaby-Edmonds MLA, on behalf of the minister, Ken Tourand, NVIT president, as well as students, local First Nations and staff.
The 2,000-square metre centre supports NVIT’s existing programs and students, including in environmental resource technology. The centre will also allow the institute to expand its offerings with a culinary arts program.
The building contains new classrooms and an innovative clean energy lab that brings the mechanical room to the classroom and uses power from the building’s solar rooftop, which is also a teaching space. The building also holds a new teaching kitchen, as well as a gymnasium and fitness centre that will be open to the community.
The $10.3-million facility was funded by the Government of Canada’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund ($6.9 million), the Province of B.C ($2.5 million), Western Economic Diversification Canada ($720,000) and the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology ($150,000). Western Economic Diversification Canada also provided an additional $66,000 toward the operational costs.
“Modern learning spaces are key to helping students develop the skills they’ll need for the good jobs of today and tomorrow,” said Navdeep Bains, federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “Our government’s investment in the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology is another step in our plan to boost innovation and grow the Canadian economy.”
Ken Tourand, president, NVIT –
“As B.C.’s public Indigenous post-secondary institution, we are excited to announce the opening of the new Centre of Excellence in Sustainability at our Merritt campus. This facility will provide our learners with access to a clean energy lab, a state-of-the-art culinary kitchen, a greenhouse and a gymnasium, thereby increasing our capacity for experiential and hands-on learning in the classroom and lab, and moves our ability to train in clean energy fields into the 21st century. The new gym gives students recreation opportunities to build on the sense of community on campus and we look forward to learning from our Elders as we grow traditional plants in our greenhouse. We are grateful to the federal and provincial governments, together with Western Economic Diversification, for this significant investment in Indigenous education in British Columbia.”
Stacey Orr, NVIT student, environmental resources technology –
“My experience at NVIT, where indigeneity is the heart of education, has been supportive and grounding. Having this new building as a learning space will nurture my growth as a student and prepare me to be a leader in sustainability.”
Raj Chouhan, MLA for Burnaby-Edmonds –
“As an Indigenous centre for excellence, NVIT plays an important role empowering and inspiring learners. I’m pleased to be able to celebrate the opening of the Centre of Excellence in Sustainability, which will benefit students in the Nicola Valley and throughout B.C.”
- NVIT is an Indigenous-governed provincial institute with a mandate to serve as British Columbia’s public Indigenous post-secondary institution.
- The institute serves more than 1,200 learners.
- The Government of Canada’s Innovation Agenda aims to make Canada a global centre for innovation – one that creates jobs, drives growth across all industries and improves the lives of all Canadians. The investment at NVIT exemplifies that vision in action.
- The 2018 Labour Market Outlook forecasts approximately 903,000 job openings throughout B.C. between now and 2028. Over three-quarters of all job openings (77%) will require some level of post-secondary education or training.
- B.C. received $256 million through the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund, announced in 2016. Twenty public post-secondary institutions and one private First Nation institution in B.C. benefited from a total of 30 individual projects throughout the province.
Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund: https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economic-development/programs/science-technology-partnerships/investment-fund.html
Nicola Valley Institute of Technology: http://www.nvit.ca/nvit.ca
Western Economic Diversification Canada: https://www.wd-deo.gc.ca/eng/36.asp