Heritage Centre all set to open Saturday

  • Aug. 20, 2008 3:00 p.m.

It’s going to be the biggest celebration in decades if not longer, and it happens in Skidegate this Saturday with the grand opening of the Haida Heritage Centre at Kaay Llnagaay.”It’s fantastic, it’s wonderful, it’s a coming together of everything that has been planned in the last 15 years,” is the way Haida Gwaii Museum director Nathalie Macfarlane expressed it, while Jason Alsop, operations manager of the Heritage Centre said “we are thrilled”, adding that the planning seemed to take both a long time and a short time. Whatever. It all comes together Saturday, when Skidegate invites the world to the opening of a centre that has the potential to transform the islands economy for the better for decades. Premier Gordon Campbell will attend, as will Colin Hansen, Minister of Finance and Minster Responsible for the Olympics and Stan Hagen, Minister of Agriculture and Lands. On the federal side, Bill Fisher, Director General for Western and Northern Canada for Parks Canada will attend and speak on behalf of Ottawa. The day starts at 10 am with a Haida Clan Parade from Jags coffeeshop to the centre, continues with a canoe landing at 11:15, before the opening ceremony gets started at noon. That’s expected to take about two hours, and at 2:30, there’ll be pole tours, dancers and a pole unveiling at 3:30. Then, at 4:30, newly commissioned art works in the centre will be danced, followed by a seafood barbeque at 6 pm. The day wraps up with two performances of the Haida language play produced here earlier this spring, one at 6:30 pm, the second at 8:30pm. It’s lining up to be a great day-don’t miss the grand opening of the centre that will welcome the world over the next few decades.

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