Fraser Valley sunset

Cascade Skyline Gondola Project initiates Stó:lō Cultural Interpretive Centre planning

Chilliwack, B.C. August 12, 2021 – The partnership of the Cheam First Nation and the Cascade Skyline Gondola Project (CSGP) has begun the consultation process with the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (SLCC) in Whistler. The Indigenous tourism attraction was established over a decade ago to celebrate the regional Nations’ cultural heritage and share their knowledge, understanding and respect with visitors from around the world.

“The Stó:lō Cultural Interpretive Centre (SCIC) has always been a key component of our project at Bridal Falls”, the Cascade Skyline Gondola”, said Cheam First Nation Councillor, Darwin Douglas. “There is much to learn from the Whistler Cultural centre given its history and work done since its inception in 2010”.

The Cascade Skyline Gondola Project held preliminary discussions with the SLCC back in 2020 to understand and learn from their experiences in creating a world-class facility that “has created a centre sharing meaningful experiences, educating all, and lifting our distinct Skw̲xw̲ú7mesh and Lílw̓at ways”. The SLCC has provided training to over 600 Indigenous youth as well as provided education in language and culture throughout the Whistler Resort and introducing these cultures and languages to over 400,000 guests over the last 10 years.

The SCIC is a vision to create a similar foundation for the Chilliwack region but with a much greater potential for visitation and economic viability. The potential for visitation is in excess of 150,000 guests per year given the incredible profile and location directly adjacent to the Trans Canada Hwy at Bridal Falls. The SCIC would be located right at the base of the Cascade Skyline Gondola Project on Trans Cda Hwy 1, as an integrated component in the experience which would be unprecedented in Canada. The SLCC leadership is providing the SCIC team with insights and other information that will inform this vision and provide some additional guidance on best practices and opportunities for such a remarkable facility. The SCIC steering team will be travelling to Whistler in September for meetings with the SLCC management group to learn more and discover the best practices for such a facility.

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The Cascade Skyline Gondola is an eco and cultural tourism project started in 2016 proposed for the Bridal Falls area comprised of a sightseeing gondola accessing up to 1250m in elevation above the spectacular Fraser Valley in the Cascade Mountains of the Chilliwack area. Investment is expected to approach $70 Million for the low environmental impact project. The Cascade Skyline Gondola is a partnership with the Cheam First Nation and other regional Indigenous nations within the Stólō territory in the Fraser Valley.The Cheam First Nation is an equity partner in the Skyline Cascade Skyline Gondola project that is cornerstone of the nation’s economic development strategy. The project is now going through the regulatory process with approval anticipated 2021 and opening in the spring of 2023.