Ashcroft Indian Band Invests In Facility Upgrades At The Community’s Sole Public Building
Ashcroft Indian Band is a First Nation community located in the Thompson Nicola Regional District of British Columbia. Ashcroft Indian Band's neighbouring communities are the Villages of Ashcroft to the west and Cache Creek in the south. The band is part of the rich Nl’Akapxm Nation.
The Ashcroft Indian Band Community Centre truly serves as a centre for the community as it is the only public building on the reserve that is suitable for hosting public events. With funding support from Northern Development’s Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program, this hall underwent significant renovations that included adding new flooring, installing a new structural support beam, and adding a whole new multipurpose cafeteria.
Before these extensive renovations, the hall had not been renovated since the early 1970s. The community has grown significantly over the forty years, and the hall was no longer meeting the needs of the community. The kitchen was the focal point of the renovations and with a full cafeteria, the hall is now better able to host weddings, anniversaries, public meetings and consultation meetings.
As a result of these renovations, the hall now meets modern health and safety standards and the hall is much better suited to serve as a true community centre for the Ashcroft Indian Band.
"The upgrades completed through this project will increase the capacity for events and gatherings held at the community centre, generate revenues for the operations of the facility, provide a food processing and preservation area in association with the community greenhouse project, and create catering opportunities for several band members."
Andy Anderson, Mayor, Village of Ashcroft
Positive Economic Impacts in Ashcroft
The Ashcroft Indian Band's Community Centre now has the capacity to serve as both a centre for social, health, and fitness in the community while also offering the opportunity to support new economic activity by hosting events and bringing visitors to the community.
The upgrades to the kitchen now allow community members to conduct food preservation of surplus vegetables grown in the newly established community garden. The plan is to sell surplus vegetables to the agricultural co-op in Kamloops, which is sponsored by the First Nations Agricultural Association.
The upgrades to the other areas of the community hall now allow the band to host stakeholder meetings which, in addition to bringing in revenue to the halls operational budget, will provide catering opportunities for several members of the Ashcroft Indian Band. Several stakeholders such as the British Columbia Treaty Commission, BC Hydro, and Wastech have expressed an interest in holding meetings on the reserve. This would bring in additional dollars to cover operational purposes.
Annual revenue increases of fifteen to twenty per cent are anticipated for the hall, allowing future facility upgrades to be funded by the revenues generated from operating the hall.
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