Old Masset Cooks Up Local Economic Opportunity With New Culinary Arts Program

In 2008, Old Massett Village Council received a $30,000 grant from Northern Development through the Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program towards this $897,355 project. This has been a funding partnership of Old Massett Village Council, Northern Development, Coast Sustainability Trust, First Nations Education Steering Committee, Gwaii Trust Society, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, and Vancouver Foundation

2012 – In Old Masset there is only one place that the whole community can come together for a celebration, the Old Masset Community Hall. In the past, the hall couldn’t be used to host thrilling events or beautiful weddings because there was no kitchen available to prepare the food. Now, as a result of this project, the residents of Old Masset have a facility to host their events that is professionally certified for food preparation and sales.

The Old Masset Community Hall has quickly become a focal point for the community. Community groups relying on the facility including daycares, Old Masset Village Council’s Youth and Elders Program, and Northern Health’s Teen Involvement Program – all now utilize the improved facility. The Chief Mathews Primary School uses the community hall as well as the exciting new Old Massett Village Council and Northwest Community College Culinary Arts Program and Level 2 Professional Cook program¬†that was initially delivered at the Old Masset Community Hall, taking advantage of the excellent new kitchen in 2008.

Students of the Old Massett Village Council’s Culinary Arts Program have completed culinary training levels one, two and three through the program. They practice skills and classroom theory in the fast-paced environment of a working industrial kitchen, preparing and serving meals to students, staff and community patrons. Each level of the program contains a work practicum that provides students with work experience and networking opportunities. Students that complete level three training receive their Red Seal in professional cooking from the Industry Training Authority.

"Without the funding from Northern Development Initiative Trust, the Vancouver Foundation, the Gwaii Trust and the hard work from all the students, this project could not have been a success."

Patricia Moore, Economic Development Planner, Old Massett Village Council

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Positive Economic Impacts in Old Massett

The community of Old Masset is in a state of transition from a resource-based community to a culture and heritage tourism community. The community hall is an important place in Old Masset that will now be used for cultural events, weddings, and many other revenue generating events that support the local economy.

The community centre is used for training residents of Old Masset in the culinary arts, which improves their chances of gaining employment. The school has been deemed one of the best in the province and is producing high level students using unique cooking techniques. Graduates of the program have largely found employment in fishing lodges and local restaurants with some going on to specialty cooking such as asian cuisine, aboriginal cuisine and baking.

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