In a joint statement they agreed that “a Cultural Pavilion in Prince Rupert could provide a dynamic and unique visitor experience that builds on the 10,000 year plus legacy of Tsimshian First Nations and could provide a portal to the rich and diverse cultural tourism opportunities Prince Rupert has to offer for visitors.”
The Prince Rupert Port Authority CEO Don Krusel commented “ the Coast Tsimshian culture is a unique point of differentiation for Prince Rupert and it makes sense to develop and profile this to strengthen Prince Rupert as a destination and for the benefit of the community at large”.
Elected Chiefs of the Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla communities Garry Reece and Harold Leighton agreed and commented that “ the pavilion could provide a valuable education facility not only for the visitors to Prince Rupert but for their own people. It could highlight the uniqueness of our Tsimshian arts, crafts and culture and provide an important conduit to other opportunities in Prince Rupert” they said.
Port spokesperson for the project Shaun Stevenson, VP of Marketing and Business Development said “a cultural pavilion could build upon existing cultural assets and provide a major visitor experience to strengthen Prince Rupert’s capacities as a cruise destination highlighting the Tsimshian culture. A 2007 Prince Rupert visitor study showed that of 25 attributes surveyed across a number of communities, aboriginal cultural was a major advantage and we should leverage off this “
“It also provides a platform for an enduring relationship between the Port and the community” he said.
Consultant, Te Taru White, a noted authority on the development and leadership of successful cultural tourism centres in New Zealand, has been engaged to lead the concept development through a series of workshops as a precursor to the study. “It is important that a concept which defines the purpose and expected outcomes of the proposed pavilion is agreed and owned by key stakeholders. This then informs the study and ensures appropriate alignment he said. “Too often Architects and Designers take control of this aspect with a result that bricks and mortar becomes the focus rather than people, functionality and visitor experience” he said. “It is intended that key stakeholders and the wider community will be kept informed and updated as part of the process “.