The Musqueam’s new cultural education resource centre at the foot of Salish Drive may look familiar to anybody who visited the aboriginal pavilion during the 2010 Winter Olympics. That’s because it’s pretty much the same building, with a few modifications, that was used to showcase the culture and traditions of the Lil’wat, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh during the Games. The Musqueam purchased the 8,000 square foot pavilion and had it moved — in pieces — from the plaza of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre to a prominent spot near the banks of the Fraser River. The curving structure was built to resemble a cedar hat.
The top of the “hat” reveals a large skylight. That design element, coupled with a wall of windows facing the river, makes for a bright, peaceful, inviting spot. Inside, there is a large space for ceremonies and meetings, as well as a new 1,300-square-foot gallery featuring Musqueam artifacts. The cultural centre is available for rent and the gallery is open for self-guided tours on Fridays and Saturdays and by appointment Monday to Thursday. Admission is $5 per person.