The Northern Secwepemc Cultural Society (NSCS) completed the construction of the Sucker Creek Bridge on June 28.
A grand opening ceremony was held at the new bridge at the planned Northern Secwepemc Cultural Centre property adjacent to the 108 Heritage Site on Canada Day (July 1).
Canim Lake Band Chief Mike Archie gave an opening prayer and welcomed attendees, and drumming and singing was provided by band members from both Canim Lake and Soda Creek.
The ceremony also featured some brief remarks to acknowledge many of those involved in construction of the bridge, including Daryl Taylor (Celtic Engineering), Larry Davis (Davis Environmental), Brad Johnson (Sitka Log Homes) and Marty Dixon (Canim Lake Band).
“All of the businesses that contributed to the bridge project were invited to attend this ceremony, and it was most gratifying that representatives of several local businesses were able to attend,” says NSCS secretary Graham Leslie.
On June 1, concrete footings and cedar log stringers to support the bridge superstructure were installed in preparation for Phase 2 of the project, he notes.
“The cedar for the posts, railing and decking of the bridge were milled by Sitka Log Homes and following construction of a mock-up section by Celtic Engineering were cut to their precise dimensions by Sitka under the direct supervision of [its] president, Brad Johnson.”
These pieces were then stained by Dixon’s Canim Lake crew that also then installed them on June24-25, under the supervision of Celtic Engineering, completing phase 2.
On June 28, the approaches to the bridge were completed – the final task in the structure.
Leslie says the July 1 ceremony was conducted to honour the many local businesses that contributed financially, together with ArtsVest B.C. and the New Pathways to Gold Society,
and made it possible to build the new bridge.
The bridge provides an attractive and efficient pedestrian crossing for access to the planned museum, and is also intended to help protect Sucker Creek and its riparian zones from ATV traffic.
Now, society representatives have begun to make tentative approaches to various potential funding sources for the approximately $3.25-million museum and cultural centre, such as meeting with Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod in Kamloops on June 30, he adds.
“We all felt that we had received an excellent hearing and that Cathy McLeod was genuinely interested in our project.
“Similar briefings with the other MPs whose constituencies include our member bands’ reserves, and with our local MLAs, are still being contemplated for later this summer.”
More information on the cultural centre is online at www.nsculturalsociety.ca/project.html.